Public Relations covers a range of strategies and tactics that share a common purpose, to communicate a positive message about your company or personal brand with the aim of influencing the behaviour and purchasing decisions of customers, shareholders, prospects and other stakeholders.
Measurement and evaluation of PR activities is an important step that all organisations must follow in order to enhance company success. To ensure this process is most effective, it is vital that you look at your business objectives and performance before any PR activities are undertaken. You will then use these measurements to look at the results after the introduction of a campaign. By comparing the before and after of each measurement tool when executing any PR activity, businesses can have a better understanding of the effectiveness of the PR activities that were undertaken.
Here are some tips on building a successful PR campaign and knowing how to measure it:
1. Align your PR campaign to your business objectives
There is no plan without a strategy. In order to build a successful campaign, you need to define your brand story, understand your target market, what influences your decision makers and clearly identify your business, sales and communication objectives. What do you want your audience to know about you and your brand? What are you trying to achieve? Where are you now and where do you want to be?
Remember, to achieve the best outcomes from your PR campaign, qualitative communications objectives need to align closely to quantitative business objectives.
2. Building your story and PR case to cut through
Building a consistent brand story involves communicating across channels in a multifaceted approach. Our TaurusBullseye™ methodology starts with a brand audit where we define your story, develop your key messages and align with business and communication objectives, identify your target market needs and create buyer personas to tailor appropriate go-to-market plans, messages and angles for your audience.
Key tactics to cut through are to build your value proposition and brand identity, clearly articulate what you are offering, your unique selling proposition and don’t underestimate the power of research! Know your market, your competitors and the gaps you are filling to stand out from the crowd.
Now that you have your objectives sorted and your key messages aligned, it’s time to pitch your story and expertise to media.
3. Press Coverage and share of voice!
Chief among PR tactics is to generate media coverage. Media placement across your target publications (tier 1 mainline dailies and your industry verticals) is the most powerful way to reach your audience, influence attitudes and build credibility. Unlike advertising, PR coverage reads as factual news, positioning you and your brand as experts and industry thought leaders.
One of the main ways to determine PR success is tracking the number of media clippings that mention you, your brand or products/services. The more mentions and press coverage featured, the more successful you are at raising awareness, thought leadership and credibility for yourself and your business.
PR is also a natural SEO booster!
Here’s a quick checklist to reference when analysing the quality of your coverage:
- Headline mentions
- 1 on 1 interviews, op-eds or journalist relationships built
- Key messages being implied
- Prominence of mention
- Take up and understanding of what’s different and/or new about your brand
- Photographic inclusion
- Quotes or client case studies utilised as a part of a bigger story
- Links back to your websites or social media pages (where editorial privilege allows)
Other ways to track and measure the success of your PR campaign include:
Media impressions, audience reach and PR Value!
Achieving press coverage is great! But making sure you’re reaching the right audience is vital. Be it a mainline daily or an industry vertical, calculating the number of impressions and audience reach is another form of measurement.
Every media publication has an annually recorded and updated media kit detailing the number of unique visitors and impressions their publication attracts. The kit usually also details the readership demographic, interests and behaviours to ensure you’re targeting the right publications and reaching your audience. In saying so, having this intel means that at times while the AFR or The Australian may appear to be a tier-one “golden eggs”, an article published in a niche industry magazine or blog could be more relevant, valuable and effective for you and your objectives.
Further to impressions, website traffic is another effective measurement. You can measure this by recording the number of web browsers prior and post-campaign launch. Google Analytics is a great tool to track website traffic, providing data on website performance, number of visits, qualified leads and referrals. This creates an understanding of which activities and communication initiatives have provided the most value for your business by viewing where the traffic has originated from (other websites or social media).
Greasing the sales wheel
A well-executed PR campaign can help to generate sales leads. How? By bringing your brand to life, maximising brand presence, generating awareness and gaining media share of voice against key competitors.
However, it is your responsibility to leverage the coverage you achieve to move prospects along the sales cycle and to continue building your pipeline. Coverage should always be placed in a ‘media’ or ‘as seen in’ tab on your website, shared across social media to your wider networks. Sharing coverage with prospects and third-party endorsers not only articulates the credibility and reputation of your brand, but it builds a powerful case to influence the sale and close the deal.
Remember PR success does not happen overnight. It’s about building relationships with prominent figures, building your networks and staying relevant by upholding the momentum you create in the media.
If you’re looking to build the brand recognition, credibility and profile of your personal or corporate brand get in touch today at email@example.com