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December 21, 2017

Successful PR? This is how Industry Professionals Measure the Output of Press Relations

The art to establish oneself in the mind of potential und existing customers through stories is called presswork. Authenticity, honesty and professionalism are essential requirements for successful public relations. But how do communication experts measure the effects of PR activities? How to measure success in the media and at what point is PR a visible factor of success? With these tips and tricks you will find out what effect your PR activities really have.

Keeping track of your publications: Media observation

First of all, it is important that you keep an eye on your self-produced content. There are multiple media observation tools, such as Landau Media, pressrelations or ubermetrics. Whether there are online or print publications, or mentions in TV or radio – these tools will help you to spot any national or international mentions of your clients. Additionally, you receive an overview of published online articles and how they performed in terms of monthly visits. Plus, you will gain substantial information on page impressions, as well as details about your print publications such as information on circulation.

Free alternatives: Checking your reach with Google Alerts and Similarweb

To check the reach of your online publications, Google Alerts provides you with the possibility to request regular updates of media publications daily monthly or immediately after publishing. The results are sorted after the source of origin (news, blogs, web, video, books, discussions and finance), as well as after language and region. As soon as your publications go online, the free tool Similarweb is suitable for a detailed examination of your publication’s reach and visits. Thus, with the help of this monitoring combination, you can quickly keep track of the results of your operative presswork.

Woulda, shoulda, coulda! – The equivalent value of your publications

One way to approach the monetary value of your publications is through the equivalent value. Although this term may sound rather scary, it shows you how much it would have cost if your article would have been an advertorial. Therefore, this approach to measuring success compares the prices between an editorial space with the prices of an equivalent advertorial space. Many media observation services charge for these calculations as an additional service.

Keeping a watchful eye on your competitors

Your product or service found attention in the media? Great! Still, keeping an eye on your competition is always worth it. Similar companies that also focus on presswork can be monitored twofold: The first option is to spot relevant topics of your competitors and thus evaluate its potential editorial interest. It additionally analyzes these topics and tells you on which competitive advantage you should focus on among your own topics. At this point again, tools like Google Alerts and Similarweb can help you out.

Leads, leads, leads and how Google Analytics can help you

If media observation, as the only criteria of success, isn’t enough, a good analysis tool can be your knight in a shining armor. Say, for example, a successfully published article includes a link to a landing page or your client’s website, you can evaluate its traffic in detail. The most well-known digital helper for that is Google Analytics. The free program helps you to determine the origin of page visitors and provides you with information about who registered or who made a purchase. The installation for websites and CMS-systems is easy to do. Plus, Google Analytics is easy to use and interpret for data beginners. But beware: Although the page visitor is not directly attributable to a media appearance, the article could however be the first step towards a purchase impulse. As soon as one or another, or even an anonymous browser such as Tor is used on a user device, the meaningfulness of analysis tools is for nought.

Quality meets continuity: The right publication in the right target medium

On a first look, an article in an online publication with roughly 150 monthly visitors doesn’t seem very result driven. However: Even an article in a target medium with relatively few page visitors is a success under the right circumstances. The more niche the target group, the higher is the possibility that the readers are interested in the product, service or company. Quality over quantity should be your creed. It is better to hit the mark with continuos, subject specific articles, rather than boring the majority of readers to death. This is especially useful for B2B approaches. A special case however, is television, as companies often benefit from high reaches. Although your content might not be relevant for the majority of viewers, it increases your company’s market awareness as well as its perceived expertise.

Presswork: It is all about memory

The measurability of PR-work is often controversial. It becomes apparent that success in the vast media landscape cannot only be measured by integrated links, leads or achieved reaches. Certainly you should keep track of these results, yet placing relevant content in relevant media is just as, if not even more important. For that, storytelling becomes an ideal possibility to gain, retain and fascinate customers. Creative and exciting content, such as stories, interviews or expert articles can fix your company and its expertise in the memory of people for years to come.

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Tommy Dobs
Senior-Berater bei Mashup Communications
Tommy hat ein Herz für Nerds, denn er ist selbst einer! Mit seiner IT-Expertise sind bei ihm Techie-Themen bestens aufgehoben. Ob Cloud-Service oder Messenger – bei ihm ist alles verschlüsselt.

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