Reporting the data from a communications campaign is more than just writing up a tally of various metrics. Too many communicators try to use measurement simply as an end in itself, a gauge of how well a campaign performed after it’s over. Rather, analytics should inform every stage of the planning process, says Carrie Schum, executive vice president of strategic planning, analytics and research at Porter Novelli.
With AMEC’s Measurement Month just completed, we asked Weber Shandwick’s president of measurement and analytics Allyson Hugley to reflect on the state of PR measurement as well as how PR pros can change the mindset about the importance of measurement and using data to glean business insights as opposed to proving the worth of the PR function.
When it comes to measuring your PR and communications efforts, more is not always better. Janneke van Geuns, head of insights and analytics at Google, says that she has seen communicators who try to collect and track an overabundance of metrics. But collecting more data isn’t going to bring about better insights, she says. Instead, communicators should break through the clutter of unnecessary (and just plain meaningless) metrics to focus on the ones that truly matter to you and your organization.
For many businesses, leads and sales are primary KPIs. But before you can track sales, you have to generate them—and standing out from the crowd on social media is no easy task. Online consumers can anticipate when ads are coming and know when and how to skip them. Fortunately, major platforms, including Facebook, Snapchat and Pinterest, continue to develop new technologies to help generate and track sales, helping to prove the ROI of social media ads.
Marketers are trained to watch engagement, track reach, respond to comments and keep an eye out for influencers on social media. But above and beyond how many shares and click throughs a post receives, the question your senior leaders really want to know is, “What’s the ROI of your social media efforts?” If you want more budget, headcount or respect within your organization, then you better have an answer to that question.
Each April, PR News inducts into its Measurement Hall of Fame communications professionals who have played longtime leadership roles in helping to define and expand industry measurement strategies, programs and standards. This year’s inductees—Elizabeth Rector, John Gilfeather, Richard Bagnall and Mike Daniels—will be honored during a special ceremony April 21 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. during PR News’ Measurement Conference.
Before she measures the success of any campaign, January Williams begins with the question, “What am I asking the audience to do?” Williams, the director of online communications and outreach for the nonprofit Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), doesn’t try to be all things on all platforms. While some initiatives, like increasing the CDF’s number of followers, are easy to measure, most of what the organization does—when issuing legislative calls to action or fundraising, for example—is all about engagement. Here are three ways she uses analytics to drive action.
Trying to separate the signal from the noise when it comes to PR measurement can be a daunting task. There is so much data at your disposal that it’s tempting to try and embrace it all. But one of the most common traps companies fall into when starting a measurement program is in taking too wide of a view of what should be measured, says Jessica Onick, corporate public relations program manager at B2B software firm Citrix. “The biggest mistake that we as PR people make is the tendency to want to measure the universe,” she said.
There is a vibrant ecosystem of services tailored to measuring Twitter—vanity metrics and beyond.
How management reviews and assesses the performance of its employees can have a major impact on morale within a company, the image it projects to the public, and its brand value.