Public relations and effective measurement have never been synonymous with each other.
Despite having the ability to report on tangible results and prove their ROI through the use of analytics, there remain many in the PR world who continue to struggle through clipping books, media impressions and the three-letter form of measurement which will not be mentioned.
When it comes time to quarterly meetings, this list of headlines and vanity metrics sounds great until the inevitable question comes: "What value has all of this added to the business' bottom line?".
Digital PR has changed the way consultancies operate and measure their campaigns, or it should have done.
While coverage remains a key pillar of PR success (and it always will do) website traffic, links generating in coverage and keyword performance now also make up important elements of Digital PR measurement.
So what are the key things every successful PR agency should be measuring now?
Every business, especially B2B businesses, relies on its website to generate leads and drive prospects to educational content. Digital PR activity can help increase website traffic by generating links in media coverage to point an audience back to your website. If your PR activity is having a positive impact on your company’s website traffic, then you’re doing something right.
While there are more than 200 algorithms deciding where a company’s website will place on search rankings, referral links from high domain authority websites is the most important factor - according to Google.
With the highest domain authority websites typically being news websites, you should keep a close eye on how many links you are generating in coverage. You should also be keeping in mind whether the PR content you create is likely to generate links as well as coverage.
Historic PR stopped at the newspaper headline.
The client is in the news, the press release has been picked up and that was job done. Now Digital PR can take this a step further and can be used as a content engine for your wider marketing campaign, creating collateral like blogs, eBooks and market research reports to get prospects moving down lead funnels and converting into customers.
The death of the press release has been announced prematurely and it remains an essential element of the public relations toolkit - as long as its content is newsworthy. But the days when a single press release could be produced, picked up and then forgotten about are long gone.
Good Digital PR consultancies understand the value of content so should measure and assess how else it is being used. Has it only been used once in the press? Can it be repurposed as a blog or turned into a few social media posts?
Is the content long form - like a market research report - and usable as an infographic?
Getting the most out of every piece of content is the hallmark of a successful Digital PR consultancy.
Lastly, but definitely not least, generating media coverage and building brand awareness in a client's target media is something your Digital PR agency should be keeping close track of.
If they’re not getting you any coverage - be it in print or online - then they’re not doing their job properly.
Of course, any consultancy should be focussed on web traffic and links, but don't discount the value of a great item of coverage in a key publication.If you want to know more about PR, get in touch