Measuring the effectiveness of a PR campaign is not easy as PR, like any piece of marketing, is not an exact science.
Indeed many large businesses throw thousands of pounds at their marketing and PR efforts every single month, with little or no return. For small businesses that lack the budget for PR on a large scale, you need to manage your time, money and expertise effectively.
Still, there are a few parameters you can look at to measure your campaign. Here are five of them
1) How many articles have talked about your story?
If you look at the number of articles talking about your story that has been published, that will tell you about the pickup of your story. How many journalists have read what you have sent them and have decided to cover you? It will obviously give you a good idea of the success of your PR campaign.
2) What is coverage worth to your business as opposed to an advert?
When assessing the value of a piece of coverage you need to bear in mind that an article written by an independent source, in this case a journalist, is generally worth around 3 times as much as an advert as people trust recommendations. So even if you receive one piece of coverage it’s actually pretty good.
Look at the cost you would have paid to insert an ad in the publication you have been mentioned in and then multiply it by 3. That's approximately the value of the piece of coverage.
3) How much traffic did your website receive?
Using tools like Google Analytics you can measure the traffic to your website, and track where the majority of that traffic has come from.
If you know, for example, that one of your top referrers was from one of the articles you were covered in, you can begin to target those which provide you with the most traffic.
4) How much did your sales increase?
For the vast majority of small businesses, an increase in sales is the main reason for their PR or any marketing effort.
There are so many variables to this though. For example, how relevant was the copy of your release? Are your target audience interested in the story you published?
One of the best ways to track your increase in sales is to ask your customers where they heard about you.
5) How has your brand exposure increased?
Many businesses, especially small businesses, want to get their name out in their crowded market.
With increasing competition in the marketplace businesses are looking to get ahead of the competition at every turn, and by achieving coverage in the media they are able to get right in front of their customers.
The more coverage you receive the more your brand will be exposed, so it’s important to have a long-term PR strategy, rather than just sending one press release out a year for example.
It’s hard to measure brand exposure, but as with your sales, one of the best ways is to ask your customers and subscribers where they heard about you. You can also look at your social media analytics. Have you noticed any increase of the number of followers? Have people shared your article?
Overall it’s important to take a long-term approach to your PR. How regularly are you running PR campaigns? The more you run campaigns the more you can test your approach and the more you will be able to measure the effectiveness of your PR campaigns. Additionally, running regular campaigns will help you increase the relationships you have with journalists, which will help with your PR efforts in the longer term.
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Written by: Ben Caine, Client Manager
As a former journalist, Ben has a keen eye for news. He is passionate about small businesses, and is the main point of contact if you need help making full use of the JournoLink platform.