Blogs  / April 21, 2020

Tracking your PR efforts using metrics that align with business impact

by Erik Wagner, Sr. Director of Demand Generation

This week, we’re continuing our April blog series focused on helping communications teams to get the credit they deserve and the resources they need by making a key shift to data-driven PR and communications. 

In this article, we will discuss the third step in the process: 

Tracking your PR efforts using metrics that align with business impact

Now that you’ve received the “green light” from your executive team on the new PR measurement system, it’s time to think about your implementation plan. The first step toward implementation is to examine tools that are already in your backyard. 

We recommend working with your marketing team to understand which tools they are using and can share with you. By taking an inventory of the tools available to you today, you can kickstart your new measurement system rollout and provide consistent reporting with other teams. 

However, you may find that further technologies are needed for proper communications measurement. PR has now shifted to continuous storytelling, prompting communicators to fully understand, implement, and report on the impact of earned media content across the entire consumer journey.

To give you food for thought, here is the framework developed by Onclusive to reliably measure the impact of earned, owned and newswire media content at each stage of the consumer journey. These specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) help determine the quality, resonance, influence, and bottom line impact of every article.

Content Quality: Power Of Voice™

Going beyond just tracking content quantity versus competition (aka share of voice), Power of Voice™ also weighs the importance of each article along the dimensions of content relevance, publication authority, social media amplification, and sentiment, in a single measurement. 

Therefore, Power of Voice™ measures both the quantity and the quality of your coverage, providing your executive team with a consistent, accurate, and scalable metric that shows a brand’s true authority against competitors in one simple chart. 

Engagement: Reader Engagement

Using the Reader Engagement metric, you can understand if your earned media articles are actually being read, and if so, by whom and for how long. Reader Engagement helps you identify which stories, publications, and authors drive the highest interaction with your content, and report data-driven brand engagement to your executive team.

Influence: Brand Impact

While we’ve been able to analyze the sentiment of earned media articles for some time, tracking the sentiment of the reader hasn’t been possible until now. With Brand Impact metrics, you can track which stories, publications and authors are influencing your audience, how your content is impacting the sentiment around your brand, and even how likely your readers are to take desired actions. 

While you determine which content drives the most impact for your brand, your executive team can see the overall brand impact of your earned media efforts.

Action: PR Attribution™

Bridging the gap between earned media content and actual business outcomes, PR Attribution™ measures how many people, after having read a piece of content about your brand, eventually visit your website and which actions they take — including pages visited, content downloaded, sign-ups, sales, and revenue. 

Understanding the bottom-line impact of specific campaigns, publishers, articles, sound bytes, and journalists not only informs your communications strategy, but also demonstrates the PR Return on Investment (ROI) to your executive team.

Katie Watson VP Communications, 23andMe
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.

Join us for the “Using Data to Grow Your PR Budget & Your Team” webinar next week on Thursday, April 30th! Our panel of top communications and PR executives will discuss how they have used data to grow their budget, expand their team, and advance their careers.