Don’t let your organization get to the final stages of planning a PR campaign and then say, “This campaign looks good, but how do I know it’s good?” At this point, you’re already too late. In order to have an illuminative PR measurement plan it has to be thought about early and often.
Having a solid measurement strategy in place is a great way to gain respect within your organization and gather expansive knowledge of the market—not to mention a higher budget. As goals and objectives are getting hashed out during brainstorming sessions, keep in mind how you're going to measure each one as they come up.
As we know, goal setting is critical for a solid measurement program. When goals are clear, the results will be, too. You’re already working at a loss if you don’t know what you need before you start tracking, Kirstie Foster, director of corporate and brand communications with General Mills, said during the PR News Measurement Conference in Chicago this morning.
Foster shared with attendees these three ways to tell if your PR is working or not.
Set and track your goals. Clearly lay out your objectives, target audiences, KPIs and goals. It’s important to think about how you’re going to measure each of these aspects as they are developed.
Measure your breakthrough. With traditional media look to the tone, tier, use of key messages, type of mentions and spokesperson inclusion. For social media take a look at tone, shares, influencer engagement and key behaviors like hashtag usage and website clickthroughs.
Move beyond simple impressions totals in your reporting. Create a consistent one-page snapshot of your effort for each individual campaign. Be accountable to your goals by using dashboards and other tools to help you layout your information in an easy-to-understand way that proves the value of your work.
Follow Kirstie: @kirstiefoster
Follow Mark: @MarkRenfree