How to Measure Your PR Efforts
Who’s crazier than Charlie Sheen? In our books, Justin O. Schmidt. Why you might ask? He doesn’t have tiger blood, but he did personally get stung by 78 different species of insects. Again, why? He did it to measure the painfulness of each sting. The scale ranges from 1-4, in which he classified and described each level of pain in vivid detail.
For example, a 1.2 is a fire ant. The sting is sharp, sudden, and mildly alarming. He described it like “walking across a shag carpet and reaching for the light switch.” Then there’s the tarantula hawk, ranking in at a 4.0. Schmidt described this pain to be “blinding, fierce, and shockingly electric.” Perhaps better stated, it would feel like a running hair dryer being dropped into the bath that you’re lying in. Definitely not #winning.
Alright, so there are many different measurements out there, some falling under the not most pleasant…or sane, but there is a good way to measure public relations efforts. Wondering how? Here is a list your PR team should be on top of.
- How’s Your Visibility?: Is your brand building awareness? Looking for a good way to tell? First, it is important that your brand is being exposed over multiple avenues. Speaking opportunities, podcasts, webinars, radio, TV, are just a few avenues you should be driving your message home on. This is a great way to get your business, products, or services out in front and center, and an excellent way to gain variety viewership. Your PR team should make sure opportunities like this are occurring. When you increase your company’s visibility, you are increasing engagement, leads, and certainly, sales. One idea is to use Google Analytics to track viewership and leads. By looking at Google Analytics dashboard you can see between your blogs, social media, and articles, what exactly is driving sales and leads. Set up conversion goals so you can precisely track the number of visitors from a blog or article. You’ll be able to determine if it’s hitting the mark or not. Google Analytics is free or you can choose an upgraded version. Go to https://www.google.com/analytics/analytics/compare/ to determine what fits your marketing needs best.
- Do You Have Valuable Relationships with the Media?: You should ask yourself, is your PR team forming valuable relationships, especially with the media? You need to be present with the public and know that relations are key. Public and Relations. Makes sense once you think about it. Your PR team should be well connected with the media, journalists, and renowned figures. You should constantly be in contact and communication with reporters. What are they working on? How can you help them in their efforts through you or a client’s services? You don’t want to “sell” what you’re offering to the media but to find a way you can be of service. In the end, this will build a strong and lasting relationship, all the while, getting your name out there. To measure media, you should be counting media placements. This is one measurement and shows you PR’s efforts in gaining coverage in multiple publications for your company and or client. After counting the number of placements, consider their quality. How will they affect readers? Will this have a positive impact on your business or a client’s? Do they get your message across accurately? Check to see the number of mentions your business or product receives as well as considering the tone and view of the message.
- Are You Hitting Your Target Market?:
Say you’re targeting customers within the sports market with your new product or service. Your PR team should be able to help you pinpoint these clients. You should know what they read, where they like to shop, their demographic, what they’re posting online, and who they’re following on social media. Social media metrics, the use of data to gauge the impact of social media activity on a company’s revenue, is an important step in calculating this. First, look at volume, the number of messages about your brand, and the number of people talking about your brand, then track how both of those numbers change over time. Facebook Insights has a useful metric called “people talking about this” that measures the number of people who have posted something to their walls about your brand page. Remember though, volume is important but engagement is truly the deciding factor if your product is achieving success. You want to focus on the conversation they are having about your business or product instead of the number of mentions. How is the conversation affecting your bottom line?
- Are You Keeping Control of the Competition?: Can you turn that spotlight over here? That’s it, just a little more…perfect! You see, public relations is not only about keeping your business and brand in the spotlight, it’s about making sure your competition isn’t stealing it. Every time you have an article published, a news piece written about your company, or positive mentions on social media about you, you are taking it away from your competition. Keep your ear on the conversation about your brand and your competitors and determine what percentage of your industry is focused on your brand compared to theirs. More importantly, learn from your competitors’ successes. Since most of the social media conversations are public you’ll be able to measure your competitor’s impact as easily as you do your own. Eavesdropping is a good thing when it comes to marketing and measuring. You need to become the Gladys Kravitz of marketing.
Unlike Justin O. Schmidt, you won’t need to experience 78 stinging insect bites to find the right marketing pathway for your company. The best place to begin is right now. You will be surprised how quickly you can find your niche and market and like Charlie Sheen, be #Winning in no time!
Plaid Swan Inc. is a female owned and operated marketing communications firm with multiple offices located in the Midwest. Looking to make your company’s blog stand out? Don’t have a blog, but want one? What’s a BLOG? Contact us today to see how we can bring your brand to a new stellar level!
Plaid Swan: (563) 556-1633
-Haley Corkery │ Public Relations Specialist