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If your boss is a seasoned PR pro who understands the ins and outs of PR measurement and analytics, congratulations! You can take the rest of the time it would have taken you to read this blog and go get a latte. If you aren’t so lucky, you may be frustrated by your fearless leader’s lack of insight into the whys and whats of PR analysis. Your life will probably be a lot easier if you can communicate the following ideas to your boss.
The Effectiveness of PR Can Be Measured
Let’s start with the very basics. Some people, even some marketers, believe that PR is a mix of voodoo and luck. While it is true that some of the effects of PR can’t be quantified, most of them can - in very real terms. Because so many interactions today are digital, it is absolutely possible to analyze how well your PR efforts are working and to make data-driven decisions about your strategy.
PR Should Be Analyzed in Terms of Outcomes
Your boss may be looking for reports that include all sorts of activity and impression metrics. How many mentions did we get? How many people may have seen them? How many press pitches did you send? If these are the kinds of questions you are getting, try to reframe the conversation. While those stats are interesting, what is important is the buying activities that were driven by your PR work. Website hits, leads, social engagement, revenue, those are the things that you should be counting.
The Right Analytics Improve Results
PR analytics is crucial to the development of a winning strategy and smart tactical decisions. It drives everything from the content of your pitches to the development and placement of content assets. PR reporting shows you what is working and what isn’t, which audiences respond to which types of messages, what your competition is up to, and how well your key messages are being received.
Accurate and Complete PR Measurement Requires Technology
Your boss may believe that a Google alert or two is all you need to assess the media landscape. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. The number of media outlets, social networks, review sites, forums, and other channels that might be meaningful to your brand is enormous. Without sophisticated PR technology on the job, you may miss a crucial opportunity to spread your message or protect the reputation of your brand. The good news is that you’ll be able to use the solution to calculate the value of your PR activities and justify the investment.
It isn’t always easy to get your boss to change their point of view, but in this case they should like what they hear. PR isn’t magic after all. With the right tools it can be approached as scientifically as all of the other parts of the business that use data to drive decision making. That should at least get a head nod and a smile.