Do you ever wonder if your PR measurement could tell a clearer more meaningful story? Do you ever get the feeling from clients and executives that PR is too vague in delivering the results they are looking for? I think we have all experienced this feeling…I know I have. One reason this has occurred in the past is because of lack of proper tools to measure PR results. Many times we knew that our PR efforts were making a difference, but there was no proof. It was hard to track which customers made a store purchase because they read a great article in the newspaper about that particular store. Today we still struggle. But it is not because of lack of tools. Because much of PR is done online with Facebook, website content, Twitter, e-commerce, blogs, etc.; measurement and data ARE available. It is just a matter of finding the right tools to help us reach our goals as well as the right tools for measuring the results. With new tools and technology changing almost everyday… this can be a confusing process. Thankfully we have our colleagues to help us see through the confusion! If you could use some clarity about getting clearer PR results, you will want to check out Gini Dietrich’s post on How to Measure PR.
I want to highlight 3 main points from Gini’s post that I think are really worth taking a look at.
- Combine Online Analytics with Internal Data- Gini points out that PR agencies must take advantage of their clients’ internal data such as e-mail marketing and e-commerce software to get deeper results. This works if you do corporate PR as well. Just be sure to share internal data between departments. For example, when you are able to track who reads your content via e-mail and how many of those eventually visited the e-commerce website you can make a connection between PR and revenue.
- “We DO NOT track Facebook Fans, Twitter followers, YouTube viewers, or Klout scores” – What? Really? But it makes my client so happy to see how many Facebook fans we have! They might make your client happy, but the verdict is still out as to whether these numbers are important at all. Do they really give a very clear picture of PR’s impact? Gini managed to give a great example of how PR had a direct result on revenue and it didn’t include any “fans or followers”.
- Use the Funnel Approach – Gini gives an example of being able to measure and guide potential customers through a funnel of interaction with the client. This makes it possible to set clear goals and to create a simple formula to reach them. In Gini’s example, she sets 3 goals. #1- get potential customers to a free trial landing page #2- get potential customers to accept a free trial #3 -get potential customer to become a customer. As you track this process through the funnel, you can create a simple formula that includes how many webinar participants or white paper readers proceeded to the free trial and eventually made their way down the funnel. With this information at her disposal she can deliver real results to her client.
Let this post inspire you to use the right tools to deliver specific results for your clients unique goals. Today’s PR is requiring some real knowledge of the technology and tools available as well as some out of the box thinking. As Gini points out Today’s PR is becoming more like “science and math, combined with art, and it works really, really well.” Please share your approaches to measuring “PR of today” and what tools have worked well for you and your clients.