How to measure PR success – Part 2
Last week we talked about how PR success can be gauged with different tools. However, there are some metrics that cannot be measured with tools. Particularly in PR, it is important to understand some alternative metrics a successful PR campaign will be cognizant of. This week we are looking at those qualities.
It is vital that your message is heard with clarity and that your brand is portrayed in a positive light in any earned media. A negative article could be more damaging to your brand than no article at all.
Also, not all media outlets are created equal. The higher the quality of the writing, and the more authority the outlet has with Google, the more effective any media clippings at that outlet will be. It is important for a PR campaign to focus its attention on quality over quantity.
Customers and Lead Generation
OK, so your PR campaign generated clicks to your website and lots of social media shares and mentions. Did that translate into new leads or new customers? Whatever your target, it is important that your PR campaign successfully delivers a strong ROI. In reality, this means sales and revenue.
While truly successful PR campaigns turn your target audience into prospects and prospects into customers, they can also back your advertising and social media efforts. Your leads might indicate that they first heard about you on social media, but it is the quality content that built their trust which turned them into leads.
Anyone can engage in social media, but not everyone can get a top tier feature.
Awareness, Reputation, and Sentiment
Has your PR campaign raised awareness of your company? Has it enhanced your reputation in the industry? Is the prevailing sentiment surrounding your brand positive or negative?
Market research before and after a campaign can give you a good indication of its level of success. Well-honed PR should generate a positive image of your brand and increased awareness.
It is important to develop as solid an understanding of these important outcomes as it is to count the number of clicks or the amount of traffic your campaign generated. Positive sentiment and raised awareness levels are intangibles that truly drive new customer acquisition and sales.
Your Customers’ Journey
Remember that PR is both a short and long-term game. Earned media will get you an immediate boost in the easily quantifiable measures, but what really matters is that you understand your customers’ journey with your brand and know how to interact with them accordingly.
Alternative and more difficult-to-measure metrics are vital to your understanding of the journey your prospects go through before they become customers. For this reason, measuring PR success is an inexact science, but one you should always be working on and try to understand.
The better you grasp how a PR campaign has benefited you, the more you can refine your public relations efforts over time to ensure you remain in tune with your customers and your target market. Your campaign may have very specific measurable goals, like generating buzz or establishing thought leadership. But your campaign must appropriately align your brand with your company’s values and your customers’ journeys to ensure it plays its role in your overall marketing efforts.
Placing a true ROI on earned coverage isn’t easy. Public relations is more about generating a positive image among your target market than about click, traffic, or link numbers. Deep insights into your customers’ journey with your brand and how they engage with you – what they are reading, where are they learning about you and how – is critical to identifying what PR success looks like.
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