If you don't measure the impact of your PR strategy, how can you be sure that your efforts are worthwhile? Measurement is vital to assessing the impact of a PR campaign in sufficient detail to allow you to optimize your strategy.
Let's take a look at why it's so important to understand the impact of every news release or piece of content, and how you can develop a measurement framework that allows you to gather and make sense of all the data you need.
Why Measurement is Important
In simple terms, if you're not measuring something, you're not managing it. Therefore, if you don't measure every aspect of your PR strategy, you're leaving a lot of things to chance. It's also important to use the right level of detail in your measurements. You probably already track the number of impressions and media mentions your content generates, but do you understand how that attention translates into new subscribers? By defining the metrics that matter most to you and using measurements to determine what factors affect them, you can achieve your PR goals.
How to Use Measurement in Your PR Strategy
The first step is to develop an analysis framework. AMEC's interactive template can help you to do this. In summary, you need to begin by defining your objectives: is your goal to generate more subscribers, or something else? You would then need to define the inputs, outputs, activities, and outcomes you will measure.
Some of the most common outputs and outcomes measured by PR professionals include:
- The number of people engaging with your content
- The number of times a piece of content is shared
- Likes and comments on the content
- Conversations generated by the content
- Effect of content on lead generation and sales
You may want to measure some or all of these metrics, depending on your goals. Whatever metrics you choose, you will need to track them over several weeks or months, and for as much of your content as possible, so you can establish a baseline against which to compare your latest marketing efforts.
Measurement Tools That Can Help
Many tools that can help you analyze and draw conclusions from the data you collect. These include Google Analytics, Audiense, Adobe Analytics, BuzzSumo and yes, even the Mynewsdesk platform. You will need to research each option to find out whether it can deliver the metrics you want to track in a format that is easy for you to use.
Drawing Conclusions From Data
Simply gathering data isn't enough to have a positive effect on your PR strategy. You need to use the numbers your analytics tools produce to compare your various content pieces against each other so you can work out which ones have the greatest positive impact. When you know which content pieces have generated the most subscribers in the past, you can focus on creating more of that kind of content in the future.
You also need to review trends over time to work out how your overall PR strategy is performing. If email open rates are falling or your traffic from Facebook is dropping rapidly, you need to know about it as soon as possible, so you can work out what is going wrong and take action to re-engage an audience that may be losing interest in your brand.
To learn more about how to measure your reach, please get a free copy of our latest handbook.