It has been said many, many times – you can’t draw a straight line from PR to revenue. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t measure PR. Just make sure you are measuring the right elements of the program. Here are three measurements to consider when evaluating your PR success. Note: These measurements do not directly apply to social media success. See my colleague Eve Sheridan’s post on Social Media Metrics: How Far Have We Come?
Traffic: Using Google Analytics or another analytics tool and appropriately optimizing your press releases can help measure the impact a press release has on website traffic. Unite your PR and SEO team to develop a PR keyword strategy that aligns with the overall SEO goals and can effectively measure the unique traffic driven by the press release.
Conversions: It is rare in PR to ever get a 1-to-1 ratio of media outreach attempts and coverage, but review the stats for insight on the success of your strategy and there is no harm in altering the strategy. Keep in mind, reaching the Wall Street Journal or TODAY Show will yield a much different conversion rate than a targeted campaign for a region or vertical market.
Tone: It is important to not only evaluate the number of media hits but also the value of the article tone and placement. An article that mentions your company name alongside other hot companies in the space in a high profile outlet may be just as valuable as a glowing profile piece in a regional outlet.
PR measurement is not one size fits all so it is key for PR firms and clients to work together to develop the right evaluations for your program.