If you have ever tried to explain PR success and value to a C-Suite executive, you know it is not an easy sell. They are used to metrics like revenue and profit, but how do you show that your PR campaign contributed to those numbers? You have to be able to measure the impact of your campaigns and present the value they added to the business. Fortunately, there are ways in which you can quantify the impact of your PR efforts.
To help you get started, here are 4 metrics that you should be tracking:
1. Competitive Benchmarking
If you are not comparing yourself to your competitors, you are missing out on key information about how well your social presence is doing in relation to theirs. Competitive benchmarking helps you find the best practices that will improve your business performance by looking at factors like competitor followers, media placements, and overall growth of their social presence. While this can be done by manually searching for information about your competitors’ profiles and mentions in publications, it is very time-consuming and increases the margin of error. A better way to go is by using a social media listening tool that extracts that data for you.
You could use that data to compare:
- Your follower growth rate over a certain period
- The number and quality of media placements you land
This information will interest C-level executives because it will illustrate to them how your PR campaigns contributed to follower growth as well as increased media coverage. Presenting them with data comparisons is a lot more effective than just stating numbers.
For example, saying “Our products got 50% more press coverage and 37% more positive social media mentions than Brand A in Q4 due to campaign X” is a lot more impressive to executives than saying “Our products were featured in 110 publications and 315 users mentioned our products on social media in Q4 due to campaign X”.
Note: You can use the same benchmarking practices to compare your current performance against your performance at some point in the past. Your business is also competing against its past version.
2. Share of voice
While Share of Voice (SOV) can be seen as an integral metric of competitive benchmarking, we would like to discuss it separately. SOV is sometimes called “marketing exposure.” It is a measurement of how often a particular brand appears in media outlets (such as newspapers) or on social media platforms (like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) compared to competitors. It is calculated by taking the percentage of mentions of a particular brand versus all other brands in the same category and then dividing it by the total number of mentions for all brands in that category.
You can use SOV to show your executives which campaigns are helping your business dominate particular conversations in different categories (products, services, brand mentions, ESG etc.). Make sure you are extracting data for the right period and ease the measurement process by creating unique keywords that you can easily follow, be it a unique product name or a custom hashtag.
When we were talking about the top trends in PR and communication measurement for 2023, we spoke about the importance of creating the right emotional connections with target audiences. Analysing the emotional impact of your campaigns on audiences is mainly a qualitative effort and requires a longer period to be correctly assessed. But you can partially quantify it by looking at the sentiment.
Sentiment in the world of media monitoring is the usage of natural language processing techniques to identify the attitude (positive, negative or neutral) of a piece of text towards a product, brand or topic. Sentiment analysis is a method of analysing text and extracting opinions, attitudes, and emotions. It is useful because it can tell you how people feel about something. This information is very useful for executives because it can help them discover areas where they should invest more money or employ human resources to improve the brand image.
To know how people feel about the content you create around your campaigns, you first need to engage them. Engagement plays a huge part in content marketing and it is what eventually increases website traffic and aids lead generation, resulting in sales, downloads, registrations, attendees, etc. – more metrics that you should report to your executives.
Engagement represents the number of people who took action after seeing your content—this could mean purchasing a product or signing up for an email list or visiting your website or anything else that indicates that they were impacted by seeing your content. The higher this metric is, the more successful your PR program is. Engagement is a very powerful metric when used in line with your business goals.
Speak the language of the C-Suite
C-suite executives are busy people. The way you present data to them is important. Executives want your reporting to be clear and concise so that they can see how it aligns with their goals. But how do you know if your report is clear and concise? And how do you make sure it aligns with business goals? The answer: measurement.
How can we help?
You need to measure how effective your PR campaign is at meeting its goals, and then use those results as a benchmark for future campaigns. None of the metrics we discussed are perfect on their own, but the right analysis can identify patterns and correlations that show the impact of your PR campaigns. That is where we at A Data Pro come in! We can help you produce concise reports that do not waste the time of your executive team and highlight your efforts!