When looking to invest in public relations, one of the most common questions that businesses have is ‘how to tell whether their PR campaigns are effective’. Compared to advertising campaigns, the effectiveness of a PR campaign isn’t as straightforward to measure. However, it’s still possible to measure the return on investment of public relations efforts and to put a value on their success.
Whenever a consumer is thinking about buying something expensive, they are first going to do some homework and check for product reviews. Positive online reviews are one of the most effective sales tools. While a single mention of a business in an article isn’t going to generate a lot of added attention for it, that mention is going to become a lot more helpful when customers are actively researching the business’s solution. Good reviews improve any company’s ROI. Reviews in the digital space are especially valuable with younger generations of consumers. Reviews could provide another way for companies to measure how effectively their PR campaigns truly are.
Not all media placements are created equal, which means companies shouldn’t be simply measuring the number of media placements they get. When it comes to media placements, it’s better to think of their quality instead of quantity. That means companies need to be considering the reach of the publication where they’ve been mentioned and to look at it in terms of their PR goals. Companies that want to improve brand awareness should be looking to get media placements in publications with a big reach. On the other hand, companies that are looking to simply sell a product to a specific target audience should try to attain media placements that are frequented by their target audiences.
One of the most difficult things to measure in public relations is improved sales. That’s because the consumer might read about a company’s solution without following the buying journey foreseen by the company. For instance, a potential customer might decide to call a business after seeing a story about it on TV. The path that leads consumers to a business isn’t always clear. Fortunately, if companies pay attention to their customers’ buying journeys, they can figure out certain trends with consumers.
Search engine ranking
Most search engines don’t reveal a lot of information about their algorithms, but they do follow specific rules and guidelines that companies need to know about. One of those guidelines is the quality of the content a company shares on its website, as well as the credibility of the outlets where the business is featured. Both of those play a big role in a search algorithm’s choice of what web page ranks higher in the results pages. For example, if local outlets and the Washington Post are both writing about a single business, the algorithms of search engines are going to recognize that attention and give that specific business’s website a higher ranking in results pages. While this type of phenomenon isn’t immediately measurable in terms of the effectiveness of a PR campaign, over time, the business will note an improvement in its SEO efforts.