It is essential to measure your public relations (PR) programme to enable you to measure, improve and understand how effective your PR programme is at achieving the goals and objectives you’ve set for it. PR is an investment that can have a significant ROI (return on investment).
In the past, measuring the effectiveness of PR has been a less than scientific and reliable undertaking and we’re happy to say things are starting to change for the better. That said, there are still some PR professionals that are still only tracking impressions as their means of measurement, which can be very limiting – it’s time to expand beyond this.
Impressions are a snapshot of the potential size of the audience reached, which can be helpful to a certain degree, but they don’t indicate the effectiveness of strategic PR efforts.
The overarching goal of the PR programme is to build an engaged audience—people we can reach with a client’s key messages and connect to the company brand via various communication channels. To determine whether your PR messages are reaching your target audiences, we recommend tracking the following PR metrics:
1. Key message alignment: With this metric, media mentions are evaluated based on whether or not they include content from various media pitches that have been created in support of, and aligned with, the company’s marketing goals. They are graded on a scale (1-3) with three being a prominent mention that includes key messages in the placement.
2. Content quality: The quality of earned media placements is key. Two different metrics are tracked to evaluate the quality of a media mention:
Sentiment Analysis: what is the tone of that mention? Evaluated on a scale (1-5), this is the level of positivity (5) or negativity (1) of the company’s inclusion in the media article.
Prominence: how often does a mention (company name or product name(s)) appear in an article? Was the company name part of the headline or buried deep within the copy? Was a subject matter expert/thought leader from the company quoted? Does it include links to the company website or to content assets (i.e. ebooks, blogs)?
Together, key messages and sentiment indicate how well the company brand is being received by and featured in the media. This directly impacts how your target audience(s) understands what the company does and informs their perception of your brand story.
3. Share of Voice: Share of Voice (SoV) looks at your media mentions compared to those of your competitors. This metric is about understanding where the company brand stacks up against competitors. It’s best to track SoV based on executive thought leadership content and only count coverage that features executive commentary, bylines from executives/subject matter experts or executive profiles from the company. This will provide visibility into what is resonating and where there may be opportunity to adjust or change course with PR messages.
We’d be happy to discuss the best approach to measuring your PR programme – just contact Rahme via email@example.com for more information on how we can assist.