by Derek Lyons
PR professionals are embracing the reality that UVMs and clip counts are less than relevant metrics when it comes to understanding how PR is actually impacting the business. A gap still exists when making the jump from these more traditional advertising-based metrics to real attribution – but that gap is closing. Through the wider use of Google Analytics, and audience engagement metrics from social platforms like Twitter and Facebook, PR is starting to expand its measurement skill set.
Any tool that measures PR needs to help you understand the impact of your work both on the audience creation side (top of the marketing funnel) and how you’re impacting the audience’s migration through the middle of the funnel as well. That means volume isn’t a valuable metric in of itself anymore, and PR analytics tools need to provide more than follower numbers or click through rates.
PR practitioners are being asked more and more about their role in the overall marketing mix. That means PR needs to understand and measure more of what happened after the “first interaction,” be it reading a blog post or clicking on a link in your client’s social feed. You’re seeing this reflected in how Google has updated Google Analytics to go beyond first click attribution – it’s more about the entire customer journey. PR analytics tools need to help synthesize multiple data streams into a more coherent story about overall earned and social media value.
PR is tasked with both building and engaging audiences. Measuring audience growth is still important, however it must be accompanied by data around elements such as traffic resource, demographic and engagement details.
You’ve grown your audience – to what end? What content is getting the most engagement? What is the result of that engagement? Does it generate traffic back to your website? And once someone lands on the site, how much time do they spend there? Where do they travel within the site? What other content do they consume and where do they depart? Understanding audience needs and behavior enables PR practitioners to develop better content - content that helps sustain and move the audience towards conversion.