PR know-how: This is how you measure the impact of a great PR campaign

PR know-how: This is how you measure the impact of a great PR campaign

It may be 2016, but it is not uncommon for brands to question the benefits of public relations . While marketing has traditionally had fixed, sales-based metrics to follow, the impact of activity has been harder to track.

The positive impact of effective PR activity goes far beyond a few column inches. Public relations takes a brand’s reputation, builds on it, shapes it, maintains it and protects it. It can dramatically change the perception and understanding of a brand by engaging with multiple audiences and building trust. It can open doors to new business partnerships and position your brand as a leader in its field.

So – how do you demonstrate the impact of PR activity? Here’s our insider advice to help you measure your PR activity successfully:

First – set SMART objectives: setting Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound PR objectives for your campaigns is essential. It allows you to set clear metrics for measurement, it keeps a campaign on track, and provides relevant and valuable results for you and your client.

Lead sourcing: in the main, PR campaigns are designed to contribute to sales leads for brands. But how do you track this? The answer is simple – when people call or email, ask how they heard about the brand. You’ll soon know if it’s because your PR activity worked.

Sentiment: Okay, we concede that this is tricky. But nothing is impossible… If you’re planning a targeted campaign and boosting positive sentiment is a key objective, then why not take a pre-campaign awareness survey? Compare this with a post-event survey and you should hopefully see a boost in awareness and can measure sentiment while you’re at it.

Audience engagement: Thanks to , the unstoppable force of digital and Google , we are able to track our online in many ways at the touch of a button. You can access very good analytics and insights on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, and there are some excellent tools out there (try Followerwonk for Twitter – it’s great, and free!). You can measure follower numbers, likes and shares, but can also demonstrate what works best, where it works and who accesses it.

Press coverage: We may be an online world, but yet nothing beats seeing your name (or your client’s brand) in print. Column inches still count, and combined with an integrated PR and content campaign, you’re sure to get maximum visibility across your target audiences.

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Jenny Morris heads up Formative Content’s PR team and specialises in campaign strategy, issues management corporate communications.

Formative Content is a UK based agency producing high quality content, live event coverage and strategic communications support for clients around the world.

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