So you’re brainstorming ideas for your company’s new PR campaign. You have some unique ideas that you think audiences will respond positively to, so you put them all together and launch them. You think people are growing interested in your company and the campaign is running effectively. But how do you really know? When creating a campaign, one of the most important steps is to implement PR measurement strategies that determine if your public relations work is successful.
By measuring a variety of aspects of your PR campaign, you are able to see whether or not your campaign is effective. If audience perception and engagement is not as high as you’d like, you may want to make changes to your current tactics. Additionally, if you’re running your campaign across multiple media channels, you can see the channels on which the campaign is proving most effective. Through assessing your PR measurement metrics, you can determine your campaign’s return of investment (ROI), which will allow you to weigh the success of your campaign against the financial cost and effort you put in.
Where Do I Start?
Before drumming up new PR ideas, it’s important to sit down with your marketing agency and set your goals, or what you aim to accomplish. This is the most important step in the campaign process, as your goals will determine which PR measurement metrics you will observe throughout the campaign process. Ensure your goal aligns with the SMART guidelines: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.
Specific: Your goal must be clear to ensure your entire team is on the same page. Decide exactly what you want your campaign to achieve. For example, rather than saying you want a more active presence on social media, you could label your goal an increase in social media followers and engagement through an Instagram and Facebook campaign.
Measurable: Is there a quantifiable way to analyze the success of the PR campaign? Let’s stick with the social media campaign example. How many followers do you want to have by the end of the campaign? To make your goal measurable, you could say, “I want to increase our company’s followers on Instagram by 20 followers per week.” That way, you have a specific numerical way to evaluate your success.
Attainable: Is this a realistic goal for your company? While you may have high expectations for your company, you should consult with your marketing agency to determine the likelihood of you reaching your goals and whether or not you should adjust them to meet your budget and skill set.
Relevant: Why did you pick this goal? You and your marketing agency need to assess whether this goal will actually benefit your company at this time, or if there are more pressing matters.
Timely: There must be a timeline attached to your PR campaign. Pick a duration of time, whether it be six months or a year, by which you want to accomplish your overall goal.
Which Metrics Do I Measure?
While your exact PR measurement metrics will be determined by your goal, here are a few examples that many marketing agencies measure to assess public relations effectiveness:
Sales statistics: Not only is it important to see how many people are purchasing your products, but also who is purchasing your products. Your marketing agency can help you analyze the demographics of your audiences, such as age, gender and geographical location. This will allow you to narrowly target your audience to this demographic in the future.
Social media engagement levels: As social media’s influence on society is increasing, so is its importance in the public relations industry. When audiences actively engage in your company’s social media pages, they’re generating buzz among similar audiences. Evaluate social media engagement levels through the number of comments, shares and interactions.
Media outreach: Companies will frequently send out press releases and articles to journalists and the news media for promotional purposes. Figure out how many you are sending out and compare that to how many are actually picking up the article. This will help you see how your work or company is perceived in the media.
Website traffic: Audiences attracted to your company will often check out your website to learn more. Thus, the greater your website traffic, the more interest you’re generating among audiences.
SEO: Your SEO (search engine optimization) determines your rank in search engines compared to your competitors. Your marketing agency can measure your SEO frequently and help you increase your rank through using your top keywords.
For a detailed list of public relations tactics, check out our article, “5 Effective Public Relations Tactics to Maximize Outreach,” in the link at the end of this blog.
Are you ready to get SMART while measuring your PR campaign? Talk to an agency about your company’s PR goals! Appleton is an award-winning, full-service public relations agency located in Orlando, Florida. Appleton works with local, national and international clients to engage, inform and persuade target audiences of all types and sizes. Through strategic planning, media advisories, press releases, events and reputation management, Appleton can publicize and manage your company’s products, events and achievements. Your PR goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 or firstname.lastname@example.org.