PR Software helps communications professionals solve the challenges of a 24-hour news cycle by monitoring media mentions, measuring key metrics around those mentions and then reporting on results / impact of the PR plan. PR software can also provide contact information to key influencers as well as ways to get your pitches noticed. There are many different types of PR software to help communications pros deal with the rapid shift from traditional media to the digital world full of bloggers, micro sites, social media, search engine optimization and ROI focused PR metrics. Good PR software should help demonstrate the return on PR investment, further boost PR's effectiveness and help optimize communications strategies.
PR analytics is the process of aggregating information from multiple data sources to provide PR metrics and reporting that proves the value of media mentions in a way that both communication professionals and business executives understand. Traditional PR software has focused on providing media monitoring tools to help PR pros understand and report their earned media mentions and often offered an ad value equivalency (AVE) metric that that did a very poor job showing the true impact PR has on a brand. PR analytics goes beyond outdated or overly simplistic metrics like AVE or Share of Voice to provide a complete picture of PR's Brand Impact, Digital Impact and even Bottom Line Impact.
Media monitoring is the process of gathering all your brand's coverage in both traditional and digital media outlets including like traditional news, blogs, print, broadcast, radio, premium paywall subscriptions and more. Media monitoring software pulls from millions of national and international sources and spans years of media coverage so PR pros are able to analyze and report on the coverage they earn.
PR reporting is the process of quantifying the impact of your PR efforts with different kinds of relevant PR metrics and key performance indicators (KPI's). PR reports are usually generated Monthly, Quarterly, Yearly or Ad hoc for individual campaigns. The best PR reporting aligns to the organization's overall goals and provides metrics that prove the business value your PR strategy is driving.
PR metrics are used measure the results of your PR efforts and a brand's return on PR investment. While traditional PR metrics often failed to accurately quantify the impact of earned media, PR pros can now prove the ROI of their efforts with value-driven PR metrics like; SEO impact, visitors driven to your website, social amplification of articles, sentiment, competitive or historical bench marking and more.
Ad Value Equivalency (AVE)
Ad Value Equivalency or AVE is a mostly meaningless PR metric that attempts to measure how much a company would have spent in ad dollars to get the same amount of coverage as their earned media. AVE has become obsolete due to new, more accurate, measures of PR's impact on a brand or business. The Barcelona Principles outlined a new way forward for PR to prove their impact using meaningful metrics like SEO impact, website traffic generated and even deals created or influenced by earned media.
A media mention is anytime your organization is mentioned on any kind of news reporting blog or website. This includes all type of media both traditional media (print, radio, television) and digital media (blogs, news sites, podcasts, etc.). It is important to understand that not all media mentions are equal. Ad value equivalency was once used to judge article quality but it proved to be a metric that failed to accurately quantify the value of PR. Thanks to advanced PR software; new metrics like Social Amplification, Article Impact, SEO impact, Sentiment and Website Traffic Generated help communications professionals understand which are the high quality media mentions that are creating value for the brand and optimize their strategy.
Earned media is any media mention not generated directly by your organization through paid advertising. Earned media makes up one of the four pillars of the PESO marketing and communications model that includes Paid Media, Earned Media, Social Media and Owned Media. Earned media has become more valuable and important than ever before as traditional advertising has becoming less and less effective due to Ad blockers and people not trusting information coming directly from brands as much as they do information from third parties.
Key Influencers are individuals who post or publish any kind of content that your target audience reads. Key influencers could include bloggers, journalists, celebrities, customers, social media personalities, etc. Key influencers are the people who can actually drive a conversation with your target audience and can greatly impact people's perception of your Brand. Being able to identify and engage key influencers for a brand is key to PR team's success.
Social Amplification is the number of times an article was shared across social media and the size of the audience reached as a result. This is a great way to measure the quality of the media mentions you are getting rather than just report on overall share of voice or AVE.
PR Attribution is the ability to track web traffic where a reader clicks a link in an earned media article that takes them to your organization's website, or web traffic where someone reads an article and visits your website even without a link to click on. Website traffic generated from a media mention without a backlink is almost impossible to quantify with traditional web analytics reporting so TrendKite offers advanced PR Attribution reporting allowing communications pros to report the true impact of earned media on a brand.
Backlinks (aka "inbound link" or "incoming link") are when one website links 'back' to another (full definition from Moz). Backlinks are important to the PR professional because getting one included in a digital media mention boosts your Brand's site authority and standings in Google's search results for key terms. Not all backlinks are equal; search engines take into account the website's domain authority (SEO Impact) and relevance of the subject when valuing a backlink's impact. A backlink from a low quality site or one that does not have content that relates to your brand will hold no value in Google's eyes.
Backlinks also allows your analytics team to report on the referral traffic generated from earned media mentions. The problem with relying on backlinks to quantify PR's impact on website traffic is that they are very hard to get included in media mentions and even when they are, you may not be able to track them as a referral source. Website traffic generated without a traceable source is known as Dark Web Traffic because it is difficult/impossible to track where it came from with traditional web analytics software. You need advanced PR attribution software to measure traffic generated without a backlink.
SEO impact measures an article's impact on your Brand's Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings. SEO Impact is key to the process of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website by ensuring that your brands' web properties are showing up at the top organic search engine results for keywords that are related to the brand, product or services. TrendKite is the only PR software to provide users with an SEO impact score for each article based on Moz's domain authority.
A PR newsletter helps keep your company and key stakeholders informed of impactful brand coverage, industry trends, and competitive developments and is usually sent on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. PR Newsletters pull together important media mentions and shows performance metrics by article such as social shares, readership, sentiment, and traffic driven.
A feature article is the main story in a publication. Feature articles usually focused on a special event, place, person (company executive), product release, or company/brand event in great detail. You can pick out feature articles to highlight in your reporting and newsletter especially if an article has particularly high web traffic, high readership, etc.
Public Relations (PR)
In 2012, PRSA led an industry wide effort to redifine what Public Relations is in the modern era. Here is what they settled on; "Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics." -- Public Relations Society of America