Is Your PR Working? Four Measurements to Consider.

For many companies, there’s no better feeling than seeing positive media coverage about your brand. Not only is it a powerful way to build credibility and raise awareness, but it’s also a great way to further your business objectives. That is, if you know which elements you should value and measure.

analytics

While some PR agencies use publicity value as the be-all, end-all factor in determining the value of PR, we try to stay away from this as much as possible. Why? There are two main reasons. For one, the way that agencies arrive at this number is nebulous at best. Secondly, we’re much more concerned with the actual business results driven by PR versus an ambiguous publicity value that doesn’t tell us any key sales metrics, such as the number of leads produced or sales closed as a result of the media placement.

With this in mind, here are four factors you should always consider when measuring the effectiveness of your PR campaign.

Calculate share of voice beyond just your competitors

We measure results not only by the volume of media coverage, but also through the share of voice relative to both competitors and keywords. Understanding how often your brand is mentioned compared to your competitors is important to track over time in order to gauge the success of your PR efforts. Keyword share of voice shows how your brand has (or has not) earned its place among a certain set of keywords or topics relevant to their product.

Evaluate the quality of media placements

Another metric that can be taken into account for PR measurement is the quality of a media placement. When gauging the quality of each story, we look at a variety of factors, including whether a brand spokesman is quoted, if a link to the website is provided, if the story is a more in-depth profile versus a brief mention in a story, whether the sentiment is positive, negative or neutral, and if the outlet has shared the story on social media.

Is it influencing business results?

We also evaluate which types of media placements drive the best business results for our clients. Especially for b-to-b companies, there are many instances when a placement in a specialized trade publication can be far more impactful than a top-tier national media outlet. By analyzing our clients’ Google Analytics, we can determine which media placements drive the most qualified sales leads.

In fact, when recently doing just that for a b-to-c client, we discovered that the top referral source to its website was not The Today Show, Good Morning America or one of the other top national media hits we obtained for them. Instead, it was a very niche website with a much smaller audience that generated the most traffic to their website. Sure, the bigger marquee pieces of media coverage are phenomenal to have from an exposure and credibility standpoint, but ultimately the smaller, more targeted media outlets may result in better business outcomes.

When evaluating the traffic our PR efforts are driving for clients, we’re also looking to Google Analytics to determine if it’s high quality traffic. If our PR is effective, we should be seeing the bounce rate decrease, while pages per session and time spent on the website increase.

Track the behavior of sales prospects

Website user behavior also offers a trove of information for measuring PR efforts. For example, you can track behaviors such as how many people downloaded a content item (such as a whitepaper) and how many of these downloads turn into a sale. This tells you if the leads that you’re bringing to your brand’s website using a PR tactic are qualified leads that have a substantial impact on the bottom line.

Above all else, we stress to clients that PR is a sales function – rather than an extension of marketing. We’re distributing content and information about their brand that needs to have a measurable sales impact, not just regurgitate marketing messaging.

Would you like us to conduct an audit of your current PR results? If you’d like help in determining the effectiveness of your current PR campaign, give us a shout here.

We’re Hiring!

Job Cannon


Hoping to avoid squeezing down into a job cannon? Well, then you’re in luck because we’re looking for a new Account Executive to join our team here at Dittoe PR. Check out our job description below and contact us if you think you have what it takes.

Public Relations Account Executive Job Description

Firm Description: Dittoe Public Relations, a fast paced Indianapolis-based public relations agency, was founded in 1999 on the premise that clients deserve better—a higher level of service and greater results. A premier public relations agency with high-tech roots, Dittoe PR has grown to include an impressive roster of clients in many industries, including consumer electronics, retail, education, healthcare, gaming, financial services, consumer gadgets and toys. Relentless in the pursuit of excellence for our clients, we pride ourselves on exceeding expectations every day—that means custom PR strategies, innovative ideas and flawless execution.

Just as our clients rely on our knowledge and expertise, so do members of the media. Our reputation for delivering timely, interesting stories perfectly crafted to the needs of each reporter and outlet’s audience is second to none. We are an agency that journalists rely on when looking for the latest products, the best emerging companies and the hottest trends. Our years of experience have resulted in longstanding personal relationships with journalists that are continually passed down to incoming generations of employees. Our team has a passionate commitment to client service. There is no substitute for great communication. Our clients know we are instantly accessible, whether they need information on daily activities or seek senior-level counsel. From day one, we work tirelessly to earn and maintain our clients’ confidence and respect. It is no coincidence that many of our clients know each other—they are our best advocates.

Requirements/Skills: Dittoe Public Relations has an immediate opening for an Account Executive responsible for providing public relations counsel and support activities for clients. The ideal candidate will have excellent communication skills (both verbal and written), strong creativity, high energy and an outgoing personality. A strong emphasis is placed on strategic account management. We need self-starters who enjoy generating media coverage for our clients.

Limited travel is required for press tours, trade shows and analyst meetings. Preference will go towards those with at least 2-4 years experience in public relations/media relations (agency experience is a plus).

Qualifications:

  • 2-4 years of public relations/media relations experience (agency experience is a plus)
  • Smart, aggressive, creative, innovative risk-taker with strong writing and media relations skills
  • Must be a talented and versatile writer with creative and technical writing experience
  • Experience pitching national media
  • Successful track record at developing integrated public relations and social media campaigns
  • Proven ability to manage multiple client accounts
  • Ability to thrive in an extremely fast paced environment

To Apply: Please send a cover letter, resume and writing samples to:
Christy Chen, director of business development
Dittoe Public Relations
2815 E. 62nd Street
Suite 300
Indianapolis, IN 46220
Or email: christy@dittoepr.com
No phone calls please.

How Does PR Affect SEO?

The year was 2006. Pluto was still a planet, you didn’t own an iPhone, you were more likely to log on to MySpace than Facebook, and search engine optimization (SEO) meant squeezing as many keywords as possible into your content and getting backlinks by any means necessary. Scary, right?

Today, thinking that keyword density and lots of low-quality backlinks will get your site to appear at the top of Google’s search results is as reasonable as staying indoors for fear of contracting the Bird Flu (the “it” disease of 2006).

The rules of SEO have changed—especially over the past two years. Updates to search engine ranking algorithms like Google’s “Panda” and “Penguin” mean you can no longer think in terms of keywords and inbound links alone. What matters now is quality, relevance and audience engagement.

Or, as Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts explained:

“We are trying to level the playing field a bit. All those people doing, for lack of a better word, over optimization or overly SEO—versus those making great content and great site. We are trying to make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, whether they throw too many keywords on a page, or whether they exchange way too many links or go well beyond what you normally expect in a particular area. It is an active area where we have several engineers on my team working on this right now.”

google-panda-penguin-updatesFor many SEO firms, these algorithm shifts have delivered a crushing blow. For Dittoe PR, it’s cause for celebration.

For years we had to sit back and watch as SEO firms gamed Google with blackhat link building schemes predicated on paid backlinks and blog networks that allowed them to distribute keyword stuffed “articles” to hundreds of sites to quickly generate hundreds of backlinks.

Even PR agencies got in on the Google-gaming action. They used wire services to distribute horribly written, albeit keyword dense, press releases knowing full well that human eyes would never read them—they just wanted the backlinks. Sadly, many PR agencies still charge clients hundreds of dollars per release to provide this “service,” even though those press release backlinks barely nudge the SEO needle.

While SEO is still very much a technical discipline—especially when it comes to on-site optimization—the bottom line is that content that is published but not read by living, breathing human beings, not just GoogleBots, achieves nothing—both in terms of human impressions and search engine traction.

When our clients are featured on ESPN or Mashable, they’re not only benefiting from extremely valuable backlinks; there’s also no risk that an algorithm update from Google is going to render those backlinks worthless. It’s a simple matter of quality vs. quantity that makes the difference between page No.1 of Google’s search results, and being buried in the double digits.

Search engine optimization in no longer a “website promotion strategy.” It’s a content strategy; one that’s based on producing compelling, targeted content for humans—not search engines—and promoting that content across national and local media outlets, trade publications, blogs and social media channels.

If you’d like to learn more about our firm and services, please feel free to contact us for a consultation.

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