In today’s data-driven world, like any marketing channel, PR and communications strategy needs to be metric driven– it just not against the metrics you might assume. When it comes to measuring the impact of press, the most impactful analysis is a holistic approach against a number of factors– but never fear, there’s still measurement involved.
This is especially true because the concept of ‘press’ is changing. Consumers are not reading/watching/consuming media like they used to. And, while the more traditional big wins (getting on CNBC or Good Morning America) are fantastic for boosting credibility and for great internal website content, like any ‘15 seconds of fame,’ they won’t transform a business. Especially when it comes to growth stage tech, clients need a 360-degree strategy that includes targeted content marketing and original thought leadership.
The truth is, in this content-driven, socially shared world, PR is more important than ever. Here is how you can measure it.
- Brand Awareness Metrics
Now we can quantify the growth of word of mouth through social engagement. Salesforce refers to this as mentions per time period, where you can look at how many times your brand is mentioned during a specific window. Lining that data up against your campaign period will show you if your efforts impacted those numbers at all. Look at your direct domain traffic and the number of branded search referrals for the same time period to add to this quantifiable number.
- Referral Traffic
Inbound links from other media sites are the key to figuring out which brand/website/blog is your best audience and source of traffic. It can also help inform strategy. Are B2B blogs for your niche market (like MarTech) or a weekly column for a consumer business brand (like Inc) driving more traffic to your site? Track your traffic peaks against the dates big stories go live–have other people picked up the same story and collectively are driving to your brand? From there, you can take the analysis one step further to conversion.
- Conversions Through Sales Funnels
This is a big one. It’s not just getting the press but also what you do with it. Are you amplifying your efforts appropriately through all of your company sales channels? Is your sales team proactively (and strategically) sharing it with prospects? Are you adding it to your most recent newsletter and making sure that it is clearly marked in your email and website where you were recently featured? These are all important tactics to maximize the impact of your press, and as result, provide insight into how PR is moving the needle on sales conversions.
- Inbound requests
Are the reporter requests starting to come to you instead of you pursuing them? Are people in your community asking you to speak at and present at events? This kind of data is another way to quantify the impact of your PR platform. If done well, over time you and your company should become more discoverable to those seeking industry expertise.
- The “We’ve Heard About You” Factor
You know the one I’m talking about– when you’re standing at a meeting and you tell people your company name– and you slowly start to get the head nod of recognition. Now sure, this is expected when you work for Google or Facebook. But for those of you with growth stage companies, it’s a really big deal when people start to recognize you by name. Or when your elevator pitch goes from a long winded monologue to those few words interrupted by “Didn’t I just read about you somewhere.” That’s when you know that your name is getting out there.
So yes, in the spirit of data analytics and metrics, you can measure the impact of PR. It’s just not in the way you might expect.