If you’re considering PR to enhance your B2B brand, it’s important to know that measuring PR’s effectiveness requires diligence and discipline. Here are four tips to measure your PR efforts effectively.
1. Measure Traditional Metrics – Your PR results can be measured by a number of metrics that have been around a long time. At Spaulding Communications, we call these the “traditional metrics.” They include such things as: Number of impressions; number of placements; share of voice; and even Ad Equivalency Value (AEV).
These metrics are helpful. Knowing the number of impressions helps you understand how many people are seeing your brand. Share of voice helps you understand where your brand stands against the competition. Tracking the number of placements shows where you’re gaining (or not gaining) coverage. And AEV can show a dollar amount of the earned coverage that is generated.
2. Measure “Quality” vs. “Quantity” – Tracking traditional metrics is important. It’s great to show a campaign generated 5 million media impressions, 100 placements and an AEV of $500,000. But it’s also important to evaluate the quality of the media coverage.
For instance, how frequently are your brand’s key messages included in articles? Did the coverage include feature stories that better help illustrate your brand’s Unique Selling Point? Was the coverage primarily with your most important outlets? Or was it more in secondary outlets? Numbers alone (placements, impressions, etc.) tell only one side of the story. Knowing and evaluating the quality of the coverage is also essential.
3. Measure Sales/Lead Gen KPIs — PR is much more than just earned media coverage with impressions, placements and AEV. PR is a driver for greater social media engagement, increased website traffic (think lead generation) and improved Google rankings.
Because of this, it is critical brands consistently monitor their websites, social media platforms and sales leads. It’s essential to understand and evaluate how PR efforts contribute to the performance of those elements.
4. Measure Brand Perception – At its core, PR’s true value is its ability to drive greater credibility and trust with audiences. When this is done, it leads to multiple benefits, not the least of which can be to increase in your brand’s perception and influence audience behavior.
Because of this, organizations should be evaluating how their brands are being perceived by their key audiences. This could include conducting annual customer surveys, focus groups or gaining feedback at industry or customer events.
At the end of the day, the value of your brand – what it stands for and how it is perceived – is the most important measurement metric of all.
It goes without saying that PR measurement should be tied to your organization’s business goals. This means that any PR efforts should be driven from a strategic plan aligned to your company’s goals. Once this is done, all 4 elements listed above should clearly connect back to the goals reflected in that strategic PR Plan.
Additionally, PR evaluation requires an investment. It takes time and resources to monitor, analyze and make sense of what is working and what is not. Understanding the true value your brand is gaining from PR requires a commitment to evaluation.
If you have questions on strategic PR planning or PR evaluation, please contact Matt Spaulding at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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