Gone are the days when press clippings and earned media hits were the only means to measure the performance of your news release. The digital age has given us an array of metrics that allow us to paint a much more complete picture of the results of our PR efforts.
These are the metrics you should be using to illustrate the performance of your news releases:
This is the measure of the total number of people who could have been exposed to a news release. This number can be extremely high if it is being distributed through a wire service. Combine this potential reach with the exposure that social media can provide and the number may run into the tens of millions.
When the number of your potential reach is very high, this can sound impressive but the truth is misleading. The real value is the number of people who are actually seeing the news release and engaging with it. People can engage with your news release by clicking on links within the release, downloading it or sharing it with others. Quality social media coverage is just as important as earned media coverage as a key driver of brand perceptions.
Tracking the number of visitors to your clients’ website as a result of your PR efforts is imperative. In addition to this, you can also track the quality of the visitors by monitoring factors such as the amount of time they spend on the page, what other pages on the website they visit and if they re-visit the website again.
Conversion rates are extremely important and ultimately, an effective metric for PR professionals to engage. A conversion is simply a desired action that a person takes as a result of your PR. The goals of your news release will determine the conversion rate; it may be downloading an article, signing up to a newsletter or making a purchase. Conversions indicate that prospects are actively moving through the sales funnel.
Sentiment and Influence
You can gain insights into the tone of the coverage that a news release has accumulated. This allows PR professionals to perceive the potential impact of a release as well as to understand where to direct their attention and how to adjust their message in the future.
Measuring metrics is great but how do you frame these metrics? The key to reporting on news release performance is to make sure you speaking a language that your clients understand and there a number of ways to do this.