The Public Relations Blog
Three essential tools to evaluate your PR campaign’s success
Measuring, monitoring, and evaluating your corporate communications and public relations campaigns will allow them to evolve and improve. Assess your current strategy to determine if it’s working or if you need to take another approach.
If you have an unsuccessful campaign and you don’t know because you never measured it, how can you call your company successful? You need to put in the work and measure, monitor, and evaluate your tactics to see if it’s successful and providing an ROI.
Use data to prove the effectiveness of your public relations work.
Traditionally, some people believe it’s difficult to prove how successful a PR campaign is due to a lack of hard data showing how well the campaign worked. However, times have changed. With modern measurement techniques, PR campaigns now have data to back up claims about how successful a PR campaign was.
Data gathered from a PR campaign is vital to any public relations plan. It shows the proof of value for public relations efforts. Hard data lets you, your clients, and other departments visualize what worked and what didn’t. if someone higher up in your company asks for proof for how effective a PR campaign is, data will give them exactly what they want.
Learn why you should make PR campaign measurement a priority with our guest Katie Delahaye Paine.
Our episode guest is Katie Delahaye Paine, aka The Measurement Queen, a pioneer in the measurement field for three decades. Her latest company, Paine Publishing, is the first educational publishing firm entirely dedicated to making more Measurement Mavens.
The one with Katie Delahaye Paine on why you should prioritize measurement in all of your PR and marketing campaigns
Use our step-by-step guide for measuring public relations the right way.
Before you can meaningfully explore PR measurement, you have to account for research, planning, and implementation. Research and planning will help you identify the end results, and then you can work backward from the desired results.
Too often, executives and public relations pros want to measure PR without establishing a research baseline.
Under research, planning, and implementation, you have objectives, inputs, and activities. And under measurement, you have outputs, outtakes, outcomes, and impacts. Although most public relations professionals at PR firms and in-house PR staff tend to focus on measuring activities and outputs, efficient and effective measurement goes well beyond measuring activities and outputs.
Let’s start at the beginning. A good framework for measuring public relations and corporate communications begins with objectives.
Measuring your PR and communication campaigns the right way proves its value
The Barcelona Principles provide best-practice guidelines to measure how well public relations and corporate communication efforts are working. PR isn't sales, yet measuring it correctly helps connect PR to real business results like sales pipeline activity, social media conversions, market share of voice, site traffic, and site rankings.
No marketing plan is complete without PR. An Entrepreneur article claimed “marketing without PR is like a dream without a goal.” And no marketing and PR plan will be able to prove value if not measured.
No company is safe from crisis as we’ve seen with the coronavirus pandemic. Although your communications strategy and tactics must shift to crisis communications during a time of emergency, it’s still of utmost importance to monitor and evaluate your company’s coverage as it weathers the storm.
You should continue to measure your company communications during a crisis, and you should include these four values in your criteria.
Let’s get SMARTER about PR
By now, you’ve probably heard about S.M.A.R.T. objectives (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) and using them for PR. We blogged about SMART objectives and how to be a SMART communications pro frequently.
There’s a movement to add ER to SMART objectives and push for SMARTER objectives, and we love it!
The definition of vanity metrics, and why they don’t really matter.
What we usually think of as vanity metrics are numbers like impressions, advertising value “equivalents” (AVEs), mentions, likes, shares, re-tweets, clicks, page views, downloads, etc. Although some vanity metrics may be important for historical benchmarking or baseline purposes, they shouldn’t be relied on for real intelligence.
Vanity metrics are good for feeling “warm and fuzzy” and bad for action. In other words, vanity metrics are numbers that feel important yet are fundamentally superficial, or worse, deceptive. They are numbers for numbers’ sake.
This is a story about determining ROI for public relations efforts. There is also a story about learning the fundamentals of measuring PR ROI as well.
When most people think about public relations, they tend to think PR is earned media coverage. (Even though PR is more than earned media coverage.)
And what is earned media anyway?
Traditionally, measuring a PR campaign and its outcomes were challenging. You may have even been told that public relations can't be measured. When it was measured, it was often assigned "publicity value," "advertising value equivalency," or some other arbitrary number. It doesn't have to be.
The industry is evolving quickly, making PR increasingly measurable through attribution technology.
How to measure your strategy performance
Most companies focus their energy and resources on designing and implementing their marketing campaigns and underestimate the importance of measuring the results. It’s very important to understand that measuring your results will help you improve your future outreach campaigns.