3 Tips To Measure PR Success

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Public relations success relies on first identifying your goals. Not every media interview, blog or social media post will reach your ideal audience. However, knowing who you are trying to reach and what success looks like will position you to get the most out of your PR efforts.

Measuring the results of a PR campaign can be tricky. There isn’t always a straight line from PR activity to business goals, but a good PR partner can help you measure metrics based on your goals: website hits, new sales, clients walking in the door, employees applying for openings, etc. 

Define Your Goals and Audience

One of the first things I ask any potential or new client is to define their goals. This helps us understand what success looks like to them and what questions we need to ask to ensure we’re helping achieve those goals. For a technology company with the goal of recruiting new employees, elevating the Chief Technology Officer is an ideal strategy. Telling the company’s story through the CTO’s social media, positioning them as a leader in the industry and elevating their presence overall will position the company to reach the potential candidates they are looking for.

Don’t make the strategy all about one person or one channel. Using multiple pathways to target your audience will get you results faster. Some of the people you want to work at your company may be on LinkedIn, others are reading about the latest happenings in industry publications and some may be looking at what’s happening in their local business journal. Choosing a PR partner that can make all the pieces work together: earned, owned and paid media, will help move the needle.

While everyone wants to be featured on Good Morning America or in the New York Times, it’s important to think about if that’s truly where your audience is. If you’re a business looking to bring more customers in the front door, an interview with the local newspaper will likely have a bigger impact.

Set a Strategy. And Be Ready to Change It

A good PR partner will look for every opportunity to help elevate your brand. Let’s go back to the technology company looking to recruit new employees. The CTO is only one piece of the puzzle. The other executives need to share the same message in their own voices and have the head of Human Resources promote the company’s culture. Apply for awards that show why someone should work for the company. All these pieces work together and feed off of each other.

At Media Minefield, we revisit goals with clients every quarter. Priorities change as time goes by, and what’s important now may not have been important six months ago. Strategy isn’t meant to be “set it and forget it.” If something has changed within the organization, we are prepared to be nimble and shift our strategy to best achieve those new goals.

Look at the Right Metrics

Results don’t happen overnight. Your PR partner likely won’t know if your technology company is getting more job applications, but they should ask. 

Standard reporting in the PR industry measures audience value and publicity value. Those are nice, but not a true measure of success. For many, those numbers don’t mean much. For that technology company, those numbers won’t equal success. Your PR partner needs to ask you the right questions. Are you getting more job applications? Are more people clicking on the job link on your website? That’s the real measure of success.

True PR success is going to be customized to your goals. Your PR partner should set a strategy based on those goals and understand the metrics to review that will indicate success. It’s not a straight line to ROI, but when you are looking at the right metrics, you will be able to see the business impact of public relations.