Metrics are a core component of any PR program – defining the right metrics, accurately measuring against them, and then adjusting your activities accordingly. At PAN, we complete this process in a three-month rolling cycle as part of our comprehensive “PANoptic” reporting. How do you determine which metrics to measure against? You might be surprised.
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PRSA defines five broad categories for measuring online PR effectiveness in the digital age:
- Engagement (how many people interacted with an online post, including likes and shares);
- Impressions (an estimate of how many people may have seen the post);
- Items (the total number of blogs, posts, or other content);
- Mentions (discussion by people outside of your organization about your brand or product);
- Reach (how long your content gets shared, earns traffic, or circulates online).
This is a good baseline, and these are all metrics that you should measure to determine the impact of your PR efforts – particularly earned media coverage. But as traditional PR becomes increasingly intertwined with integrated marketing efforts, the types of metrics you can – and should – incorporate into your reporting increases dramatically. For example, you’ll want to track lead-gen, how PR and marketing are impacting the sales funnel, client retention and overall audience engagement.
At PAN, we leverage several tools to track these key metrics, including TrendKite for traditional media measurement, and NetBase for social media, as well as Google Analytics.
Beyond these core marketing and PR metrics, here are several metrics you may not have thought of, which can help you measure the impact of your program more deeply and effectively:
- Share of Conversation – Share of Voice is a key metric for measuring how you stack up against the competition. Share of Conversation takes this one step further and allows you to dive deeper into competitive analysis. You can examine how you fare against competitors, based on volume of mentions within priority topics that are important to your business, across both earned and owned channels.
- Keyword Strength – This ties closely to search traffic, and allows you to measure search volume around priority keywords and phrases. Measuring this requires visibility and feedback with your sales team.
- Web Referrals – It’s important to examine how PR is driving traffic back to your site, particularly to key pages (e.g. product pages). For example, you should look at web media referrals (referrals back to the website from backlinks on media websites) and web social referrals (referrals back to the website from links posted on social media sites) to determine how you’re driving potential leads.
- Influencer Amplification – Influencer relations continues to play an increasingly larger role in B2B PR programs. It’s important to measure the impact of influencer engagement on your broader marketing goals. For example, you can measure the social reach of engagement with influencers on your channels, or the reach of content an influencer has created on your behalf.
As we head into 2018, we’ll continue to see more organizations leveraging additional measurement tools and metrics to get a better idea of how PR is moving the needle.
Looking for more measurement tips and best practices? Check out these blogs: