Measuring PR impact can be a tricky task. There are no specific metrics that prove whether a particular approach or campaign has been a success and therefore, it can be difficult to track.
At the beginning of a campaign or when you start work with a PR agency, it is important to set goals and decide what it is that you’re trying to achieve. If you have clear targets or goals when you start, such as appearing in a specific publication, generating more web traffic, or appearing in more Google search results, it is easier to measure whether or not your PR activity has been successful.
Ultimately, you want to be able to evaluate if your PR efforts are improving brand awareness and reputation, and there are a number of ways in which you can do this.
One of the most effective indicators is press coverage. If you have numerous pieces of coverage in publications or websites with a large audience, made up of your target market, this is a fantastic way to broaden your scope and spread your message further. The more coverage you get, the more people who are seeing your good news, learning about your brand and, therefore, considering you as a company of choice.
There are different types of PR coverage, known as the PESO model (paid, earned, shared and owned), which have different values. We would suggest that any earned media, for example through influencer relations or word of mouth, is more valuable than any paid for coverage.
It is also interesting to see the domain authority and viewing statistics from the websites you have featured on as the higher these are, the greater your reach.
Backlinks – in which another website links back to your website – is another way to measure your impact. If you’re increasing backlinks, this means more people are being pointed back to your site, which could improve your traffic and, therefore, your sales.
A well thought out PR strategy should improve brand awareness and position your company as an expert in its field. This can directly improve your sales figures if you have products or services to sell, as more people will look to you as a trusted specialist in your industry. If after a particular PR campaign you see a direct impact on your sales, you can record this as a win!
Social media reach can also be relied upon as an indicator of PR impact. Successful PR will see an improvement in social media account followers, audience engagement, an uptick in brand mentions and growing post reach.
Recently, in my role as Client Services Manager, I have been talking to our customers about the way we show their PR impact. Every month, we provide our retainer clients with a report of their PR activity, outlining the press coverage they have received, brand mentions they’ve secured on other websites, backlinks, and social media reach.
We have also just invested in new, purpose-built, reporting software to improve our client experience. While its capabilities are impressive, at first, we worried that the new approach made our reports too detailed and overwhelming for clients. So, we went back to them to ask, as while we want to keep up with industry development and technology, it is vitally important to us that our customer needs come first.
We need to be able to prove the worth of the PR activity in a way that our clients can easily access and understand.
Which brings me to my final point – customer surveys. You can measure PR impact through asking your customers what brought them to you. Did they see your name in lights in the local newspaper? Did they read about you on social media? Or were they recommended by a friend? All you have to do is ask.
As you can see, various methods and tools can be used to measure the effectiveness of your PR activity. If you analyse all the parameters listed above and look at the results holistically, you will create a clearer picture of what is working and what needs to be tweaked, showing the value of your efforts.
If you need help with your PR, contact a member of the Ballyhoo Crew today, on 01536 682800.