April 21, 2016, Measurement Conference Executive Summary

Executive Summary

PR News Measurement Conference

April 21, 2016— National Press Club, Washington, D.C.


Measurement Dashboards That Communicate the Business Value of Your Communications Programs

Margot Sinclair Savell, Senior Vice President, Global Measurement, Reasearch+Data Insights, Hill+Knowlton Strategies

  • Effective measurement looks behind the numbers to find insights. Numbers are results; they do not represent the impact of your PR efforts.
  • When building dashboards grab the C-suite’s attention on the first page with success metrics and make sure you display what is most important to them with clear visuals.
  • Keep it short by providing only one or two slides that chart business metrics and offer high-level insights.
  • Too much to see means nothing will be seen!
  • Choose metrics that matter and are tied to your goals and measurable objectives.
  • Journalists love data. Good metrics garner earned media wins.
  • Too many priorities = no priorities.

 Cindy Villafranca, Senior Specialist, Communication & Outreach, Southwest Airlines

  • Always update your dashboards. The first version should not be your final solution.
  • Keep your methodology and framework consistent.
  • Pull in data from other departments if it makes sense and shows a correlation to how your team supports the business.
  • Establish a measurement cadence that is achievable. Be careful not to over promise and under-deliver.
  • Socialize the dashboard with your team; highlight results. Don’t assume that everyone will know how to read the dashboard. Explain, educate and inform.
  • Allocate the right resources for a successful product. Dashboards take time. They take time to develop, time to compile and analyze and it takes time to meet with colleagues to talk about the data.
  • It’s not about tracking mentions, but rather how are you getting mentioned and what messages are you getting across.

 Erik Huddleston, CEO, TrendKite

  • Best-in-class PR teams don’t report on just a quarterly basis—they adhere to weekly to monthly cadences, and real-time reporting for timely events like a personal brand crisis or major competitive cycle.
  • Many PR teams don’t follow best practices because their process for reporting is so manual and painful. At TrendKite we automated reporting so that an exercise that took hours now takes minutes and our customers can get closer to best practice.
  • Follow a more rigorous benchmarking framework: How are things changing over time, compared to historical events, versus the competition, versus industry average, vis-à-vis best in class?
  • A primary goal for PR professionals should to land backlinks to take readers back to the website, where you regain control of the brand message and push the prospect further down the funnel. If you think about it this way, some of your highest value content is coverage that drives traffic, and when you discover what works, you can optimize your outreach strategy to reach out to publications and reporters that effectively drive traffic.
  • Getting backlinks in your earned coverage should be a top priority because it also improves the search ranking of your organization’s website, which is a further contribution PR can make to overall marketing goals.
  • Sometimes the biggest website traffic drivers come from unexpected sources. Dig into the data for these insights.

Case Study 1: PR Measurement at Work in the Real World

Catherine Hernandez-Blades, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Aflac

  • Survey your stakeholders. Use what is of value to them to determine success for you.
  • Source the data by combining data with survey results to get a baseline and identify your end game.
  • Use models—either built in-house or purchased—to develop your strategy.
  • Use the model to determine where you can get the most lift and use this information to define your tactics.
  • Emphasize the execution. Focus on the efforts that will get you to the success metric most quickly.
  • Always collect new data and compare to past campaigns.

Measuring Social: How to Measure Your Impact Across Social Media Platforms

David Peikin, Director, Corporate Communications, Bloomberg BNA

  • If you’re hosting a Twitter chat or Twitter takeover, collaboration is crucial to success.
  • Associate your brand with thought leaders in your space and don’t be afraid of trying new social media programs.
  • Some social channels are important, while with others you should keep the lights on but not focus on them.
  • Have a meeting with participants in your Twitter activities to review best practices to ensure everyone is adequately prepped.
  • Twitter chats are a unique opportunity for participants and the host organization to display thought leadership and grow brand and Twitter followers.
  • Use a social media monitoring tool to measure engagement/share of voice and Google Analytics to measure the socially sourced traffic.

Sarab Kochhar, Associate Director, Measurement & Analytics (APCO); Director of Research (IPR), APCO Worldwide/Institute for Public Relations

  • A few important metrics beat a lot of easy ones. There is an infinite amount of social media data and an equal amount of metrics. Choose what matters to your organization.
  • Social media listening is really monitoring with a purpose.
  • Smart PR measurement requires real collaboration across silos.
  • Either align your social media to business goals or don’t even bother.
  • Most communicators measure just what’s easy to measure. About 78% of PR pros use followers as a metric. Dig deeper to really prove your work’s value.
  • Combine customer focus group data with social media metrics.
  • Understand the science of opinion and the implications for social media data and metrics.

Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social Media, Business Wire

  • Without data you’re going on gut instincts and you’re probably wrong. But use a mix of both and you’ll see your ROI soar.
  • Stop speaking about data and start talking about impact to get your organization energized about measurement.
  • A reporter’s number one metric is inbound traffic, so share and retweet their content for great media relations.
  • Measuring share of voice is great for benchmarking if you’re looking at quality coverage—not overall volume of spammy press releases.
  • If you’re building the reputation of a single person, make sure you’re also building the reputation of the organization behind them.

Case Study 2: PR Measurement at Work in the Real World

Jovan Hackley, Director of Marketing & PR, Student Loan Genius

  • If you’re in PR and you haven’t figured out what your conversion point is you’re in big trouble.
  • When working with measurement tools, nothing works perfectly out of the box. Figure out what you need to customize to get the best results.
  • If you’re not serious about measurement, then no one else in your organization will be.
  • With PR measurement, think about conversations, context, custom tools and commitment.

Luncheon Keynote Presentation: Blue Goldfish—Using Technology, Data and Analytics to Drive Differentiation and Customer Advocacy

Evan Carroll, Co-Author, Blue Goldfish: Using Technology, Data and Analytics to Drive Both Profits and Prophets

  • Four years ago 36% of companies expected to compete mostly based on customer experience. Today, 89% of companies expect to do so.
  • Hone your “info-sense” by utilizing data to really understand customers as people and personalize their service.
  • The keys to a competitive advantage are to learn about your customers faster than your competition and turn those insights into action faster than your competition.
  • 76% of people expect organizations to understand individual needs.
  • The first question for user experience should be: “What would it be like if it were magic?”
  • Always exceed expectations.

How to Measure Media Coverage and Tie It to Organizational Goals

Katie Paine, Publisher & CEO, Paine Publishing, and Johna Burke, EVP, BurrellesLuce

  • Your objectives shouldn’t be D.U.M.B (doesn’t understand my business).
  • If it’s fast, cheap and easy to get, expect it to be just as fast and easy to forget.
  • Sometimes it takes a crisis to show the value of communications. So build good relationships, don’t forget the “relations” in public relations.
  • Silver bullets work for werewolves and zombies, but not for PR. There is not one metric to rule them all.
  • Tying your business goals to media coverage isn’t showing a correlation between impressions and PR efforts.
  • Make sure you can explain your “engagement index” or “quality index” to your mother before you bring it to a meeting.
  • Annual PR measurement reporting is worthless.
  • Focus on coverage that moves the needle, not sheer volume of coverage.
  • You become what you measure.

Case Study 3: PR Measurement at Work in the Real World

Audrey Huang, Director, Marketing and Communications for Research and Education; Director Media Relations, Johns Hopkins Medicine

  • If you have many different audiences you’re trying to speak to, you’ll have to create many different messages.
  • Data can help you not only determine who your audiences are, it will also help determine the content of your messages.

Measuring Social: How to Apply Social Insights to Communications Strategy

Saul Leal, General Manage, FamilyShare Network

  • Define your KPIs from the beginning. What is better? 1000 views, 100 likes, 10 comments, 1 lead?
  • Prototype your way to success by listening to your audience and pivoting your content accordingly.
  • Determine the right balance between quality and quantity. Bad content on Facebook will negatively affect your ranking for future posts. Never post low quality content.
  • Provide insights into consumption behavior and patterns across the news reed.
  • Provide insights into daily consumer attitudes and behaviors related to specific verticals.

Paul Englert, Vice President, Marketing, C. Mondavi & Family

  • Your social media efforts can be judged like an employee, but be sure goals are realistic, you’re focusing on the best platforms and your expectations are aligned with your resources.
  • Allocate resources to both content and monitoring.
  • Consider only the social platforms your target audience prefers.
  • If you pay for extensive/expensive social monitoring and only look at the data that is available for free, you may be throwing money away that could be used for shareable content creation.
  • You are never going to make everyone happy, but pay attention to what the naysayers are saying. Determine when to change messaging and when to ignore.
  • Focus on your metrics, but don’t obsess over them.
  • Create shareable content first and foremost. This may mean limiting your branding.

Kathleen Smith, Social Media Content Manager, Defense Media Activity/Department of Defense

  • Always have defined measures of success. Your objectives should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
  • Know your baseline.
  • Numbers are not your only analytics.
  • Do the deeper dive.
  • Tweak objectives based on analytics.
  • Listen to your audience when presenting content.