There used to be a stigma attached to PR that professionals in this arena simply “create buzz” and while that is true it’s not the sole existence of successful firms. In the past Public Relations used to be about big events, celebrity endorsements and reporter relationships. Now, it’s shifting to basing those strategic decisions on data. It was often compared with Advertising, but with its quick evolution, Ivy Marketing Group suggests that Public Relations has a major influence on many things from awareness, reputation and brand behavior, employee satisfaction, and (perhaps most importantly) driving the bottom line and building loyalty.
But how do we prove such a statement?
Measuring PR is more common in today’s business with various tracking tools for the following:
- Press Placement – Often thought of as the true ROI of Public Relations, every press placement has the ability to educate consumers and gain new sales. The impressions often result in web site visits and social media shares.
- Online Chatter – Does the company have great reviews on Yelp? Join the conversation and thank those reviewers. Are people commenting and sharing facebook posts? Be sure to actively engage and enlighten.
- Advertising Value Equivalency – These metrics help measure success and the value of a placement. It’s great for comparison purposes to show a public relations professional has covered the cost of the service and provided positive results
- Sales Leads – Did you host a great event that brought in new leads? Are the phones busy ringing the morning an article in the paper drops? On a site tour, does the potential client mention they first heard about you from a great word of mouth friend reference?
- Influencer Campaigns – Connect with industry influencers and reach out to them, in hopes of turning into brand loyalists. With these campaigns, monitor also how the influencers interact with competitors.
It’s important to utilize these to their fullest and provide results that speak to the brand’s strategic communications plans. It’s our daily mission to make Public Relations a strong force of all organizations.