Public relations is often intangible when it comes to measuring the effectiveness or effects it has on your overall company sales. PR is meant to drive relationships, awareness and connections. By having a consistence presence in the media, you are keeping your competitors out of the spotlight, but that can’t always be tied back to ‘leads.’
So how do you determine the ROI?
There are several ways, some that are metric based and others that are not as tangible.
- Where is your competition? Every story that is run on your company and every positive mention you receive is chipping away at your competition. By ignoring PR, you are opening the door for your competition to steal any brand awareness you may have.
- Create a call-to-action. If you are announcing the opening of a new location, offer more information via a landing page. Share with the reporter that promotions will be revealed on the landing page and visitors can download special savings. You can then access the data and see how many visitors, sign-ups and downloads the announcement garnered. Keep in mind the more integrated the better results. Everything should be tied together – PR, website, email marketing, social media, etc.
- Placement. This may seem a little old-school, but how many outlets ran your story? Was it picked up once? Twice? Ten times?
- Ask. When someone calls your business, ask them how they heard about you.
- Become a source. If reporters are calling you for a story or to get your input, then your PR team is doing their job. You want the media to seek you out.
- Correlate article with website analytics. When did your article post online? When did you share it over social media? By analyzing spikes in activity you can tie it back to when the article published. We realize this isn’t a foolproof method.
The easiest way to measure effectiveness is to tie all communication activities together. Public relations should support an existing campaign that deploys a variety of tactics working towards a common goal.
If you are in the media and the media considers you a source, then your team is doing their job.