Along with most marketing practices today, public relations has progressed to meet a wide range of new and emerging client needs. Public relations not only offers media relations and thought leadership but can strategically be used to develop content to feed direct marketing, sales outreach, SEO and social media. As PR’s content feeds other marketing platforms, the Internet has made measurement not only feasible but an essential part of PR’s relevancy.
Here are four ways to make PR activities more measurable:
- Promote Earned Media Through Social Media: Regardless of whether you are marketing in a B2B or B2C environment, social media is vital. For B2B companies, the benefit is a bit less obvious but certainly clear: Managing online social reputation, creating quantifiable (positive) write ups, building inbound links from powerful social sites to support SEO and connecting with influencers are all important for business-to-business marketing. You can measure online sentiment, follower growth and social sharing, all of which indicate the stickiness of your content. If you utilize a marketing automation software tool with a social component, you can view a deep set of analytics. For B2C companies, you can generate buzz on social when sharing PR placements – and content, such as tips, advice, recipes, etc.
- Leverage PR To Feed Direct Marketing: Media placements are third-party endorsements that carry clout. It is wise to share print, online and broadcast coverage with your database in an effort to reinforce your brand or company messaging and visibility. You can measure click through/open rates of email campaigns, video views and other actions. Direct marketing campaigns can carry PR results and content to prospects, customers, influencers and other stakeholders. When these campaigns are well written and designed to get an audience’s attention, they can boost social engagement, referrals, thought leadership, tradeshow booth attendance and event participation. This can also help you schedule more sales meetings. Also, don’t overlook the power of sending print placements via direct mail – and test the response. A feature story shared in this way can make a measurable impact.
- Build Online Presence & Reputation: Earned media is fresh, relevant content that can be smartly syndicated and promoted to bolster organic search rankings, as well as online reputation management. Articles and content should be synopsized, optimized – then promoted. Synopsizing is important because you want to generate concise, high-quality unique Optimizing entails inserting key phrases you want to rank for, using SEO best practices. Promotion entails link building, blog comments (only on relevant blogs), social sharing and bookmarking. This process can increase the likelihood of having positive media placements rank high in search results – and widen readership and sharing of your content. This results in stronger thought leadership and reputation management. Managing perception and advocating for yourself are musts.
- Influencing Influencers & Supporting Sales: Wow prospects and referral sources while building serious credibility. To make PR more measurable, publicity results should be utilized by your sales team – to support new business development efforts by demonstrating your expertise. This mitigates risk among prospective customers, referral sources and other influencers – because media coverage positions you as an authority and safe resource. Highly credible third party placements (endorsements from media) can go far to build trust and close deals. We secured a Bloomberg Television placement, along with more than a dozen national trade print hits for a martech client we represented. After sharing it with their prospect list, they closed a deal with a national restaurant chain customer, which generated more than $10,000,000 in revenues. This highlights the importance of sending PR coverage to all stakeholders and coaching sales reps to use consistently use media hits in the sales process.
Today, fresh content is vital. At our PR agency, we say “Content is Queen.” PR results represent powerful content, which can be leveraged and promoted to generate specific outcomes and measurable results. Aside from open rates of emails and empirical data from your sales force, other factors to look at when measuring PR include website traffic (after an article runs or airs), online search for the company or product name and social follower growth.
If you want to elevate your PR game, employ these practices over time and track the progress.