PR is driven by helping brands and businesses create a positive perception among the public. Although there is no definitive metric to measure the success of a pr campaign, the overarching aim is to not only reach the largest audience possible but convert this interest into new business opportunities.
As a PR professional, I’m well aware of the long-term results and transformative impact that PR can have on businesses large and small. But as we are living in an increasingly data-driven world, there is a growing demand to see the immediate impact of PR and how this can be evaluated as a positive return on investment.
Therefore, the ability to demonstrate the value and effectiveness of PR has never been so important.
With a plethora of data analytical tools to use at our disposal, the way PR professionals evaluate the results of their work has gone through an evolution in recent years. But due to the multi-faceted nature of public relations campaigns, this is far from a black and white process.
As one PR brief and completely differ from the next, it is important that any metric or data pertaining to the impact of a campaign is given concise context and aligned with the business’ wider goals. This is where the true value of PR can be measured against a return on investment.
Here at Open Comms, we work with a wide-ranging client base that operate in very different industries. As such, we ensure that our results are given context, backed up by evidence and correspond with our clients’ wider objectives.
From my own insight and experience, I will share two critical methods that can reflect the success of a PR campaign.
Whether it’s national, regional or trade press, obtaining media coverage is arguably the most effective way to garner the most attention of a business or brand. As news can now be accessed instantly by any person holding a smart phone, computer or any similar device, securing media coverage can potentially reach audiences across the globe.
Once a business has hit the headlines, it provides them with the credibility and legitimacy to build a positive reputation. This can then be leveraged as a platform to engage with the public and ultimately help businesses promote themselves within the marketplace.
The true impact of securing media coverage, however, can only be realised if it is consistent. Once a business is regularly featured in newspapers, online publications, or even broadcast and radio, it will be viewed as a trusted and reliable source.
Once this has been established, media coverage must be utilised as an effective marketing tool to impact on consumer behaviour and attract new business opportunities.
So, put simply: the more media coverage secured, the bigger the audience is reached.
There is no denying that the role of social media within the marketplace is critical. The influence of platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, has completely transformed how businesses are marketed.
With social media holding so much significance to the overall success of a business, a social media strategy now forms a critical part of any PR campaign.
Each channel provides existing and new customers the opportunity to directly engage with brands and businesses anywhere at any time. That being said, it also gives businesses direct access to communicate with their customer base as well.
Transforming these exchanges turn into positive experiences, however, is solely reliant on the content being shared. Whether it’s promoting a new product, service, announcing a company update or commenting on a topical trend, the content must capture and maintain the user’s attention.
Aside from monitoring an increase in followers and engagement, much more data can be extracted and analysed to showcase the value of social media. As part of the PR campaign, we can determine the peak time of visitors to the platforms, where they are located and what pieces of content are garnering the most attention.
Compiling this information is critical to forming a complete picture of how social media channels can be best used to support the wider ambitious of a business or brand. Once these platforms are being used in a purposeful and strategic way, tangible results will be generated and clearly show the value to the return on investment.