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  • Tag Archive: PR measurement

    1. PR Data Insights: How to Benchmark Engagement

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      PR’s access to data has grown exponentially in the past few years, however one of the most frustrating aspects about measuring PR is the lack of industry benchmarks available.

      It’s challenging to set measurement goals without an understanding of how others in your field are faring. In fact, PR may be the last business function to have clarity around how to gauge its performance from an industry-wide perspective.

      This year, AirPR aims to change that by providing clear industry benchmarks for important metrics, like InteractionsThe whole goal of PR is to reach and activate your target audiences, so keeping tabs on changing interaction rates specifically is a must.

      To find PR’s Target Interaction Rate, which is 1.8%, we plotted the distribution of nearly 400 event and goal interaction percentages across our entire customer base, including AirPR’s own site data.

      What are events and goals, anyways?

      Events and goals are designated engagement points your website tracks by way of your analytics provider (typically Adobe Analytics or Google Analytics). Examples include demo requests, content or asset downloads, or video plays.

      This target rate of 1.8% is meant to help you better understand if the aggregate performance of your PR-driven interactions is falling above, below, or on par with the rest of your industry cohorts.

      But that’s just one way to gauge success. Another valuable way to understand performance is to zero in on the specific types of interactions that matter to your brand. While specific interactions differ from business to business, there are general categories we can delve into.

      These include events and goals tied to:

      1. Product Exploration

      Knowing which offerings potential customers are exploring can help you understand what’s of most interest or which value propositions are resonating. AirPR customers have a myriad of ways to track general product exploration.

      Two examples of events and goals that fall into the product-exploration interaction bucket are navigating from a homepage directly to a product page, or a product pricing page view. When we isolated all the events and goals tied to any type of product exploration, the average interaction rate was 2.3%.

      2. Increasing Time on Site

      Getting a potential customer to your website is only half the battle. Keeping them there long enough to explore, understand, and consider your product or service is the other half. There are many ways to increase the amount of time a visitor spends on your website.

      Two examples of events and goals that fall into the increase time-on-site bucket are when a video is played to completion or a live chat function is activated. When we isolated all the events and goals tied to increasing a visitor’s time on site, the average interaction rate was 4.7%.

      3. Product Purchase or Sign Up

      Converting a site visitor to a customer (or trial customer) is the ultimate end goal. And while not all businesses provide the explicit ability for product purchase or sign up, here are two examples of events and goals that fall into this interaction bucket: a trial download/sign up, or an order confirmation. When we isolated all the events and goals tied to product purchase or sign up, the average interaction rate was 0.8%.


      What’s most intriguing, IMHO, is to see how these average rates differ. Product exploration and increasing time on site have much higher average rates than actions that require a deeper commitment, like purchase or sign up.

      It’s also important to note that these average interaction rates are going to look different than in marketing or advertising where conversion paths are far more linear.

      PR-driven visitors might trigger different engagement points based on the content that drove them to your site in the first place. The actions taken by visitors reading a blog post could look very different than the actions taken by visitors driven by earned media.

      In the end, we hope visibility to these categories assists you in setting attainable, realistic targets for incremental growth and provides you a better understanding of the power of PR.

      Got questions about your overall interaction rate? Want to tap into this data point? Reach out to usAnd be sure to stay tuned, because we’ve got more PR benchmarks and data points to share.

       

    2. How to Drive PR Decisions with Data

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      I recently participated in the CommPRO.biz webinar “Your Path to Media Measurement.” My co-panelists Deirdre Breakenridge of Pure Performance Communications and Todd Murphy of Universal Information Services shared examples of practical PR measurement for bottom-line results including the types of data PR and communications professionals should be focusing on when creating their strategies.

      During the chat, I focused on how to create, implement, and measure data-driven PR campaigns. Because, like it or not, we often mistakenly find ourselves defining strategies based on our assumptions long before we see the numbers that should be informing them.

      So, let’s break it down…

      You’ve been asked to show how your strategies and tactics led to, or will lead to, increased value for your customers, potential customers, shareholders, and organization. To do so, you’ll need to follow a framework that will help your team and stakeholders understand your work.

      This post will cover that framework, which includes:

      • Audience
      • Goals and Objectives
      • Strategy
      • Tactics
      • Tags and Implementation
      • Measurement (KPIs and Metrics)
      • Optimization
      • Reports and Dashboards

      Audience

      Begin by compiling a short list of customers and prospective customers. Identify your target audience by writing a list of characteristics (demographics, location, industry, etc.), and then use free audience estimation tools such as Facebook and Twitter to estimate audience size.

      Business Goals and Objectives

      Make a list of your goals and objectives for various audiences. For example, your goals or objectives for existing customers may revolve around usage, retention, and renewals. For new customers, you may look at awareness, engagement, and new user signups.

      Strategy Time

      Here’s where the pieces start to come together. Say your research team has identified several thousand potential customers on Facebook that share several key characteristics with your existing customers. To reach these potential customers, you must develop strategies and tactics to effectively reach these customers on Facebook. Since social networks allow your ads to be viewed, engaged with, and shared, focus on offering content that resonates with your target audience.

      What types of content have appealed to existing customers in the past?

      How can you emulate that success with potential customers?

      What is likely to garner engagement based on past data?

      Consider the following framework as a guide for building your own strategy:

      Tactics

      Tactics should be granular, actionable stepping stones that contribute to the greater goal and objectives. An example tactic is creating an ad targeting your identified audience that leads to a downloadable case study about a customer who has seen success with your help, what worked, and why that’s the case based on the data.

      Tags and Implementation

      Technology now allows for feature-rich, customized reporting dashboards with actionable insights, competitive analysis, and metrics valued by the C-Suite.

      Before you launch a campaign, verify that you have correctly implemented the tracking codes that you’ll need to accurately provide attribution for your campaigns. For Facebook, verify that your Facebook Pixel has been implanted and your desired goals, such as a new user sign up, have been identified. Look to Facebook’s Pixel Implementation Guide for more on this.

      Measurement (KPIs and Metrics)

      Save time and resources by validating the potential for campaign success by setting proper expectations through projections and forecasts. For instance, if your budget is $10,000 for a Facebook ad campaign and the estimated cost per click (CPC) for your target audience is $1, then you can estimate around 10,000 clicks.

      If your site’s average conversion rate for Facebook, or even new visitors from social media is 1%, then you’re looking at 100 signups at a cost per acquisition of $100. If you’re an online retailer and your labor, product, and advertising costs exceed that $100 mark, you can start to see how you can adjust your forecasts and projections to validate the success of your campaigns.

      Optimization

      Marketing and sales are activity-based professions (the more you put into them, the more you’ll get out of them). The question is, how do you prioritize the “it” to get the most out of your advertising dollars, time, and effort.

      This is where our optimization cycles come in:

      Audience → Campaign Objectives → Strategies and Tactics → Implementation → Measurement → Insights → Repeat

      Reports and Dashboards

      Dashboards are a conglomeration of various reports and data (metrics) that you choose to showcase. If your C-suite is interested in revenue, you’ll need to connect organizational revenue with your marketing efforts. The good news is customer relationship management (CRM) software such as Salesforce, enable you to input your own business data (closed opportunities) and connect it to 3rd party applications, including your various marketing activities.

      Conclusion

      There is an abundance of data available for PR practitioners to 1) validate their efforts, 2) support sales and marketing, and 3) discover new business opportunities. By focusing on top and middle funnel activities — Who is your brand’s target audience, are they aware of your services, and how are they currently interacting with your brand? — PR pros can offer a new perspective on their existing business data.

      It starts with taking a look at data, understanding the various metrics and characteristics, and connecting those insights with campaign activities. To download my full presentation from the CommPRO.biz webinar, check it out on SlideShare.

    3. Why Long-Tail PR Is Every Company’s Secret Weapon

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      As we bid summer adieu and get back to business as usual, it seems apropos to shine a spotlight on the hard work of communications professionals and the data-driven PR tactics they employ.

      Let’s do that by diving into the topic of long-tail PR, considering how content can continue to ‘work’ for you far beyond its original publish date. But what is long-tail PR?.

      Long-tail public relations is when earned, owned, or newswire content either:

      • Drives meaningful impact for a brand long after its publish date

      OR

      • Realizes peak performance far after it has been made public

      In effect, long-tail PR occurs when content dishes out dividends (social shares, traffic back to your site, etc.) weeks, months, or even years following its publishing.

      In the past, publishing content or securing media placements were viewed as the ultimate PR pinnacles. You aimed, shot, and scored. However, in today’s Age of the Customer, the impact of evergreen content can be felt or realized far beyond the day it goes live. The fact of the matter is that most content lives on indefinitely.

      We also must consider how content consumption often doesn’t coincide with content publishing. Just because you publish an article at noon on a Monday doesn’t mean your customers will read it then and there. They may save it to read on their lunch break days later, flag it for sharing with their team in their next quarterly update, or re-stumble upon it through search in a year. This is a huge contributing factor to long-tail PR.

      This is great news, especially since producing original content takes a lot of time and resources. Understanding what types of content deliver for your brand in the long-term can ultimately be the difference between spinning your wheels and consistently driving meaningful outcomes.

      At AirPR, we’re seeing the effects of long-tail content in the PR outcome data for nearly all of our customers who are leveraging AirPR Analyst, our measurement and reporting software.

      I’ll give you two examples.

      Example 1

      One of our enterprise customers in the financial industry recently discovered that the vast majority of their blog content has a 30-day lag time. It takes about one month from the time owned media is published for that content to be read or drive traffic to other pages of their website.

      With this information, the customer is planning additional social media pushes and promotional tactics for blog content the month following its publish date to help increase potency.

      Example 2

      Here at AirPR, we have content from 2013 and 2014 that still drives traffic to our site and garners engagement.

      Long-Tail PR

      By analyzing the nuances of this content, we are able to make stronger editorial decisions around the topics we cover and we’re able to choose our content partnerships more strategically.

      So, how can you ensure you’re getting the most out of your PR and content efforts? We’ve found that long-tail PR content tends to fall into three categories:

      • Content that educates the market
      • Content that showcases customers
      • Content that positions your brand as a resource

      Thought provoking analogies, alignment with business or industry trends, useful data sets, and compelling visuals are all ways to increase the probability of long-tail PR.

      Not every piece of content is going to grow a long tail, but there are tactics which will exponentially increase the possibility. In our on-demand world, delayed content gratification may be your biggest source of public relations success, so don’t forget to turn around and look back at legacy content that could still be work, work, work, work, working for you.

    4. Vet Media Agencies With These 5 Measurement Questions

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      A few weeks ago, our Director of PR Engineering published a post about how to best manage outsourced PR as a guide for those looking to streamline their processes. I expanded upon this thought recently in the Forbes article “Six Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Media Agency,” noting that being crystal clear on how success will be measured is paramount to defining that relationship from the get-go.

      It’s much easier to focus on the qualitative instead of the quantitative — just like how most of us would rather spend our time reading a book instead of skimming a spreadsheet. But trust me: Your CEO, CMO, and VP of communications care far more about the numbers and the quantitative ways that public relations supports the greater business strategy than they do the qualitative.

      So let me make it easy on you. The next time you’re vetting the abilities of a media agency, ask them these five measurement questions and make sure they have answers for you before you move forward. If you handle PR in house, consider this an exercise and discuss with your teammates.

      Measurement Questions

      It’s also a good idea to ask a prospective agency if they’re using any tools to help track success, present results effectively, etc. The way in which they present that information can be quite telling of their tech-savviness, indicating some of the value they could potentially bring to the table.

      What PR metric matters most to your senior leaders? Tweet it to me @RebekahIliff.

    5. Common Math Mistakes That PR People Make

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      Let’s be honest. The typical PR person has an aversion to math.

      Couple that with the fact that the PR industry has historically lacked the type of quantitative performance data that’s usually available to marketing teams, and you’re left with a large group of professional communicators who are prevented from tapping into insights that could help them perform better in their roles.

      Here are some examples of common number-blunders. If you’re making these mistakes, you’re downplaying the role of PR:

      Math Mistake #1: The Law of Large Numbers

      For data to be statistically relevant, you need a sufficiently large sample size for your estimates to have reliable predictive value. Pitching survey data is a common area where this issue comes into play. For example, Penny the PR manager has a great idea for an internal communications survey about job satisfaction, but journalists are unlikely to justify using her data because the sample is simply not big enough to return meaningful results.

      Math Mistake #2: Reporting % Growth

      One of the most egregious positioning errors is when small companies pitch extremely high percentages as impressive growth rates. This often causes the adverse effect: instead of “Whoa, Company X crushed it last year!” the reader thinks: “Whoa, I had no idea Company X was that small to begin with.”

      If Sammy’s String Cheese had $2,500 in sales in 2014 and $70,000 in sales in 2015, it would be mathematically true to say Sammy’s String Cheese grew 2700% despite a relatively small increase in revenue of just $67,500. When a bigger company goes from 10MM to 20MM, the growth figure is 100% but revenue is actually up by 10MM. Business-minded people get the nuances of this and gawk at those who don’t.

      Math Mistake #3: Reporting % Change

      A similar error occurs when calculating % change. If your employee count grows from 100 to 400 in a year, many people would eyeball that as 400% growth when it’s really 300% growth or 3x plus your original number. You can’t include your starting point as part of any growth you report. That’s just not how it works, folks.

      Math Mistake #4: Believing in Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE)

      Since much of the influence of PR is felt indirectly, the industry has struggled to develop effective proxy measurements to connect PR success to revenue-related figures. Sadly, AVE (also known as ACE or Advertising Cost Equivalency) is a proxy measurement that is prone to lead people astray.

      For marketers, it’s much easier to arrive at reliable figures for return on investment. If you spent $100K on AdWords and sold $150K of product to people who clicked on the ads and converted, then your campaign returned 1.5x. Since most marketing measurement is based on link tracking, earned media, which rarely features links, is especially difficult to accurately measure in this way. (Only ~15% of all earned media includes backlinks.) Without links, there’s no way to determine direct causation.

      Using AVE to assert that the cash value of earned media is proportional to the amount of money a brand would have paid in order to purchase advertising is incorrect for so many reasons. What you pay for something is not necessarily what it’s worth.

      Math Mistake #5: Overvaluing Impressions

      Impressions sound the most impressive, but while representing the total number of people who could have seen a given piece of content does provide some insight into your ability to reach large numbers of people, impressions do not tell you whether or not you’ve accomplished a business goal.

      You can use one gallon of water or 10 gallons of water to wash your hands after handling bacon. Though 100 gallons sounds like it could give you a better chance of accomplishing your goal of cleaning your hands, if you don’t have any soap, more water isn’t going to help much. If your approach is ineffective, no amount of impressions will drive increased performance.

      What you need to know is what works. Even if the number of PR-driven conversions is just 100, therein lies the answer to improving PR performance. What content, publications, or messages were most successful? That’s the important question. Not, “How can I reach the largest number of people with a message I can’t be certain is influencing anyone?”

      No one’s perfect, and we all have room to grow in certain areas of our professions. But if you’re a PR pro, you don’t have to fall victim to the embarrassingly common math mistakes outlined above. Rest assured that there are tools today that can help you effectively measure the worth of PR, and remember that it’s all about asking the right questions.

      How are you ensuring that your efforts are impactful?

    6. Up Your PR Game Using BuzzFeed’s Measurement Mindset

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      I read an article in Fortune recently titled BuzzFeed: Days of Counting Pageviews and Unique Visitors Are Over that made my PR engineering heart jump with joy.

      In the piece, media-and-tech-beat writer Mathew Ingram examines how BuzzFeed is shifting from so-called fuzzy metrics, like unique visitors or subscribers, to more engagement-driven metrics that align with the unique goals of specific content.

      YES! OMG! BUST OUT THE BUBBLY!

      If media giants like BuzzFeed move towards metrics that matter, its partner in crime (PR) can’t be far behind. And let’s be real; This is one of the smartest shifts the comms world has seen to date.

      Not only will BuzzFeed be able to better gauge the effectiveness of its output (which is the first step towards optimization), it will also have a clear picture of success. And really, isn’t that what we’re all after in the end?

      Here are a few key takeaways from the piece, plus how you can super-charge your PR game using the BuzzFeed measurement mindset.

      Takeaway 1: It’s time to re-evaluate the emphasis we all place on traditionally tracked metrics in lieu of more modern metrics.

      BuzzFeed is moving away from unique visitors and pageviews which is pretty much the equivalent of PR’s impressions and social shares. Yes, there is some merit to these measurements, but there are far more powerful metrics to focus on. Identifying these new metrics does require an investment at the outset.

      As Ingram astutely states, “The right thing to pay attention to depends on what the goal of the content is, where it appears, whether it’s a video or a photo or a news article, and how the network or platform it is on functions.”

      Sounds a lot like the 3 Content World questions every PR pro needs to ask about their output:

      1. Content: What format am I choosing based on the audience I’m trying to reach? (Text, Video, Visual, etc.)

      2. Channel: What conduit am I using to deliver this content because it can best reach my target audience? (Earned, Owned, Newswire, etc.)

      3. Measurement: How am I defining success? (Number of views, amount of conversions, message pull through, etc.)

      What this really boils down to is content-specific measurement. Success, and the metrics you use to demonstrate it, are going to look different depending on what you create, where you seed it, and who you’re trying to reach.

      BuzzFeed knows this and now, you do too! 🙂

      BuzzFeed iconTakeaway 2: BuzzFeed’s team continually re-evaluates whether or not they’re looking at the right things when measuring a type of content’s effectiveness.

      That’s right. Today’s measures of success will not necessarily be what matters 6 months down the road.

      BuzzFeed publisher Dao Nguyen calls the continual application of healthy skepticism “re-anchoring.” BuzzFeed’s team never stops looking at all the ways they’ve done things historically and questioning their relevance. Ingram describes it as, “…an almost scientific approach of checking to see whether the thing being measured is actually the thing that is most important.”

      For PR pros and content producers, this should be a reminder that what worked last year (or even last quarter), isn’t necessarily the measurement practice you should be using today as consumer and media behavior changes over time.

      Think about where your customers spend there time has changed, and consider “following them” to the places where they naturally “hang out” if you haven’t done so already.

      Are you meeting your customers where they are or are you still trying to hook and pull?

      Takeaway 3: There isn’t one golden ticket for successful measurement.

      Silver bullets rarely exist in PR and the same goes for measurement. The key is always to consider the goal of specific types of content.

      Consider a video, for example. Are you more concerned that your audience shares the video or watches the video the whole way through? Maybe a combo of both. What’s the goal with a short-form article? Perhaps a lot of shares or maybe it’s seeing key brand messaging appear in the copy.

      What this means, PR pros and content creators, is that one size doesn’t fit all. Just like how there isn’t one surefire PR strategy that works for every e-commerce brand, success metrics have to be thought about in the context of your business.

      What do you think of BuzzFeed’s recent measurement moves? Got another way PR can take a page from the book of BuzzFeed? Let us know in the comments below!

    7. Romancing the C-Suite: How to Communicate Results That Resonate

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      Do you remember the first time you reported PR results to a C-suite executive? With sweaty palms, a beating heart, and just enough adrenaline to make you trip over your words, it’s really not that different than being in love, huh?

      Sure, CEOs are far less likely to be wooed than a Tinder date, but there are certain steps you can take to put the odds in your favor when communicating PR results, why they’re important, and how you’ll evolve your strategy based on those findings.

      Follow these three steps next time it’s on you to communicate value to decision makers, and you just may find yourself in a very sweet place.

      1. Begin by evaluating how much your executive knows about content.

      A comic wouldn’t try out new material before taking the temperature of the room, so why would you report PR results to your CEO or C-suite executive without knowing how much they know about content in general?  

      Think about it in the context of where the industry is today. Today’s PR plans are not PR plans at all, they are robust PESO strategies made up of Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned media. If your CEO used to be a CMO, they’ll likely have quite a bit of knowledge in this area, but not everyone is so lucky and you may need to take this as an opportunity to (respectfully) educate. Use examples to reframe the state of PR today for them, and make sure they know what you’re considering when you evaluate a piece of content or PR initiative.

      Tell them that all PR is content, and content is made up of:

      Channels

      • Earned (publications like The New York Times)
      • Newswires (press releases)
      • Owned (company blogs)

      Formats

      • Text (long or short form)
      • Video (amateur or professional)
      • Visuals (photos, infographics, etc.)

      Measurement

      • Analytics
      • Insights
      • Benchmarking

      Here’s a go-to visual you can use when you need to explain how it all works, to C-suite execs or other cross-divisional partners:

      content world

      2. Only report on what matters.

      In our information-rich, digitally-driven environment, we need to continually evaluate and decide what matters most. Think about which pieces of media or content help you properly convey your key messages, reach your desired audience, generate top-of-funnel business leads, and map straight back to your business goals. Those are the pieces to share.

      A few tips for reporting:

      Top-line and bottom-line it.

      • The best of the month was X, and what this means is Y.

      Use numbers to tell the story.

      • This resulted in X% changes month over month, and X% increases…  

      Speak to business wins.

      • This is what X activity did for business goal Y.

      Share what’s next.

      • With X data, we are going to focus on Y.

      What that looks like in real life:

      • Our CNN article drove roughly 4,000 potential customers and nearly 14% of them took some sort of action on bacon.com.
      • Compare that with digital advertising, in which .02% to 2% of ads ever drive someone toward action on bacon.com. Molto impressivo!
      • We increased our earned media coverage by nearly 17% this month, which means more exposure for the brand. What a win!

      Lastly…

      3. When reporting, always use the 70% Noise Reduction Rule.

      In other words, dramatically reduce whatever you’re planning on sharing with your C-level executive. Communicators can be verbose, and we sometimes layer in too much irrelevant information.

      Look at everything you thought you needed to say and instead share only 30% of what you were originally going to communicate. Think about how much more of an impact you’ll make when you’ve whittled a 10-slide deck down to 3 slides of impactful data that can help the business immediately.

      But don’t take my word for it though. Gerry Tschopp, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at Experian said it well, “I want to know enough about PR ‘wins’ so I can speak to business leaders in key data points or success stories that drive business and reputation. And then communicate every month, how we perform against objectives that support our business strategies.”

      In closing, to truly romance your C-suite executives, (metaphorically) text them less.

    8. 3 Keys to the Virtuous PR Cycle

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      When it comes to PRTech, there are two key components to achieving success in this new world order: Technological investment and human capital.

      The problems tend to arise when PR loses sight of the human component and only focuses on the shiny, new tools in the PRTech ecosystem.

      Technological innovation is powerful, but all the tech in the world won’t replace the human brain. PR still needs critical thinking and deductive reasoning to figure out the story in the data technology provides.

      Leveraging PR measurement technology solutions are no exception to this rule. They can be extremely helpful in automating activities that pull you away from relationship building and strategic planning, so why do many in PR shy away from shining the PR measurement spotlight on their efforts?

      The fear of not measuring up is real, but we want to show you how taking 3 steps after planning and execution will spur a continuous cycle of optimized PR guaranteed to make you look like the rock star you are.

      Let us walk you through it:

      1. Measure First: Measurement should inform if you are meeting your goals.

      2. Evaluate Second: Evaluation should signal what tactics to continue to use, which actions to add in, and where you should make strategic cuts.

      3. Empower Always: Empowerment should position you to do everything more effectively.

      So why are evaluation and empowerment such crucial counterparts to PR measurement? Let’s dive in.

      Why Evaluation Is Crucial

      • It enables systematic determination of a PR activity’s merit, worth, and significance
      • It offers an assessment tool to aid in future decision making
      • It provides insight into the degree of achievement or value as it relates to main business objectives
      • It facilitates reflection to assist in the identification of areas in need of change
      • It produces a structured interpretation of what was accomplished as it relates to the original predictions while drawing lessons from completed actions or project

      The result of evaluation? EMPOWERMENT!

      Element of Empowerment (2)

      The complementary elements of evaluation and empowerment, when executed in conjunction with PR measurement, spur a beneficial loop known as the Virtuous PR Cycle.

      Each component of the cycle has a positive effect of the next and plays an integral role in assisting PR pros in continuously executing the most impactful PR.
      Virtuous PR CycleAs you can see, when measurement, evaluation, and empowerment work together, PR becomes a self-perpetuating ecosystem opportunity.

      Finally, PR can stop fearing measurement and embrace it as its greatest source of insight and information.

      Measurement will surface which PR and communications activities are most effective for your brand. Evaluation will reveal what opportunities are being missed and where to gain mindshare. Empowerment will position you to demonstrate how PR efforts translate to business impact and value.

      Welcome to virtuous PR. We’re thrilled you’re here.

    9. Math: PR Style

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      Who remembers sitting in your [insert preferred mathematics class here] thinking, “When in the name of Merlin’s beard am I ever going to use this absurd theorem in real life? This feels like a gigantic waste of time.

      I can honestly say that there were many an afternoon where that exact thought went through my head. Which may explain why I chose a less numerically minded career path.

      But here’s the rub.

      The closer I look at everything we do here at AirPR (and everything PR pros do in general), the more I realize just how intertwined Math is in our day-to-day. From time management to data visualizations that allow audiences to extract meaning from numbers, math is everywhere.

      Why PR should love mathPR measurement guru, Shonali Burke, sums it up nicely: “If you’re managing a client’s budget, you’re doing Math. If you’re using data points to pitch a story, you’re doing Math. If you’re managing a research project which comprises surveys, you’re doing Math. If you’re running your own PR business, you’re absolutely doing Math.” she asserts.

      “And when measuring PR, even if your metrics are primarily output metrics, you’re doing Math. What else would you call counting all those impressions, hits, and followers? I think many [PR] pros think ‘differential calculus’ or other complicated functions when they hear ‘Math’. However, regular Math? Everyone does it without even knowing it, so it’s time to stop being frightened of it!”

      We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Shonali.

      In order to boost your computational confidence, we tapped a few mathematically minded folks to help uncover 5 hidden ways PR pros are using math.

      1. Probability Theory & Classification

      To see these two principles in action, look at the intrinsic ranking methods used to identify priorities and hierarchies before, during, and after PR campaigns. Not every PR activity gets the same amount of attention or time dedicated to it. By weighting outputs, ranking outlets, and making explicit choices to use some words or messages more than others, you’re totally enacting the underlying principles of Probability Theory and Classification. Go you!

      (more…)