It seems like it’s been ages since you’ve started your PR firm, right? Now, that you’ve settled pretty good you want to measure your success, yet it appears to be more difficult than it should. It is only understandable that at the end of any piece of campaign work or every activity you want to make an evaluation so that you know what went well, what needs improving… and most importantly – come up with ways for the improvement.
In case you are not really sure how to measure your PR success, here are some great guidelines that will help you out:
Don’t confuse a target-audience perception audit with an audit of the general population. Remember that you can’t find a brand that fits everyone so it’s better to stick to your target-audience when doing any kind of research. If you have a well defined, smaller group of representatives you will achieve much greater success with the poll than doing it on a random, large group of people. After all, the point of the follow-up survey isn’t to hear what everybody (who may have not even used the product) has to say, but to hear what those that actually used the product think about both the product and your campaign.
2. Web search results and inquiries
The key to successful measurement of success is to act in accordance with the objective you’ve set; if your objective is more Web traffic, leads and inquires then those particular things are what you should measure. In case you are keeping it at a basic level, you can simply look for the uplift in inquiries over a period of time or around a particular campaign. Assuming your goal is to isolate the impact of a PR campaign from other marketing activity, what turned out to be highly effective is using PR to create backlinks that link to a specific website or publicize a particular telephone number.
3. Set time aside for monitoring
What you can do through simple observation of downloads and a click through activity is actually following your customers’ interest in the project you have launched. An instant feedback on whether what you are communicating is actively engaging your customer base is achieved through downloading counts of owned content. All backlinks you may find at a media relations level are pretty much reference to specific sections of websites or sections. In case you are operating through online media, there sure is a way of combining the process with the printed media. It’s all connected through careful observation.
4. Shares and conversation are a winning strategy
If your communications sector did all things right, then you won’t have any troubles generation conversation online. Thanks to today’s technology (and your persistence) you can easily track these conversations in order to see and measure the influence of those generating conversation. For instance, to see what’s been going on Twitter and to follow conversations there, you can check Twitonomy. Once you have tracked and singled out influencers you can turn them into advocates for future campaigns.
5. Traditional ways are also good ways
In case you are not familiar with AVE acronym it stands for Advertising Value Equivalency. It is tightly connected to traditional way to measure the value of external communications and PR. It is basically a calculation that correlates cost of securing like-for-like advertising space and editorial space secured through media relations. Still, with the fast progress and changes in marketing and advertising world, PR is moving away from AVE; for most part it is headed to more business-related and relevant metrics. Nonetheless, certain circumstances like getting financial director buy-in still call for AVE. The key to these situations is to make sure you have picked the right measurement for the right audience.
6. Reporter relationships
It often happens that we neglect the importance of relationships we’ve forged with reporters when they can be our primary source of success information. Assess reporters and ask of ways your media coverage was affected by publication or media outlet they contribute to. This will without a doubt give you a clear insight into what it is that you’re doing right and what segments you need to work on.
When you work with reporters it is a two way street – you need to know what material to present and the reporter needs to know what you want and how you want it presented. So, in order to make this relationship successful you need to carefully observe the influence each reporter has on your PR activities. Stick to the ones that always bring good publicity.
7. Mentions in competitor articles
It is naive to think you can stay neutral in the world of business. In fact, why would you? What you need for a successful business is somewhat a positive-neutral reputation and good quality behind your services. One way to see what’s your PR company viewed as is through mentions in competitors articles. Are you mentioned in a good or a bad light? Do other companies look up to you or do they mock you? Note down what the articles had to say and consider changing your work attitude if you see there are worse than good reviews. After all, going through these articles will give you an objective insight into how your business has changed over years. Note – consider there’ll be bad reviews coming from competition just for the sakes of it.
Damian Wolf is a small business co-owner and writer from Brisbane. He loves to write about business, finance and life. Damian Is also part of creative team at Cubic Promotions Brisbane, and enjoys creating new campaigns for their clients. When he’s not occupied with business, Damian loves to barbecue and play tennis.