Public relations and the growth of your business go hand in hand. The products you try because of a recommendation, the businesses that you invest your money in due to a good review, this is all the effect of public relations at work. How do you know if public relations is working for your company? This can be tricky. Unlike other marketing strategies, such as digital advertising,    that can be measured by tangible metrics such as click-through-rates and page views, public relations offers a big-picture view that can sometimes be hard to wrap your head around. It’s vital to remember that these results do not happen overnight, in today’s world, we expect immediate results, but PR takes time!  

When it comes to public relations, there is no one-way that marketers are able to calculate the impact of their effort. When companies align their public relations with other marketing initiatives, they will benefit over time, because public relations builds upon itself. 

“Brands are built on what people are saying about you, not what you’re saying about yourself. People say good things about you when (a) you have a good product, and (b) you get people to spread the word about it”

Source: Guy Kawasaki, Huffington Post

The key-word in measuring your effectiveness is reputation. A “good” reputation doesn’t happen overnight; it’s established over time through actions, reactions, and relationships- the same goes for a brand or business. 

While “good” PR takes time and effort to build and transform, “bad” PR only takes what can feel like seconds to bring a business down. Having a solid reputation through positive PR will help a business prevail when tragedy strikes. In the digital age, it’s no longer a question of “if” crisis will strike, but when. 

For example; you are the owner of a restaurant and have an unhappy patron who takes their bad experience to social media, bashing your name and your company. Word of mouth can take one lackluster experience and builds it into an entire social campaign against your brand. Restaurants aren’t the only businesses that have to worry about this. Whether you’re a plumber, general manager of a hotel, or owner of a gym, you’re dealing with the public! It’s imperative that you know how to deal with situations from the beginning so that they don’t spread like wildfire and tarnish your reputation: “bad” public relations! 

Investing in the efforts of your company’s public relations is vital. Measuring its effectiveness can be challenging; however, it can help to identify improvements for future campaigns. 

So, how do you measure the success of your company’s PR? Consider the list below curated to help you identify what to consider when measuring its impact. 

A Successful PR Campaign

It’s best to collect data before you begin your campaign, so you’re able to compare the numbers before and after, and accurately measure the success. 

  1. Sales: Sales are the most important factor for a product-based company. While public relations may not lead to an instant boost in your companies sales, a well-executed PR campaign can generate significant sales over time. If there is no change in your sales, you may want to consider adjusting your PR strategy.

  2. Social Media Reach: The influence of social media is growing at a rapid rate. If you want to know how well your brand is doing, and if you’re sharing valuable and relevant content, check your social media reach. Your reach refers to the number of unique people who see your posts.

  3. Engagement on Social: In any scenario, it’s important to know how many people are engaging with your posts and status updates. If you’re posting good and relevant content, people will be more apt to like, share, and comment on your posts, boosting your overall engagement. Engagement is one of the most important metrics to understand social media.

  4. Media Impressions: One of the most common metrics used to measure PR campaigns, is the number of times that the intended audience has seen your content. While both your social media reach and impressions measure the visibility of the content that you push out, the impressions will help you understand how frequently a user sees your posts or advertisements on social.

  5. Brand Mentions: When PR is well-executed, it can lead to an overall increase in brand mentions on blogs and social media. Pro Tip: Monitor your online mentions via a social listening tool to know what people are saying about your company and brand online.

  6. Keyword Rankings: Does your website rank in the search engine results page of Google, Bing, and Yahoo? A well-done PR campaign can help to boost your brand's keyword rankings, leading to better organic search results and the retention of customers over time. 

  7. Shares on Social: Step one is to get an online publication to publish your event or story. Step two is getting a popular online publication to do the same. The PR efforts of getting your story published will yield minimum results if your content keeps being posted on a site that is not getting enough shares. Calculate the number of times your article is shared to help measure the efforts and adjust for next time.

  8. Website Traffic: Measuring website traffic is an important factor in determining the success of your PR campaign. The traffic to your website will help to verify if your efforts are reaching your target audience, by measuring the demographics of your audience, such as age group, location, etc. 

  9. Number of Backlinks: Measuring the number of backlinks that are generated throughout a PR campaign can help you determine the popularity of your content. The more backlinks that your content receives, the more the public is considering your information valuable, useful, and relevant. 

  10. Lead Generation: Leads refer to the number of people who are showing a strong and measurable interest in your services. An increase in inquiries ultimately means that your PR is a success. Compare the leads from before your public relations initiative started, to your new data to effectively track your company’s growth. 

The importance of public relations is deafening. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula for measuring the success of your public relations strategies, the understanding that PR is a relational component of your business that grows with time is paramount. 

Have questions? We can help! For more information about how D3 can benefit your business, please contact D3 at 410-213-2400, or email us at solutions@d3corp.com.