The ability to track and measure a specific PR campaign, as well as the ongoing PR efforts for a brand, is rapidly becoming an integral part of the practice of pubic relations. Those of us who learned our PR skills many years ago were not taught statistics or analytics. We counted AVEs or column inches. Mention analytics and we tend to go into a “measurement fog”.
Thank goodness we’re moving on from that. There is a strong movement towards measuring outcomes – measuring the effects of our PR actions..
Sadly, most new PR graduates are not being taught these new analytics skills either and those already in practice are not sure where to learn how to do it. But is is one of the most important new skills a PR practitioner needs to know now.
STEP ONE: WHAT TO MEASURE
Talk to the client or your seniors. Find out what the goals of the business are. When you know what they want to achieve figure out how your PR activity can contribute to that goal. Set a goal for every PR action. Make is measurable.
Example: A skin care company is launching a new product. The business goal is to reach men and women with very dry skin and make them aware of the new research and the formulation of this new lotion. Ultimately of course their goal is to sell the product in volume. PR can support and contribute to this goal by raising awareness of the research and the new formulation. PR can position this product as the solution to very dry skin thorugh thrid party endorsement form dermatologists. Outputs could be
- Articles posted in relevant online sites
- Blog posts
- Guest posts on relevant blogs
- Influencer posts about the product and research
- Product reviews
- Media coverage
- Interviews with dermatologists
- Whitepaper about the research and the product
- Partnerships with relevant institutions
Every piece of content should have a call to action and the link should be trackable. Use the Google URL builder to make your links trackable. That way you know exactly how many people clicked that link.
STEP TWO: HOW TO MEASURE OUTCOMES
Create a landing page that the links lead to. This way you know that the people who read the blog posts, articles or social posts are coming directly to content specifically about what they were reading about when they clicked that link. Offer them something of value in exchange for their name and email address – a webinar with a dermatologist, a tip sheet on dealing with dry skin, research finding on the cause of dry skin. This allows you to build a list of people who have shown interest in the new research and have heard about the new product.
You can measure visits to the site, time on site and conversions when they opt in and download more content.STEP
THREE: WHAT TOOLS TO USE [FREE DASHBOARD]
Download the PR Measurement Dashboard for Google Analytics – it’s a free custom dashboard you can use to get started. This dashboard has the main KPI’s you should be tracking and once you are familiar with the reports in the dashboard you can dive deeper in to the underlying reports in Google Analytics.
Google URL builder to make a link you can track.