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The inside line: tracking PR results: how to determine if your campaign is working.

Editor's note: These practical guidelines are used internally by one of the Detroit Region's top marketing/PR firms. You can use them as your yardstick if you're planning a marketing/PR campaign for your business. In this case, you are your own "client."

Start by setting and managing expectations:

* Determine what expectations your client has before the campaign starts.

* Manage their expectations if they are not realistic.

* Set specific goals and objectives you are both comfortable with.

* List desired publications or venues under primary goals and secondary goals to indicate which PR "hits" they deem most valuable, and which they value less.

* Set guidelines of how you will measure both output and impact to determine success.

* Remind your client that there is no guarantee, as many factors influencing third-party endorsements are unpredictable and uncontrollable.

Measuring output to determine success:

* Output shows physical proof of how many venues covered your story.

* It also gives the client an idea of the value of the coverage they received.

* Measuring output, however, does not determine whether or not the intended audience received the message.

Press clipping services:

* Hire a press clipping service to monitor those papers you want to be in, and send your client newspaper clips of the actual stories.

* These services can monitor dailies, weeklies, electronic and trade publications across the state, the region or the country at a relatively low cost.

* Tracking back issues of multiple publications by phone or online can be costly and time consuming, and often results in not getting your article.

* Electronic press clipping services that monitor Web-based marketing publications can also be useful and cost-effective.

Video monitoring services:

* Hire a video monitoring service to monitor radio and television shows and send you video and audio tapes of your story as it ran "on-the-air."

* Costs per tape can add up quickly, so for multiple coverage on different stations you may opt for a less expensive "written summary report," which lists the date, time and venue your story ran with a brief written synopsis of the coverage.

* Don't expect television and radio stations to provide a copy of your story.

Measuring ad value:

* Measuring the size of the article and where in a publication it appeared can help you translate the value of the coverage your client received.

* From these measurements you can determine how much they would have had to pay for that kind of coverage and placement if they had bought the space through paid advertising instead of earned PR.

* A 4:1 ratio is a good return on investment for earned PR.

Measuring impact is the key to determining real success:

* Determine who saw, read or heard your message, whether their response was positive or negative, and whether this resulted in an attitude or behavior change within your target audience is the "proof in the pudding" for determining campaign success.

* Key impact measurement gauges are visible attitude and behavior changes within your target audience.

* Telephone surveys, e-mail surveys or other survey techniques can be useful in determining whom your message is reaching and how they are perceiving it.

* For maximum effectiveness, we recommend two surveys during the course of your campaign--one midway and one after your PR campaign.

The purpose of a press kit is to generate interest from media and sales prospects. Here's what you need to include:

* Background--What is your business? Who do you serve? Include a brief corporate history, but keep it concise.

* Key press releases--Don't include every press release ever written on your company. Pick a couple. Or better yet, customize to your audience.

* Testimonials--Include a few testimonials from clients to show you do good work.

* Articles--If your business has received favorable coverage in the print media recently, toss in a reprint of the article.

Those are the bare bones essentials. Don't overload your press kit with junk, but don't be afraid to be creative either. If you want to take your press kit to the next level, PR Newswire can make your press

kit available online at http://prntoolkit.prnewswire.com/PRNewswire/tools.shtml. For more information, call their Southfield office at (800) 697-9712.

Iana Dealey, is an agency associate and public relations director at Detroit-based Brogan & Partners Convergence Marketing, a Bronze-level member of the Detroit Regional Chamber.
COPYRIGHT 2003 Detroit Regional Chamber
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Marketing
Author:Dealey, Iana
Publication:Detroiter
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2003
Words:708
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