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.