What’s increasingly apparent in PR is that you can’t settle on tracking hits and placements alone—you need to understand and analyze the results. How many leads did you get from that franchisee profile in Entrepreneur? What next steps did consumers take when you landed that segment on Fox & Friends?
Who’s Impressed by Impressions Nowadays?
Most people in PR will continue to use advertising value equivalency to track the value of media placements. They’ll also look at the volume of placements they get for a specific campaign.
According to a recent article for Cision, AVE and other metrics like social shares and impressions are easy to identify. However, they don’t necessarily correlate with your KPIs or overarching business goals. AVE, specifically, really only identifies the value of a placement in isolation—in whatever media it exists—and fails to capture the value of the outcome. It’s also difficult to identify which particular placement drove the desired outcome or behavior.
PR leaders are increasingly digging into the details to look at the concrete outcomes of their efforts.
Getting Analytical with Google Analytics
One of the technologies that many modern businesses use to track and measure their digital strategies is Google Analytics.
From a broad perspective, Google Analytics is a platform used to capture data and put it into a format that allows better understanding of the online behaviors of people who visit a specific Web page. A recent Cision article explains the three parts that go into tracking and measuring online behavior:
- The first component is the user, which is the person browsing a website on a particular device.
- Next, there’s a session, and this correlates to the actual visit to a Web page.
- And last, you have the interactions that occur on a specific site. These may include clicks, the individual pages visited on a site and other actions.
So, Google Analytics lets you see who visits the page (with a unique identifier), how long they stay on the site and what they do when they get there.
More importantly, you have the chance to see how people arrive at a specific Web page, which is one way that Google Analytics is so powerful for measuring PR efforts. For instance, if you get a placement in Forbes, you can use Google Analytics to see whether that hit drives inbound traffic to your franchise brand’s website. You do this by diving into the source of traffic – referrals – leading to your website. If you experience an upsurge of visitors to your site, you’ll be able to know exactly what drove them there.
You also can track which of the website visitors filled in their information for a monthly e-newsletter or content download as a result of the placement. This allows data-driven insight into the results that the placement generates in terms of the number of visitors, engagement and lead generation.
When thinking about PR for your franchise brand, it’s critical that you look beyond the number of hits and placements. You need to see how these efforts drive business growth and allow you to meet your core objectives.
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