PR’s ROI starts with tracking data
In the business world, the success of a great idea of often measured by its ROI, traditionally known as a company’s return on investment. Most times this means: did we get more out of it than what we paid for?
But in order to succeed, PR – and in fact all marketing efforts – should be held accountable to the same ROI standards as the rest of the operating business. Did the money a company invested pay off for the brand?
And how do you define PR’s ROI? By tracking, tracking, tracking. Here are a few ways to integrate measurable methods into your public relations efforts to better quantify your return on innovation.
- Get friendly with your SEO manager and Google Analytics: Every piece of earned media mentioning your brand online should be tied back to a measurable website within your company. If a magazine lists your product as the hot new item, make sure the link online points back to that product page in your website – and make sure the analytics capture the conversions coming from that article. Your SEO manager can work as your partner to help you better understand where your PR efforts are sending traffic, and where you might need to make changes.
- Measure your event success through social media: create a unique hashtag for your company, and encourage attendees of your company event to share their experience through their social media channels. Then, don’t just capture the number of retweets or mentions, engage with the people who are taking the time to post from your event.
- Build relationships with your influencers: instead of just blasting a PR message out into the internet universe, build relationships with influencers within your industry. Then work with them to develop a mutual partnership opportunity. For example, get to know a key blogger within your space, and partner with them to offer content or unique company access. Work together with them to define goals at the outset of the agreement, defining ways both parties can win. When you launch your partnership, track the incoming traffic and the conversion rates, proving whether or not the partnership was a success.
PR is as tangible as any other marketing discipline – if you know where to start. The biggest ROI you’ll see this year will come from making a deposit into some tracking and other measurement resources.