Ask the PR Pro: What’s the best way to measure PR?

It’s important to measure the success of your PR program. Not only does this give you an idea of how well your program is working, it also provides clues to what’s working best, so programs can be refined to be more efficient and successful.

In order to measure the success of PR, you first must have some benchmarks. If the goal of your PR program is to increase sales leads, capture your current level of sales leads activity. Look at metrics such as:

  • Monthly sales leads (outbound and inbound)
  • Monthly sales
  • Time to close a sale
  • Average value of a sale
  • Average size of an opportunity
  • Unique website visitors
  • Number of Facebook fans
  • Number of Twitter followers

Then set up a timeframe to review these benchmarks after your PR program has started. If possible, use unique URLs to track interest generated by PR efforts.

Look at where most of your leads are coming from. While management may be convinced that publication X is the leading outlet for your industry, your results may tell you differently.

Also, at the outset of a PR program, set some productivity goals for the program. For example, a goal might be to be included in industry articles in three trade magazines a quarter, to secure a speaking slot at an important trade show or to produce and market a white paper and infographic.

Every three months or so review your PR program and see if it is meeting these goals. If it isn’t, find out why. Perhaps you’re targeting the wrong market, your executive needs additional training, your message needs to be tweaked or your budget is inadequate.

Have an open discussion with your PR firm about the results and how to better leverage your investment. They should have insight into what they think is working best and where there may be additional opportunities.

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