There’s an old saying: “Advertising is what you pay for; publicity is what you pray for.” And that’s where Public Relations step in.
Public Relations commonly known as PR refers to the strategic communication from an organization to the public to maintain or cultivate a public image and/or respond to public discourse. It is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their audiences.
Significance of Public Relations:
The purpose of Public Relations is to manage the impactful flow of information between an organization and its target public. In today’s digitally connected world, brand awareness driven by public relations, content marketing, and social media is more important to businesses than ever before. Brand awareness doesn’t happen in a vacuum — it’s the result of cross-functional collaboration across the marketing organization.
What is PR KPI?
With the need for Public Relations comes the need to measure the impact of this new type of marketing strategy, and traditional methods just aren’t as applicable anymore when it comes to comparing Cross-Voice and Cross-Channel methods. Understanding your return on investment, as well as the success of your current marketing tactics in comparison to your competitors, can help determine future budget flow and strategy.
It’s not enough to simply perform PR activities, you also have to set public relations KPIs that reflect your business goals and track the PR performance with reliable public relations metrics. Otherwise, you have no way of knowing if your efforts are working. Or which efforts aren’t working. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are used for measuring unquantifiable goals by making them more tangible. Additionally, they encourage participants to aim for greater heights.
How to Effectively Measure KPIs?
If you don’t know whether your marketing efforts are working or not, it is difficult to improve. But there are some easy ways to measure public relations success.
Here’s what you need to do:
Set goals. What is your plan to measure KPIs’ performance? Define your business objectives. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Increase your social media presence? What are you wanting to do? Getting your thoughts down on paper will make achieving your business goals more realistic.
● Decide on a marketing strategy: KPIs are what you need to figure out to determine whether your marketing strategy is viable or not.
● Select your public relations KPIs: Pick a certain number of KPIs to keep track of and report back on. Make sure they align with your business goals. This will help you see whether you’re meeting your objectives or not.
● Organize and segment your data: Use analytical tools to segment data and make it easier to gauge changes in public relations KPIs.
● Provide targets for public relations KPIs: Pick numbers for the goals you want to hit.
Accelerating technological innovation, intensifying competitive pressure, and increasing customer expectations are forcing business leaders to rethink how they use key PR performance indicators to lead and manage the enterprise. Below I’ve detailed a few public relations metrics that will help explore the tangible impact PR has on your brand and website, including measuring public relations’ authority, relevance, and social shares.
Public Relations KPIs for PR Campaigns:
1) Media Impressions:
Media Impression is a prominent PR metric, and a reliable indicator denoting how many people saw your content and what has your brand achieved throughout a PR campaign. A PR team sets a target for the total number of PR impressions it is hoping to achieve, then focuses on achieving or surpassing that target. In simple words, media impressions are a calculation of the total audience reached.
2) Media Mentions:
Whenever someone name-drops a person or brand online, that’s a media mention. It can be positive or negative. Every single one is an opportunity to engage with your audience and shape public perception of your brand. Increasingly, customers are using social media as the first point of contact for businesses. This is great news for companies that monitor their social media mentions effectively. It provides more opportunities to reap the rewards of good service. Every media mention presents a unique opportunity. Respond to as many as you can!
3) Interaction with your pitch:
It is vital to track the interactions with your pitch. This will help you analyze the journalists’ responses to your PR Campaigns and messages.
4) Coverage of your outreach:
It’s crucial to determine your outreach through different publications that you are mentioned in. Measurement of PR’s impact can include tracking custom URLs, Google Analytics reports, coverage achieved and other public relations metrics determined by your team. Depending on a company’s internal resources, media coverage can be benchmarked and tracked manually (via Google Alerts, for instance) or via automated services. Subscribing to a media monitoring tool can be pricey but reduces the workload and can more cost-effectively track competitor media coverage by volume and content as well.
5) Media Impact Value:
Media Impact Value allows you to assign a true monetary PR value to marketing strategies across print, online and social media in order to calculate return on investment.
6) Key message inclusion:
Content is the king here. More than the tier of the outlet, the focus is on the placement of the content. The key message should act as a paradigm to the brand’s PR value proposition. It must create a differentiating impact on the brand’s presence.
7) Target Media Secured:
Targeting a pre-determined list of potential publications that reach out to your target audience is target media secured. This aids the PR team in providing an impactful placement to a certain percentage of the target audience.
8) Email Metrics:
There are a few email metrics that you can measure regularly to assess the effectiveness of your pitches and make improvements whenever needed. You need to track the sent and delivered emails ratio to analyze the quality of your media list and your reputation as a sender. Opens and Open Rates give you a good sense of the overall engagement with a specific email pitch. Clicks measure how many people clicked on a link within your email pitch. Replies track how well your email performed in terms of getting responses from the recipients.
9) Corporate Reputation:
Corporate reputation is simply how a company is perceived by others. PR manages the corporal image of the brand and helps increase the company’s business value. Reputation with new and potential existing customers should be converted into a lifetime customer relationship by providing value to the customer. A strong reputation instils customer and investor loyalty.
10) Outputs and Outcomes:
PR team works for bringing outputs. Outputs can be measured via audience reach, estimated views, social media shares and the number of articles reached. Returns on Investment can be measured by outcomes. Outcomes can be measured via backlinks, increase in traffic, etc. Both outputs and outcomes act as a tool to evaluate PR’s impact on a brand.
11) Content quality:
The quality of your content can be assessed by a great indicator called comments. Comments indicate that your content is creating a buzz and generating an interaction. Thus, leaving an impact on your readers. The quality of the content decides the reach and awareness of the brand.
12) The domain authority of media outlets:
Domain Authority is a ranking metric that predicts how well a site will rank online. A website having a high domain authority is more likely to rank at the top of search engines and receive more traffic. Media outlets that have a high domain authority are the first choice of any PR team because the whole purpose of any brand opting for Public Relations is to build a credible image in the eye of their consumers. When consumers research a brand and find enough information published about them, they are intrigued for interacting with its services. The high domain of media outlets can prove to be an asset for the brand here.
13) Long-term, short-term, and midterm metrics:
Short-term marketing goals should be comprised of a range of purposes that you intend to complete from between the period of one quarter to 1-2 years. Short-term marketing goals majorly focus on the process of creating a buzz and initial interest, bringing in your first customers, and getting them to share your business through word of mouth. Long-term marketing goals focus on strategies for hooking customers for life and building a long-term customer base.
14) Actions signifying completed goals:
While you set the goal, remember to set the key indicators signifying the completion of the goal. The purpose should be achieved within a set frame of time, through a set roadmap. The roadmap should be such that an assessment can be generated to determine the fulfilment and achievement of the target set. Measurement of PR should be such that it syncs with the intended goals to be achieved.
15) Share of Voice among the Competition:
The capability to create a buzz and generate a presence among a brand’s competitors is determined through the share of voice. Press releases, editorial mentions, awards won, speaking opportunities, blog posts, etc. play an impactful role in determining the share of voice among competitors.
16) Increased web traffic and sales leads:
One of the prominent public relations metrics is an increase in organic web traffic and sales leads. The purpose, the end result is sales and website traffic. Nothing else can be a better metric to determine the progress and success of a PR campaign. The return on investment ratio can be aptly figured out by going through the data of website traffic and sales leads.
17) Social Media Shares and engagement:
Social Media has outgrown its reach way beyond the potential of an average metric. Leveraging the social media reach to create a positive brand presence can prove to be a game-changer for any business. Social media reach, engagement and conversions are important to generate results for any brand. Analytics such as post reach, impressions, audience growth rate, the social share of voice, average engagement rate, amplification rate, vitality rate, click-through rate, bounce rate, cost-per-click, and social media conversion rate helps you to measure the effectiveness of your campaign KPIs. You constantly need to monitor them to ensure that you are meeting your business goals.
18) Improved brand awareness or sentiment:
The brand awareness KPIs track the PR performance of the brand on various social searches. It is designed to capture the positive or negative changes in online brand awareness over time. Month over a month when you notice a gradual or significant growth and positive change in the branded search online, you can determine the success of your PR campaign.
Public relations, content marketing, and social media teams must work together to influence brand awareness, and that’s how you should measure it. At the end of every quarter, the content marketing team should walk through your goals, metrics, takeaways, and action items for the next quarter. PR team doesn’t just look at public relations metrics, they tie your public relations KPIs back to your goals for the quarter and discuss what they learned and the next steps to keep the momentum moving forward for the next quarter. A timely assessment of these brand awareness KPIs can work wonders for increasing your brand presence and business.