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How to Improve Public Relations Measurement

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There are so many public relations firms and corporate communications departments across the country that it’s clear that PR is a vital component of a successful business. Despite this saturation, many PR professionals still have trouble justifying their work with measurement. Major benefits like brand awareness and buzz are especially hard to quantify. If your method of measurement and the way you manage your contacts, campaigns, media lists, and pitch history isn’t up to par, you’re probably wasting hours on unnecessary activity, from tracking down reporting information to delivering useless metrics to stakeholders. Capturing the right data at the right time is fundamental. Carly Leibowitz of 5W Public Relations, however, says that you should not give up on measurement, and even suggests a few tips to think more strategically about PR analytics. Here are some of the tactics she recommends:

  • Ditch vanity metrics. As easy as it is to rave about your company’s Twitter following or Facebook page, skip ahead to more concrete metrics. Prove that the content you create or the coverage you secure will lead to revenue. For example, did a consumer view your press release before eventually making a purchase? 
  • Change the way you talk about PR measurement. PR professionals use a lot of jargon. “Impressions” and “media lists” are just two of the many terms that make very little sense to key stakeholders at a given company and don’t hold much water. Instead of using these words, start talking about how your efforts will contribute to a company’s overall goals.

I would also suggest measuring the strength of your relationships. In PR, building relationships with reporters and influencers is essential to maintaining and boosting a company’s image. Tracking and understanding the preferences of individual reporters enables effective pitching. Imagine if you could track the best time to connect with an individual reporter – how helpful would that be in your pitching strategy? Learning when to talk about measurement and exactly how to measure is key to a successful PR strategy. And forging long-term bonds with reporters in your industry can guarantee glowing coverage for any brand with which you work. So why not start now? Keep track of your relationship information in one centralized location and use metrics (the right metrics) to further demonstrate the value of your rigorous efforts with PR CRM software.