How important is it to measure public relations? Well, without it, PR professionals can’t determine which aspects of a strategy have worked and which haven’t quite had the desired impact. Public relations measurement is important both during and after a campaign as it gives PR professionals benchmarks to work from and allows them to adapt the approach.
While traditional methods such as AVEs (advertising value equivalent) are still used, there are many more ways to measure PR such as online search rankings and lead generation – giving clients an overall view of the impact that PR can have on business growth and success.
Here are some of the ways that PR professionals can measure the effectiveness of a campaign:
- High quality media coverage
A classic indication of whether a public relations agency is delivering results is its ability to generate media coverage. Previously, PR professionals were solely evaluated on the number of clippings that they could generate. However, nowadays, more and more businesses are also examining the quality of the coverage received.
To increase brand visibility and access the right people, a top-class PR professional will understand a business’ target audience and focus their efforts on securing coverage in relevant publications. Widespread media coverage can be fantastic for certain campaigns but for others, it’s more important to generate articles in niche publications. For example, for a software company targeting airlines, a successful campaign could be defined as one that secure coverage in reputable air travel magazines.
Additional value can be derived from the inclusion of a call to action such as a website or event registration link.
At the end of the day, the first step in growing a business is spreading awareness of a company. So, a PR company that can get people talking about your business is sowing the seeds for long term growth.
- Social media engagement
Social media can be a useful tool to boost awareness and build a brand’s reputation. Because social media has become such a large part of communication strategies, it’s important to measure engagement and sentiment on these platforms.
Do your followers or engagement numbers increase as a result of PR activity? When coverage is shared on social media, positive engagement metrics such as likes, comments, views, shares or follower numbers are all signs that PR output is generating awareness about your organisation.
Additionally, examining how people interact with your social media output can shine a light on how your PR activity is performing. For example, do people engage with a post about an office revamp or a customer win? Understanding the behavioural trends of your target market can help to determine which PR output is generating interest in your business.
- Search rankings
Search Engine Optimisation remains a top priority for businesses. Purchasing decisions begin with a Google search so getting your company name on page one of Google helps to generate interest in your business.
When PR activity is excelling, search engine rankings will reflect this. An experienced PR professional will ensure that key messages and core services about your organisations are included in PR materials so that reputable media outlets include them in coverage – driving your website up the search rankings.
PR can sometimes be seen as difficult to quantify but the numbers don’t lie with SEO – the more your company becomes known for certain goods or services, the better your placement on the Google search page, and in turn, the higher your chances of generating leads.
- Generating interest
At the end of the day, PR is all about creating awareness, promoting the business and attracting leads and helping to close opportunities from prospective customers.
That’s why - whether it’s consumer PR where the goal is to increase sales or employer branding where an organisation wants to attract more job applications keeping track of the impact of PR is vital.
This could be a spike in your website traffic or an inbound enquiry about your new services. Comit’s clients have seen customer wins and deals come as a direct result of a press release or award win. A successful campaign will encourage people to take action and choose your business.
PR measurement has advanced in recent years to take on many forms, and these often depend on the objectives of the individual customer. So, if it’s top quality coverage or increased website traffic, successful PR agencies will identify these goals and work to make them a reality.
If you want to find out more about the ways in which PR can elevate a company’s reputation, you can contact us here.