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  • Tag Archive: PR reporting

    1. 4 Signs Your PR Measurement Practices Could Be Better

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      PR measurement

      By now you’ve likely begun to implement some updated PR measurement practices to more accurately prove the value of your work. I’m talking data that dives far deeper than impressions and press hits.

      Hopefully, you are doing your due diligence in analyzing and interpreting PR data that can help you continually refine your communications strategy and realign your tactics. But how do you know if your measurement practices are truly where they should be?

      Here are four signs you may have some room to grow in the “modern PR measurement” department, along with tips for forging forward.

      1. You can’t recall explaining the relevance of your go-to PR metrics to coworkers beyond your immediate team.

      Part of implementing more effective PR measurement practices is educating fellow teams within your organization so they understand what success looks like (in your world). If you report PR wins and data to a greater marketing group, but never take the time to explain your measurement system, it makes it nearly impossible for anyone to benefit from what you’re sharing.

      When explaining how modern PR measurement works to those who are unfamiliar, follow the advice of Ketchum SVP KayAnn Schoeneman and consider the various stages of PR measurement: 1. Output (media relationships developed, placements gained, awareness garnered, perceptions changed), 2. Outcomes (social amplification, website traffic driven, actions taken), and 3. Impact (overall as it pertains to various goals).

      When your colleagues have a clear window into how you think about your work and decide what justifies a success, they’ll be able to draw more of their own insights.

      2. You have a hard time proving the value of your work.

      As AirPR’s Chief Strategy Officer Rebekah Iliff has noted, “If you cannot translate PR to business value, it’s very difficult to prove success and be a leader.” Many marketers measure results against the KPIs they and their colleagues are used to — such as impressions — and not necessarily against the metrics that truly show successful performance.

      Make sure the entire team understands how various PR and marketing metrics relate to each other, the customer journey, and your company’s business objectives. For example, does your marketing team realize that PR is a driver of high-quality, top-of-funnel leads?

      3. You don’t feel comfortable articulating PR’s value.

      Here’s an important reminder from Jennefer Witter, CEO of NYC-based PR firm The Boreland Group: “You must always be able to defend what you’re doing, and explain why it’s a benefit.”

      When you present results, think about how you can best demonstrate a solid understanding of “new-world PR metrics” so there’s a focus on lessons learned and how you’ll evolve your strategy moving forward rather than an explanation of the work at hand. Proper articulation of PR’s value is all about providing meaningful context, and practice makes perfect.

      4. You’re not sure how to replicate success.

      Julia Monti, VP of Global Communications at Mastercard reminds us: “Data is not just about measuring success. Also use data to inform strategy.” Change the perspective on measurement from “reporting results” to “a guide for next steps.”

      After proving or disproving your predictions of what’s driving the results you’re seeking, use those performance indicators to inform your strategies and tactics. Once you are measuring the right data, review the results on an ongoing basis and use that review as a guide for evolving your efforts. That will make the difference between simply doing what’s asked of you and what actually works.

    2. What Every Marketing Boss Loves

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      Marketing bosses think with their heads and not their hearts. That’s because (a) their jobs depend on it and (b) the marketing and media landscape is constantly changing. What worked last year in a public relations or marketing campaign, or even last week, may not work again today.

      To boot, successful marketing bosses are increasingly running their meetings like a finance team, meaning they’re crunching the numbers and considering ways to justify costs before moving onto creative brainstorms.

      So for this Valentine’s Day, we’ve identified five behaviors guaranteed to woo your CMO, VP of Marketing, etc. Here’s what every marketing boss loves:

      1. Goals

      Goals, conversions, and events allow you to specify and measure the outcomes of an action. Before launching any campaign, ask your marketing boss: “What are our goals?”

      The answer to this question will allow you and your team to set proper expectations on the outcome of your campaigns. Setting these expectations from the beginning empower you to work in an outcome-driven way and focus on reaching a specific benchmark.

      2. Attribution

      Nothing dampers a good romance like taking credit for something you didn’t do. The next time you’re viewing campaign reports, analyze how you’re assigning credit across various channels. Think along the lines of…

      Why is direct traffic such as high provider of conversions and assisted conversions?

      And how can I give credit to members of my team for their hard work?

      3. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

      Marketing bosses love conversion rates about as much as they love goal completions. Today’s marketers provide data and insights that influence business decisions. KPIs, such as a specific click-through rate, put an emphasis on the performance of key messaging and creative against a target audience, whereas conversion rates speak to how an audience responds to completing a specific action once they’ve arrived on a landing/offer page.

      Identify key metrics that ensure the success of your campaign to show your marketing boss you’re thinking about all the metrics they love: leads, qualified leads, new opportunities, and revenue.

      4. Benchmarks

      Benchmarking shows that you’re going above and beyond your own norm. Benchmark your key metrics against periods of time, competitors, and industry data. Marketing bosses love this, especially when you provide key benchmarks and information that show you are outperforming the competition, the industry, or your own historical records.

      5. Predictability

      Forecast future success with market research and benchmarks. Based on your benchmarks and KPIs, what forecasts can you provide to your boss? If December is a slow season for your brand, can you validate that there will be a drop in conversions and sales?

      Show your boss you’re thinking about the success of your days, weeks, months and even years ahead, and they’ll appreciate your contributions even more.

    3. PR Reporting for People Who Care About Data

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      The thing about PR reporting is that it’s really fun when you have positive results to share and the opposite when you don’t. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Even when a campaign doesn’t work out the way you’d hoped it would, valuable learnings always lie between the lines.

      That’s why, this week, we’re sharing our top posts focused on reporting the qualitative and quantitative metrics that matter most to your CEO, CMO, or head of communications.

      The first one, “Common Math Mistakes PR People Make,” identifies a few “problem reporting areas” that many of us, number-savvy or not, fall victim to. For example, reporting percentage growth can imply radically different things for small as opposed to large businesses. Read more here to make sure you’re not committing these communications faux pas.  

      And as much as we’d like to think we’ve nailed how to report PR results to the C-suite, chances are we still have a bit to learn given that AVE and impressions no longer rule the PR world. In order to report the metrics that matter, consider how the person you report to sees PR. Do they understand that all content is essentially part of your company’s narrative, or would it be beneficial to explain to them the idea of paid, earned, shared and owned media first? The “70% noise reduction rule” will help you with this too. Read the rest here.

      Lastly, this article shares a few mini case studies about how Bayer Corporation and The Coca-Cola Company effectively measure and report internal communications results. These brands have comms down to a science, and you should too. Check it out on Forbes.

      PR-reporting primer adjourned.

    4. 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.