PR measurement strategies you need to consider

Posted by Sara Hawthorn

When we start working with a new client there are a few questions we always ask: 1) is the kettle on? 2) what are the objectives and goals? We ask this because, contrary to popular belief, we can and do measure PR activity. Our analytics specialist, Lianne Marie is here to explain the how, what and why of PR measurement.

Why measure PR activity?

It doesn’t matter if your goals are short term and campaign led or ongoing to reach long-term objectives, you need to measure to know whether what you’re doing is working.
It’s so important. Metrics give you an insight into your activities which helps to shape your practices and ensures that your campaigns deliver a return on your investment. Analysing your data is also an important learning exercise which can really benefit the creative process and tell you things you didn’t know before that could bring a wealth of opportunity.

What PR activity can you measure?

When PR measurement is mentioned it’s often in relation to campaigns, but there are ways to measure ongoing activity. In the recent PRCA Census it was revealed that one third of agencies didn’t have any measurement systems in place for campaigns, so who knows quite how many agencies have PR measurement strategies in place for ongoing activity. What did give us hope, however, was a recent discussion our director Sara had during #powerandinfluence on Twitter which was specifically about measurement outside the confines of campaigns.

It’s clear there are still misconceptions about what we do and how we justify it, so from our perspective here at InFusion let’s look at what we measure for clients. We can demonstrate:

  • how our ongoing work has increased your phone and email enquiries, social following, email subscriptions, sales or brand awareness and map these analytics to client CRM systems
  • which sources have generated the most referrals to your site and what they do when they land. For example, a prospect being referred from online news coverage who then goes on to read a blog post, complete a sign up, download link or a contact request
  • who we are reaching, e.g. new audiences, re-engaged previous site visitors and what their demographics are
  • what content is working based on the behaviour of site visitors or the way they are engaging with blogs by looking at time spend on page and behaviour flow as well as exit pages to see where weak spots may be

Why metrics strengthen your PR activity

Securing coverage is great and media relations is still a vital and important part of our work but increasingly businesses are realising that’s not solely what makes a strong PR strategy and PR activity.  The benefit of a PR measurement strategy is the flexibility it offers – armed with information we can adapt, change, re-target, and prioritise the channels that work and the content that is most effective throughout our time working with clients. Real-time monitoring allows us to maintain greater control of your budget, leading to less wastage of time and money on channels and tactics that don’t work.

Do you have a question about PR measurement? Send us a message, tweet us or connect with us on LinkedIn.