This week, we’re wrapping up our Demystifying PR Measurement blog series with a review of what to look for in a PR measurement solution and what questions to ask to find a partner that is right for your company and brand.
The good news is that there is no need to figure out PR measurement on your own. Besides the support you can request from your marketing colleagues, there are many solutions and tools available on the market. In fact, there are so many that you’ll want to first go through the process we outlined in our blog series to get really clear about your needs and requirements:
- Clarify what success looks like
- Set your goals
- Define your KPIs
- Establish your measurement framework
- Determine your PR measurement partner needs, requirements and budget
Your needs, requirements and budget will depend on your industry, your company size, whether you want a measurement tool that is basic, intermediate or highly sophisticated, and the resources available to you.
What to look for in a PR measurement solution
How comprehensive and relevant is their media monitoring?
The more media coverage can be captured through media monitoring, the more data you will have at your fingertips for measurement and insights. Make sure that the partner you’re selecting can capture all the media channels and formats that are essential to your business, including digital, video, print, social, blogs, podcasts, and more. At the same time, with an ever-increasing volume of media released every day, it’s essential to focus only on what’s relevant — so ask about robust filters, human curation or both. Finally, you’ll also want to be able to identify trends and predict potential opportunities and issues before they arise, so inquire about these capabilities, as well.
How accurate is their media database, and do they have a PR CRM?
One important piece of measurement you’ll want to have is which journalists, influencers and bloggers are creating value for your brand. In order to do that, you need a good media database, and today, the two most important attributes of a contact database are its freshness and accuracy. Ask how often and in which ways the database is being updated — we have found that human curation is important here, too.
If you’re going to measure the effectiveness of your interactions with the authors on an ongoing basis, you’ll also need a PR equivalent of a customer relationship management (CRM) system that can keep track of your pitches, who they went to, how journalists engaged with your communications, and whether they picked up and published your stories.
Do they have a standard done-for-you offering, and /or a customizable enterprise solution?
Depending on the size of your company and team, and where you are on your PR measurement journey, you’ll need to understand what level of tools and support your measurement partner can provide. If you want everything automated, easy to set up and use on your own, ask for the information about their standard offering. If you have special needs, such as custom metrics or modified dashboards, or have a large, global organization, chances are you’ll need a comprehensive solution with significant customization and support. Ask about what can be customized, how quickly, and what level of customer support you can expect.
What are their international and global capabilities?
If you have an international or global business, you’ll want to make sure that your PR measurement partner can serve the needs of multiple geographies and business units. In this case, the solution you choose must have a robust data collection and analysis capability, a way to customize regional dashboards, and staff available to support international demands. In addition, your ideal partner will also be a company that has presence in geographies and countries that are important to your brand, and have either sophisticated AI or human linguists who can accurately determine messaging and sentiment in different languages.
How can they help you measure the business impact of communications?
As we discussed in this whitepaper, the modern standard of PR measurement must go beyond just the media coverage outputs and include success metrics all the way to the impact of PR on your bottom line. Ask if your measurement partner is able to connect communications activities to business results such as website traffic, desired actions and revenue. Another good question to ask is how they actually do this, especially if there are no backlinks in your published earned media content to your website. Their methodology should help you understand how accurate the impact tracking is going to be.
“By understanding the business impact of our earned, owned and newswire efforts, we can better shape our broader strategy and make data-driven decisions around the specific content, media strategies, publications and reporters we want to focus on moving forward. PR Attribution™ analysis also provides our leadership with the metrics they want to see, including ROI.” ~ Katie Watson, VP of Communications, 23andMe
What do they offer in terms of technical and strategic support?
Finally, even if you’re looking for a basic solution that doesn’t involve customization, complicated setup or ongoing support, you’ll still want to understand what you can expect if you have questions, technical issues or need some help figuring out a feature. For larger teams and more advanced communicators, strategic support can become an important consideration. You may want to know if your measurement partner can help you set the right goals, apply the best measurement framework, interpret data and insights, provide recommendations to optimize your strategy and maximize your investment in their technology.
How Onclusive measures up
The Onclusive team are the quintessential PR measurement subject-matter experts. We’ve been developing our best-in-class and most advanced AI and data science for communications for over a decade, and now we’re a global company that combines smart technology with human insights and expertise, serving over 9,000 clients worldwide.
We’re also consistently recognized by our customers as #1 in many key categories according to the G2 Crowd Report for User Satisfaction Ratings, which uses data from hundreds of thousands of verified business user reviews.
If you’re interested in learning more, seeing a demo or giving Onclusive a try, get in touch with us! And to learn more about PR measurement, register for our upcoming webinar below.
CTA: Join us for the Demystifying PR Measurement webinar on March 30th. Greg D’Andrea, Head of Customer Success at Onclusive, and Romain Vezirian, Director of Global Brand PR Content & Multimedia at IHG Hotels & Resorts, will discuss how implementing PR measurement best practices contributes to the IHG communications success, and why measuring PR performance can help you become a strategic advisor to the C-suite.