Public Relations Results Not Possible? Phooey!
Are You Getting the PR Reports You Need for Success?
By Melanie Rembrandt
For many years, it was very difficult to show the results of a public relations, or PR, campaign. After all, you could spend hours on the phone pitching media members and not see any results. Plus, due to the nature of public relations, no one can guarantee results (Hint – if you hear a PR person tell you that they can guarantee results – Run!).
The final say as to whether the media broadcasts or publishes your story is always up to the editors, producers and publishers out there. Basically, you have no control over the final outcomes of your pitching efforts or exactly what will be said about your company if a story does go live.
However, with today’s technology, you can see if a campaign is working or not and make the appropriate changes to save time and money. How?
3 Ways to Get Valuable Reports on Your PR Efforts
1. Start with a plan.
Instead of just sending out a press release because you have news, create a plan with goals. What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to bring more people to your site, increase sales, get more newsletter registrations, or something else?
Once you know what you want to accomplish, figure out how the press release fits into these goals along with your other, marketing efforts and how you are going to measure results.
2. Use specific links.
One way to measure the results of your PR activities is to take advantage of technology and have Google Analytics in place on your site (or another tool that tracks information about site visitors). Include a specific link in your press release or promotional copy. Have that link go to a specific landing page on your site that talks about your specific news.
Then, have a link on that landing page that goes to a sales page, shopping cart page, newsletter registration page, etc. This way, you can track exactly how many people click on the link in your press release and on your landing page. And you can also see how many people actually take the actions you set up in your plan.
3. Use Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.
All of your online copy should be optimized for the search engines. If not, you will lose online visibility to the competition. Plus, it’s a great way to track results of your PR efforts. For example, once you optimize your press releases, landing pages and other PR copy for the search engines, check the results. Does your information show up on the search engines for your top keywords? How do your rankings compare to competitors?
Get the PR and SEO Data You Need for Success!
Once your PR copy goes live, look at your Google analytics and search-engine results. Did you reach the goals you set in your initial plan? Did people click on your links and take the actions you wanted them to follow on your site?
If not, look carefully at the data and figure out what your site visitors clicked on most. Then, develop your next PR plan. But this time, make changes using what you learned from the data. Do the entire process again, and check your results. Over time, you’ll figure out what works best for your specific target audience. Then, you can start to take advantage of the PR and SEO copy and activities that work and avoid wasting time on those that are not.
Today, you can use online data to track exactly what your customers want to see and what your competition is doing. By having a plan, using SEO and strategic landing pages and links on your site, you can see specific results from your PR efforts.