Measuring PR beyond coverage and content

by | Nov 11, 2019

In an industry that has endless amounts of information, it couldn’t be easier to measure the effectiveness and impact of your public relations activity, but only if you know what to measure and how.

As we know, the modern media landscape is becoming more fluid and complex. It’s also becoming smarter. Measuring content and coverage alone is not enough to understand if you are reaching the right audiences. New technologies and business demands have opened up a whole new world for measuring PR and communications activity.

Today, we are able to transform traditional metrics such as mentions, share of voice (SOV) and sentiment with data-driven metrics to ensure smart business decisions are made.

The following key metrics enhancements are worth considering:

Trade SOV for engagement

Share of voice (SOV) is a measure of the market your brand owns compared to your competitors. It acts as a gauge for your brand visibility and how much you dominate the conversation in your industry. The more market share you have, the greater popularity and authority you are likely to have among users and prospective customers.

But what if having the strongest overall voice isn’t having the right impact on business results, or reaching the right audience?

That’s where engagement comes in. Consider measuring engagement with specific authors, influencers and audiences, instead of focusing solely on overall share of voice. This will ensure that you are able to identify where your brand is already a trusted voice and expand these areas into larger communications.

Opt for business impact over mentions

We are all guilty of tracking our mentions on social media. But how much use is simply knowing how many times your brand or product was mentioned without any additional context?

You can easily add that context yourself by layering your mentions metrics with digital analytics tools, such as Google Analytics.

Google Analytics will demonstrate how mentions impact different variables, right down to the number of impressions. This will give you a better idea of how your brand’s reach is driving critical business outcomes.

Focus on media quality over sentiment

Sentiment analysis, also known as opinion mining, is the analysis of the feelings (i.e. attitudes, emotions and opinions) behind the words using natural language processing tools. It’s looking beyond the number of likes, shares or comments you get on an ad campaign, press release, blog post, and video to understand how people are responding to it.

As PR professionals, being able to capture the complexity of emotional responses helps us determine if our social and content marketing initiatives are driving the actions that we planned for.  However, the one problem with sentiment, is that it only has three outputs – positive, neutral and negative – which doesn’t provide a clear indication of brand health or an understanding of which messages are resonating in real time.

Consider combining sentiment with a media quality score that measures five key dimensions central to modern media coverage, prominence, frequency, redistribution, reach and sentiment.

By making these key metrics enhancements you could greatly increase value and insight to your business. Data analytics can only take you so far, these metrics and tools can help take your business to the next level.

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