For years and years, and maybe million years more, organizations have discussed, deliberated, and debated how to accurately measure the return on investment for public relations. Among industry professionals, it is understood that brands, organizations, and companies (whether they realize it or not) can live and die by public perception.
Enter a PR professional that can take over managing your image, voice, and message to the community, nation, world, and ultimately, the universe. But how does one measure the success of a PR campaign, and whether it was worth the investment?
We’ve outlined four ways in which an organization can measure the return on investment for public relations:
Positive Online Engagement: Social Media is your Best Friend
Odds are, you’ve ‘liked’ your preferred shoe brand on Facebook, or ‘follow’ your favourite restaurant on Instagram. Engagement with your audience can help your organization measure its public perception. Social media management means interacting with consumers, and listening to their wants and needs. If you need help gauging sentiment on a product or service, simply ask. In this digital world, positive online engagement means positive public perception.
Secured Coverage (Journalists are also your Best Friends)
Ninty-six. That’s (roughly) how many story pitches a journalist receives in a day. One of the main skills a PR professional has to have is cutting through the noise, and developing real relationships with journalists they want to cover their clients. Journalists need content, and experienced PR practitioners can be a very valuable resource. Being able to secure coverage in a targeted media outlet is definitely a success marker. Anyone can buy a one-page ad, but nothing beats an earned story: that’s priceless.
Get Specific: Setting (and reaching) Goals or KPIs
Having pre-determined goals takes the guessing out of the success of a campaign. One way to set your KPI is to analyze what your competitors are doing: How much coverage do they get? Where have they been featured? This gives your team an idea as to where you want to be. If your goal is to have a one-page feature in the Globe & Mail, measuring your success becomes easy: you either got it, or you didn’t. If you wanted to reach 10-million people, research the readership of the coverage you received to see if you met your target. People like numbers, so use them.
Leveraging content for lead generation (HINT: time to bring in the sales team)
PR agencies can work in tandem with sales and marketing in order to extend the longevity of a campaign and leverage valuable media coverage to generate leads. The most valuable pieces or coverage are those that you can continue to amplify across communications channels – like sharing with newsletter subscribers and boosting their reach via social media. When PR works in tandem with sales and marketing, leads get generated, and sales get made. It’s all about building momentum and driving traffic towards your brand and away from competitors.
The Value of PR on your Bottom Line
Strategic PR programs can deliver results years after their initiation, and can give a significant boost to your biz. Along with the items mentioned above, there are many intangible ways that PR impacts a business. From building trust, credibility and loyalty, to driving brand awareness – PR has a direct and prominent role in driving leads and business value.
Want to know more on how PR can help your brand meet its overall business and marketing objectives? Say hi and get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.