Measuring your PR successes

In previous blogs, I’ve provided some tips on how to write press releases and get your news stories published. I’ve also written about other tools and techniques you can use to gain media coverage for your business.

Assuming that you have been successful in gaining coverage, how would you try and measure or quantify your achievements?

It’s easy enough to collect copies of your press or online coverage and to track any mentions on TV and radio. But how do you assess their relative merits. For example, how does a column centimetre in The Guardian compare with a half page article in The Hereford Times or a mention on The Jeremy Vine Show?

To answer this question, I would like to share with you a technique I learned many years ago, as follows:

I score each piece of media coverage I receive according to the following criteria (marks out of 10):

  1. To what extent is the publication/website/programme targeted at my key audiences?
  2. To what extent does the mention of my business give the correct impression? Don’t forget, it’s the editor’s prerogative to choose what he or she includes from your press release or other material. Don’t expect them to include verbatim everything you write.
  3. How impactful is the article’s position in the publication or programme. A front page/peak time mention would score 10; hidden towards the back of the publication (or non-peak time) would score much less (dependent on the surrounding content).
  4. What proportion of the article is dedicated to information about my company?

You should use this approach consistently in order to build up a picture of the relative importance of all your media coverage.

Other techniques for measuring your media coverage

Another tool is to measure ‘OTS’ or ‘opportunities to see’. For example, how many copies of the publication are sold or how many viewers/listeners does the programme attract. Record the number.

I’ve spoken before about how to track the success of your online platforms, eg via Google Analytics and the numbers of engagements to your posts. You should use this information in your report if you’ve used these platforms to publicise your media story.

You should use none of these techniques in isolation. However, when compiled together, they will ensure you have comprehensive evidence on the impact of your publicity campaigns.

I hope you find this useful. As ever, if you need any additional advice or help with any future campaigns, please do contact me – or leave a message below.

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