By Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR
Measuring the results of a public relations campaign goes beyond counting clips. While it is gratifying to read a positive story about your company in the Wall Street Journal or TechCrunch, it is even more gratifying to evaluate the story’s business impact. Some measurement methods can show how the article shapes the perception about your company and trigger behavioral changes, such as website visits and downloads.
As a general rule of thumb, PR professionals look at three types of levels for campaign measurement: communications output, communications outtakes and communications outcomes.
Communications output is the most basic way of measurement, evaluating the communications tools and materials that were used for the launch, such as press releases and social media posts.
Communications outtakes evaluate what has been achieved in terms of key message penetration and stakeholder engagement. Metrics include quantitative and qualitative media coverage analysis, share of voice, event attendance, Twitter chat attendance, number of social media likes and followers, and email newsletter opening rates. Outtakes measurements look at who engaged with the company and what was written/said about the company. However, we still don’t know how the outtakes have shaped the perception about the company and whether they have triggered behavioral changes.
This is why looking at communications outcomes is the best form of measurement. You can gage the actual impact of your communications program on the stakeholder perception and behavior; how the program moved the needle for your business. Metrics include perception audits, social media sentiment analysis and, in some cases, lead generation.
Some of the measurement methods mentioned above are complex and costly to implement. But thanks to data analytics, there are simple ways to incorporate effective measurement metrics into your product marketing program on every level.
We have achieved good results with the following methods:
Use Hashtracking to Identify Your Social Media Campaign’s Reach: To assess the reach and effectiveness of your Twitter campaigns and press release links, you can use a service like Hashtracking. This easy-to-use tool allows you to monitor the mentions of specified hashtags and identify influencers to connect with on social media.
Media Content Analysis for Key Message Penetration: Conduct a monthly media content analysis to determine how effective the PR program was in not just generating media coverage in key publications, but stories and reviews that echo your product value proposition. By tracking the same key metrics month-over-month, you can identify which messages get the best traction as well as areas that need attention.
Website Traffic Tracking and correlation with Product & App Downloads: For tracking website traffic generated by marketing and PR efforts, set up Google Analytics on the company’s webpage and mobile apps. Google Analytics, along with the use of a unique URL for each campaign, will enable you to measure traffic gained from each media hit and marketing effort. You can measure which media sites, social media properties and other activities, such email newsletter, got the most referral and – in some cases – best conversion rates. For products and solutions that can be downloaded via app stores or websites, you can correlate the timing of press releases, social media campaigns, and media coverage with product downloads, online sales and app downloads.
For more advice, download our free eBook , “Product Launch Marketing Tips and Tricks”, here.