What the Data: Using PR Metrics that Matter

July 10, 2018 Lacey Miller

It’s time for PR to use meaningful metrics to prove the value of the discipline. No, we don’t mean AVE. At TrendKite, we’ve developed a measurement framework we call the Communicator’s Funnel.

 

This framework does 3 key things for PR:

1) Organizes communications goals to benefit the entire sales funnel

2) Asks the right questions to evaluate PR’s contribution

3) Provides data-driven answers to guide PR strategy

 

Yes, you read that right. Metrics that matter help you prove PR’s contribution up and down the sales funnel. No doubt you are familiar with the basic sales funnel?

First, make people aware of your brand. Next, help them learn more about you. Finally, get them to convert.

Proving that PR moves people through this funnel used to be a struggle — but no longer. There is actionable data behind every article, journalist, and publication. You can use this data to show exactly how — and how much — PR activity helps meet valuable business goals.

 

"First, make people aware of your brand. Next, help them learn more about you. Finally, get them to convert."

 

Digital Measurement of Brand Impact 

PR teams will often say they add brand value, full stop. Yes, earned media impacts how a brand is perceived in the marketplace, both by the general public and by potential customers. When people become aware of and feel good about your brand, they’re more likely to engage. But there’s no need to keep PR’s brand impact theoretical — it can be measured concretely.

EXAMPLE

Old Way: Mentions | Digital Metric: Mindshare

Tallying mentions doesn’t quantify the value of a mention to the business. We can go further!

 

Measuring Digital Impact 

More PR teams are measuring Digital Impact, as tools like Google Analytics make it easy to review basic site data. Still, PR needs to connect site analytics back to PR activities to answer the question, “Is PR driving traffic to our digital properties, and if so, what actions are PR-driven visitors taking?” Why? Because real dollar values are associated with high-value actions like newsletter sign-ups, demo requests, and more.

EXAMPLE

Old Way: Readership | Digital Metric: Social Amplification

Readership doesn’t tell us how well content resonates with our audiences. We can discern more!

 

Bottom-Line Impact Meets Digital PR

This is where it gets really exciting. It’s not just how many people PR is driving to a website, but how valuable that traffic is to the business. Driving X more eyeballs is great, but digital PR can also show that a high percentage of those people become customers. PR can start to own and report the dollars and cents outcomes they deliver to the business.

EXAMPLE

Old Way: AVE | Digital Metric: Influenced Pipeline

Ad Value Equivalency is arbitrary and inaccurate. We can connect PR to real business value!

"PR can start to own and report the dollars and cents outcomes they deliver to the business."

Remember, it’s not about measuring the actions PR takes, like how many press releases were sent out. It’s about answering real business questions like: How many sales, donations, lead requests and more were influenced by PR?

The right metrics can empower you to report Digital PR impact across the sales funnel in the language executives care about — business value. In our next 3 posts, we’ll break down each category in our Communicator’s Funnel to more deeply explore metrics that matter.  

About the Author

Lacey Miller

Passionate about public relations and empowering practitioners, Lacey Miller found her dream job at TrendKite, where she carries the crown of 'word nerd'. With a background in public relations and technology, she's a great fit with her desire to innovate the industry! You can find her most days writing for PR Forward, PRSA, and other marketing trade publications.

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