PR pros struggle to measure results and quantify their contribution to business objectives.
Measurement experts dismiss advertising value equivalency (AVE), which compares the value of earned media to advertising of similar size and placement, as an invalid metric. They also call earned media value—often calculated by multiplying the reach of earned or social media content by a multiplier based on impressions—a meaningless metric.
The days of evaluating public relations campaigns by counting clips and measuring column inches are long gone. PR now has new tools at its disposal that help analyze its earned media accomplishments with these metrics.
Website referrals. Website analytics offer the most basic PR measurement tool. Information on referral traffic under the Google Analytics acquisition tab can reveal website traffic from media placements—sometimes. Some online publications might not include a link to your site when mentioning your organization. Some readers might head directly to your website through a search engine.
Still, many PR measurement pros will credit a key media placement for an ensuing spike in website traffic—even if the news outlet did not link to their website. Web analytics can also indicate whether traffic from earned media referrals converts.
Although Google Analytics provides information about your organization’s own website, it offers limited worth as a measurement tool for public relations. Typically, the principal goal of PR is not to increase website traffic; its main goals are to build brand awareness, increase trust and attract the right kind of traffic.
Mentions. Google Alerts is unreliable and doesn’t include television, radio and social media monitoring. A
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