By Greg Simpson, founder of Press for Attention PR and Enterprise Nation Champion for Nottingham.
It’s that time of year when we’re making resolutions. Whether health, wealth or just plain happiness, we’re all at it.
Of course, to do these properly, we need targets or good old ‘goals’ if you prefer and crucially, we need to know where we are starting from.
This should be the case with your PR efforts too. You may have a resolution to make a more strategic effort with your PR campaign or perhaps you want to rekindle a campaign that spluttered out a little last year?
Perish the thought but maybe you didn’t do ANY PR in 2017 whatsoever. It has been known.
As we all know, what gets measured gets managed. So, what might you measure with regards your PR efforts this year and against what benchmarks?
You might look at how many stories you published and issued and how many got used. This is what we call your ‘hit-rate’. How well did you do? For some, the figures will be reassuringly high.
I pride myself on a 100 percent hit rate for my clients but that’s my job and I will only release stories I know will get covered and make a difference for my client.
You may have different pressures.
What about the amount of stories you started but honestly, never finished? Maybe time got the better of you or the moment passed? Perhaps you lacked a decent picture or couldn’t herd the cats into place before the news angle fizzled out?
This happens a lot, don’t worry.
You might measure how often your pictures got used, whether your quotes were included or check out how many brand mentions you managed to squeeze in.
Many people like to consider the cost/value ratio of advertising v editorial. Essentially how much you ‘paid’ in editorial resource via an agency or in-house v how much that same space would cost if bought as an advert.
I do not do this, it is pretty much taboo now in PR for various reasons I won’t bore you with but it might help as ONE metric to consider.
Rather than this, I’d measure the tone of the coverage. Go for quality over quantity. Does it portray your business as you would wish?
Also, was the coverage in the right place?
You can compare all sorts of things and even compare versus your competitors but the key thing is to go for something you can measure fairly easily that makes a difference to you and preferably you can check quarterly. That way you can address problems or embrace opportunities in a far more timely and effective manner.
Finally, do you know what your target media thinks about you? Do they know you? Do they know exactly what you do?
That research is incredibly powerful.
We are offering the target media opinion audit as a free service throughout January and February. Get in touch if you’d like us to help you discover what your target media thinks and knows about you.