How to measure the value of PR

The best methodology for measuring the success of a PR campaign has been a hotly debated topic for comms professionals for many years. Despite it being top of the agenda for some of the industry’s leading conferences, a single dedicated method to accurately calculate the impact of a campaign or tactic still doesn’t exist (and yes, we hear you Barcelona Principles). So, how do you, as a client, know that you are getting value for money? 

By Chris Brown, account manager at Stone Junction

Measuring PR success
At Stone Junction we ensure that all our campaigns are results driven. That doesn’t just mean the delivery of a high number of press clippings, it means we ensure that the tactics we employ help to achieve our client’s goals. It doesn’t matter whether that’s an increase in sales, more visits to a website or simply more people talking about you. 

We look well beyond traditional AVE and PR values, which no longer fully represent the success of an article. Depending on the tactics we deliver, our campaigns are evaluated using both qualitative and quantitative metrics, tailored to the client’s objectives. 

But what other metrics could you be using? 

Website traffic 
As the importance of online coverage continues to grow, measuring website traffic is an important factor. Not only can you measure if people are reading your article, but by using a tool such as Google Analytics, you can determine the location, device and even age group of the readers, to ensure you’re targeting the right people. 

Backlinks 
In all of our articles we include links to the client’s website, whether it’s to their homepage or to a specific piece of content, such as a product or service. Backlinks to a website not only improve the SEO of the site, they also allow you to measure the popularity of the content. Tools such as Google Analytics and Moz provide easy ways of checking the total number of backlinks to a site. 

Sales
It may sound an obvious one, but many people forget to link PR coverage to sales. While not every article will directly lead to an immediate increase in sales, it’s important to include these figures over the course of a longer campaign, particularly when launching a new product or service. 

Social reach 
Platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn have provided in-built analytics for several years now, albeit some of them are very basic. There are a wealth of paid-for options on the market that provide much more detailed results, for example Sprout Social, Radian6 or Klout. Don’t forget to look past your own profile though and find out who is talking about you on their own feeds. 

The list of possible metrics is endless and determining the right one for you is an important part of the planning stage for any campaign. Before starting work, it’s imperative that a series of key performance indicators (KPIs) are identified. Otherwise, how will you know if the campaign has been a success? 

For more information about PR metrics or if you have a question about how your campaign should be measured, contact Chris on 01785 225416 or email chris@stonejunction.co.uk

Chris Brown

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

No comments: