In the fourth post of this 4-part series on Growth PR, we examine what should be included in your analysis for the most insightful and strategic information.
As you become more proactive in your PR measurement—rather than only sharing a report when management requests it—you’ll want to think about how to use the report to incite conversation within your team and company, which stories are important to tell next, and which stories or themes it may be time to put on pause.
To do this, you’ll want to use the data and analytics included in your report to identify the effectiveness of the stories that have been told by your company, client, or competitors, the publications and media types that were (and were not) successful, the messaging that did (and did not) resonate, and more.
Luckily, we’re experts on how to showcase the effect of communications in reports.
Below are three best practices for your PR measurement analysis and reporting to MarComm leadership and executives.
- Packaging and Presentation
Especially for an executive audience, begin your report with a summary of the key observations and insights that the following slides will support. We all like pretty graphs, charts and article lists, but effective PR measurement reports also include high level reflections on how the data being shown will affect your strategies moving forward. This also helps ensure that if your report isn’t reviewed in its entirety (I know, I know, ugh), that at least your key insights are being seen.
For example, while tracking your Share of Voice (SOV) and Power of Voice™ (POV) compared to competitors, let’s say that you’re leading by SOV, but a competitor is leading in POV; investigate why. What did the competitor do? Review their coverage and pay attention to any key themes and publications. This is a perfect opportunity to highlight those strategic changes you wish to implement, or anywhere that you and your team knocked it out of the park.
If you’re sharing a new report or new metrics, close with a glossary of terms so there’s no confusion or question as to what’s being represented. Your goal should be to show how things have changed over time, how your communications strategies have been affected, and your business has been impacted (hello, PR Attribution™!) through this work, so the terms and metrics used should be crystal clear.
- You Had Me at Highlights
After the executive summary, it’s helpful to break your report into specific sections, starting with aggregate results for each of your key metrics. Those may include total coverage across digital, TV, radio, and print coverage, amplification of digital coverage across social media, and brand sentiment. After this bird’s eye view, start to break it down further, especially if there are notable changes over time.
An important piece to showcase is key message pull-through in earned media coverage and owned media content. Are you and the press associating your company with the terms that are most important to your business? Is one of your competitors utilizing a key message better than your company currently does? Use these reviews to determine if there is other messaging that you want to track, such as product or feature names, terms related to upcoming campaigns or announcements, and key spokespersons’ names.
Most importantly, always consider the focus of the report. Are you looking to learn from competitor data such as Share of Voice, Power of Voice™, and coverage in target media publications? Do your executives only care about how your initiatives have affected overall company goals and objectives? It’s easy to fall into the trap of using your report to “data dump”, but don’t lose sight of the forest through the trees. Make sure to double-check that each piece of the report helps to support the point you need to make. Speaking of which…
- Report, Review, Readjust, & Repeat
Use your reports to check whether you are on track to reach your PR, marketing, and business goals. If not, share your recommendations for what to adjust as a result. Utilize your metrics to update strategies as needed, and to highlight wins and opportunities.
Your reports should be customized based on what the overall strategies currently are, and the ways that you’re going to set goals based on the tactics that you’ll use to accomplish them. Break them down into smaller, easily-digestible pieces within your report’s slides and sections.
A successful report will address your results against each goal, and will also be customized and applicable for whomever that information is intended for. When it does, you’ll not only have more eyes on your reports, but likely will be followed with more credit, higher budget, and increased promotion opportunities.
Your business isn’t static, and your reports shouldn’t be either – Don’t be afraid to take a step back to reexamine and reevaluate!
To hear more insights around data-driven communications, please join us for “The Growth PR Playbook” webinar on Thursday, March 25th! In this session, our panelists will discuss how to shift your strategies from activity-based PR to Growth PR as well as practical plays that you can start implementing which are driven by metrics, data, and insights.