Digital Marketing, Social Media Measurement, Social Media Strategy, PR 20, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI

A New Formula for Measuring PR Success

public relations measurement 2 A New Formula for Measuring PR SuccessIsn’t there a better way to measure PR effectiveness?

Experienced digital marketers know that “conversion rate” is the holy grail of online success metrics. Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to a Web site that accomplish an objective. If 100 people visit your Web site, and 7 of them fill out your lead form, your conversion rate is 7%. Conversion rate is so integral to digital marketing it forms the basis for the name of this blog, and my accompanying consulting practice.

In addition to being a valuable signpost on the way to true ROI calculation, conversion rate has the advantage of measuring outcome, not volume. As Avinash Kaushik discusses frequently on his uber-useful Web analytics blog, the smart money is on measuring and analyzing ratios.

Why is Public Relations Exempt from Ratios?

But yet, public relations has never had ratios in its collection of success metrics. It’s always about volume. How much coverage did you get? What’s the paid media equivalency of that coverage (which is the grand champion of pointless, extrapolated metrics), how many reporters did you talk to? etc. etc. etc.

It’s not surprising that both old school public relations and inexperienced Web site managers use the term “hits” (which Jim Sterne snarkily says is an acronym for “How Idiots Track Success.”)

Why can’t we apply conversion rate to public relations? Instead of measuring how many people we’ve talked to, let’s track the results of those conversations. If you have conversations with 20 journalists and bloggers, and 6 of them write about your client, your conversion rate would be 30%.

If you believe that the future (present?) of public relations is hyper-targeted communication and personal relationships with writers that are created before you need their help – and continue long after – isn’t conversion rate a better gauge of the PR practitioner’s expertise? It’s essentially their batting average – how often they can turn relationships into results.

A conversion rate methodology would put the final stake in the heart of the batch and blast press release era, which emphasizes building media lists, not media relationships.

Let’s use math to put the relationships back in public relations. Who’s with me?

(Photo by lrargerich)

Related
  • http://jutilla.com/ Dean Jutilla

    Nice post, Jason. Makes a ton of sense. Gone are the days of massive pitching for a product launch. We recently launched a significant announcement and hit probably 30-35 very targeted bloggers and reporters, resulting in 8 posts and stories (including two Forbes pieces) along with a handful of “I’m working on a story you’ll fit into in X weeks” (but no immediate placement) — I guess you could consider those a “sacrifice bunt” in baseball terms…you advance the runner but it doesn’t really impact your average :-)

  • http://jutilla.com/ Dean Jutilla

    Nice post, Jason. Makes a ton of sense. Gone are the days of massive pitching for a product launch. We recently launched a significant announcement and hit probably 30-35 very targeted bloggers and reporters, resulting in 8 posts and stories (including two Forbes pieces) along with a handful of “I’m working on a story you’ll fit into in X weeks” (but no immediate placement) — I guess you could consider those a “sacrifice bunt” in baseball terms…you advance the runner but it doesn’t really impact your average :-)

  • http://jutilla.com Dean Jutilla

    Nice post, Jason. Makes a ton of sense. Gone are the days of massive pitching for a product launch. We recently launched a significant announcement and hit probably 30-35 very targeted bloggers and reporters, resulting in 8 posts and stories (including two Forbes pieces) along with a handful of “I’m working on a story you’ll fit into in X weeks” (but no immediate placement) — I guess you could consider those a “sacrifice bunt” in baseball terms…you advance the runner but it doesn’t really impact your average :-)

  • http://www.freedomiq.comwww.bizsandiego.com/ John Lincoln

    I’m with you. What’s great about modern day PR is its presence online. When embarking on digital PR campaign, you can actually see the conversions that result from your efforts. For instance, if I’m in the motorcycle tire business and my PR team secures coverage on a major motorcycle review site, I’ll be able to view any traffic that comes to that site, and as a result, see if that traffic results in any tires being sold. So with the right tools we can easily measure our online PR efforts in a sense of conversions. I definitely agree that this approach is the most real measurement. It can be harder to track these things ofline, but reps shuld still make an effort. Great article and insight!

  • http://www.freedomiq.comwww.bizsandiego.com/ John Lincoln

    I’m with you. What’s great about modern day PR is its presence online. When embarking on digital PR campaign, you can actually see the conversions that result from your efforts. For instance, if I’m in the motorcycle tire business and my PR team secures coverage on a major motorcycle review site, I’ll be able to view any traffic that comes to that site, and as a result, see if that traffic results in any tires being sold. So with the right tools we can easily measure our online PR efforts in a sense of conversions. I definitely agree that this approach is the most real measurement. It can be harder to track these things ofline, but reps shuld still make an effort. Great article and insight!

  • http://www.freedomiq.comwww.bizsandiego.com John Lincoln

    I’m with you. What’s great about modern day PR is its presence online. When embarking on digital PR campaign, you can actually see the conversions that result from your efforts. For instance, if I’m in the motorcycle tire business and my PR team secures coverage on a major motorcycle review site, I’ll be able to view any traffic that comes to that site, and as a result, see if that traffic results in any tires being sold. So with the right tools we can easily measure our online PR efforts in a sense of conversions. I definitely agree that this approach is the most real measurement. It can be harder to track these things ofline, but reps shuld still make an effort. Great article and insight!

  • http://www.nfltraderumors.net/ NFL Trade Rumors

    Great article. I think PR has a lot to do with your presence online. It seems like today that you can now make your PR better by using twitter. It seems to be growing peoples on one presence and PR.

    NFL Trade Rumors’s last blog post..Vikings president confirms interest in Favre

  • http://www.nfltraderumors.net/ NFL Trade Rumors

    Great article. I think PR has a lot to do with your presence online. It seems like today that you can now make your PR better by using twitter. It seems to be growing peoples on one presence and PR.

    NFL Trade Rumors’s last blog post..Vikings president confirms interest in Favre

  • http://www.nfltraderumors.net/ NFL Trade Rumors

    Great article. I think PR has a lot to do with your presence online. It seems like today that you can now make your PR better by using twitter. It seems to be growing peoples on one presence and PR.

    NFL Trade Rumors’s last blog post..Vikings president confirms interest in Favre

  • http://www.dannywhatmough.com/ Danny Whatmough

    Shouldn’t the conversion we aim for really be business won, data captured or downloads completed etc. rather than merely the very media relations-focused number of journalists/bloggers who wrote about the product?

    What is more useful for a client/business?

    Danny Whatmough’s last blog post..Wired UK: tech porn at its best

  • http://www.dannywhatmough.com/ Danny Whatmough

    Shouldn’t the conversion we aim for really be business won, data captured or downloads completed etc. rather than merely the very media relations-focused number of journalists/bloggers who wrote about the product?

    What is more useful for a client/business?

    Danny Whatmough’s last blog post..Wired UK: tech porn at its best

  • http://www.dannywhatmough.com Danny Whatmough

    Shouldn’t the conversion we aim for really be business won, data captured or downloads completed etc. rather than merely the very media relations-focused number of journalists/bloggers who wrote about the product?

    What is more useful for a client/business?

    Danny Whatmough’s last blog post..Wired UK: tech porn at its best

  • http://www.breakinggravity.com/ Colleen O’Donnell Pierce

    I think the smart money in PR was always with those who target their efforts. Still, you can’t be everywhere at once if you’re only targeting existing relationships. You have to branch out, take some chances. Especially in these days of social media and so many options for sharing and spreading information digitally (Technorati says 175,000 new blogs are started daily), smart money also goes to those who have a wide network (as long as it fits the profile, of course), in addition to targeting where you know someone will pick up the phone when you call. Because you’ll always end up with some pleasant surprises of coverage you didn’t expect. Why shun that? Of course it would be unfair to count those in the average, but could be measured separately, as “extra credit.” Other than that, I think your suggestion is useful.

  • http://www.breakinggravity.com/ Colleen O’Donnell Pierce

    I think the smart money in PR was always with those who target their efforts. Still, you can’t be everywhere at once if you’re only targeting existing relationships. You have to branch out, take some chances. Especially in these days of social media and so many options for sharing and spreading information digitally (Technorati says 175,000 new blogs are started daily), smart money also goes to those who have a wide network (as long as it fits the profile, of course), in addition to targeting where you know someone will pick up the phone when you call. Because you’ll always end up with some pleasant surprises of coverage you didn’t expect. Why shun that? Of course it would be unfair to count those in the average, but could be measured separately, as “extra credit.” Other than that, I think your suggestion is useful.

  • http://www.breakinggravity.com Colleen O’Donnell Pierce

    I think the smart money in PR was always with those who target their efforts. Still, you can’t be everywhere at once if you’re only targeting existing relationships. You have to branch out, take some chances. Especially in these days of social media and so many options for sharing and spreading information digitally (Technorati says 175,000 new blogs are started daily), smart money also goes to those who have a wide network (as long as it fits the profile, of course), in addition to targeting where you know someone will pick up the phone when you call. Because you’ll always end up with some pleasant surprises of coverage you didn’t expect. Why shun that? Of course it would be unfair to count those in the average, but could be measured separately, as “extra credit.” Other than that, I think your suggestion is useful.

  • http://www.anthillmarketing.com/ Kim Brater

    Finally a useful way to look at some ROI for PR efforts that will make sense not only to marketing folks but to senior execs. Great post Jason.

  • http://www.anthillmarketing.com/ Kim Brater

    Finally a useful way to look at some ROI for PR efforts that will make sense not only to marketing folks but to senior execs. Great post Jason.

  • http://www.anthillmarketing.com Kim Brater

    Finally a useful way to look at some ROI for PR efforts that will make sense not only to marketing folks but to senior execs. Great post Jason.

  • http://escherman.wordpress.com/ Andrew Bruce Smith

    I’m with you 100pc on putting the math (or maths as we say in the UK) into PR. As I’ve expounded on my blog ad nauseum, analytically driven businesses tend to succeed more often than those that don’t. In terms of the marketing mix, PR has always lagged in the analytical stakes. And yes, I know all the reasons that have traditionally been trotted out eg we know what we ought to measure, but the budget isn’t big enough to let us do it, etc. I think we have reached a stage where that just isn’t true anymore. The tools are available – PR itself needs to adopt a different kind of mindset. Take a piece of online coverage – the trad PR person would say, “What a result, we got a positive piece on a high profile site, which has x million visitors – that’s worth a lot”.

    The new model online PR would say: “This is a great piece of coverage because:

    1. It said nice things about the client
    2. The piece used keyword phrases that we know our target audience searches on
    3. Our main keyword phrase was included in the URL, the page title, and meta description of the page. We can also see that the article page has gained several hundred backlinks – and these backlinks are not just from Page Rank 0 pages, but Page Rank 5 and upwards.
    4. The anchor text of these backlinks are using keyword phrases that we want to own.
    5. We can cross reference where backlinks are appearing with tools like Google Ad Planner to determine the percentage of visitors to those sites that are likely to be relevant to us. We can also see where else these relevant visitors go ie we can make informed decisions about what kind of additional content we can create and where to try and place it.
    6. We can track where coverage is being distributed and what kind of conversations are being created as a result through Twitter, LinkedIn Groups, Facebook, etc.
    7. We can see which bloggers are referring to the story or content and who and how many comments are being made.
    8. We can see what traffic is being directed to specifically tailored landing pages on our site so we can directly measure the impact of our campaign on specifically defined objectives.
    9. We can make informed decisions about how we engage with people online, where, when, why, and with the most appropriate tone and language

    You get the picture ;-)

    Andrew Bruce Smith’s last blog post..Why do 47 UK tech PR firms bother with Google advertising when nobody clicks?

  • http://escherman.wordpress.com/ Andrew Bruce Smith

    I’m with you 100pc on putting the math (or maths as we say in the UK) into PR. As I’ve expounded on my blog ad nauseum, analytically driven businesses tend to succeed more often than those that don’t. In terms of the marketing mix, PR has always lagged in the analytical stakes. And yes, I know all the reasons that have traditionally been trotted out eg we know what we ought to measure, but the budget isn’t big enough to let us do it, etc. I think we have reached a stage where that just isn’t true anymore. The tools are available – PR itself needs to adopt a different kind of mindset. Take a piece of online coverage – the trad PR person would say, “What a result, we got a positive piece on a high profile site, which has x million visitors – that’s worth a lot”.

    The new model online PR would say: “This is a great piece of coverage because:

    1. It said nice things about the client
    2. The piece used keyword phrases that we know our target audience searches on
    3. Our main keyword phrase was included in the URL, the page title, and meta description of the page. We can also see that the article page has gained several hundred backlinks – and these backlinks are not just from Page Rank 0 pages, but Page Rank 5 and upwards.
    4. The anchor text of these backlinks are using keyword phrases that we want to own.
    5. We can cross reference where backlinks are appearing with tools like Google Ad Planner to determine the percentage of visitors to those sites that are likely to be relevant to us. We can also see where else these relevant visitors go ie we can make informed decisions about what kind of additional content we can create and where to try and place it.
    6. We can track where coverage is being distributed and what kind of conversations are being created as a result through Twitter, LinkedIn Groups, Facebook, etc.
    7. We can see which bloggers are referring to the story or content and who and how many comments are being made.
    8. We can see what traffic is being directed to specifically tailored landing pages on our site so we can directly measure the impact of our campaign on specifically defined objectives.
    9. We can make informed decisions about how we engage with people online, where, when, why, and with the most appropriate tone and language

    You get the picture ;-)

    Andrew Bruce Smith’s last blog post..Why do 47 UK tech PR firms bother with Google advertising when nobody clicks?

  • http://escherman.wordpress.com Andrew Bruce Smith

    I’m with you 100pc on putting the math (or maths as we say in the UK) into PR. As I’ve expounded on my blog ad nauseum, analytically driven businesses tend to succeed more often than those that don’t. In terms of the marketing mix, PR has always lagged in the analytical stakes. And yes, I know all the reasons that have traditionally been trotted out eg we know what we ought to measure, but the budget isn’t big enough to let us do it, etc. I think we have reached a stage where that just isn’t true anymore. The tools are available – PR itself needs to adopt a different kind of mindset. Take a piece of online coverage – the trad PR person would say, “What a result, we got a positive piece on a high profile site, which has x million visitors – that’s worth a lot”.

    The new model online PR would say: “This is a great piece of coverage because:

    1. It said nice things about the client
    2. The piece used keyword phrases that we know our target audience searches on
    3. Our main keyword phrase was included in the URL, the page title, and meta description of the page. We can also see that the article page has gained several hundred backlinks – and these backlinks are not just from Page Rank 0 pages, but Page Rank 5 and upwards.
    4. The anchor text of these backlinks are using keyword phrases that we want to own.
    5. We can cross reference where backlinks are appearing with tools like Google Ad Planner to determine the percentage of visitors to those sites that are likely to be relevant to us. We can also see where else these relevant visitors go ie we can make informed decisions about what kind of additional content we can create and where to try and place it.
    6. We can track where coverage is being distributed and what kind of conversations are being created as a result through Twitter, LinkedIn Groups, Facebook, etc.
    7. We can see which bloggers are referring to the story or content and who and how many comments are being made.
    8. We can see what traffic is being directed to specifically tailored landing pages on our site so we can directly measure the impact of our campaign on specifically defined objectives.
    9. We can make informed decisions about how we engage with people online, where, when, why, and with the most appropriate tone and language

    You get the picture ;-)

    Andrew Bruce Smith’s last blog post..Why do 47 UK tech PR firms bother with Google advertising when nobody clicks?

  • http://www.philadelphia-marketing-blog.com/ Meg Ferguson

    AMEN BROTHER!! I run a digital marketing agency here in Philadelphia and it’s unreal how many companies now entering the digital space (because they have to – Verizon Yellow Pages/ Yellow Book/ Valpak/ AT&T/ Etc) are still pushing traffic and clicks. Interestingly enough, I just finished a case study of one of my most successful campaigns where the website and publicity got few traffic but had a 46% conversion rate! The client called me and was worried they weren’t getting any exposure and less traffic than they expected. um..HELLLOOOO!! I do have to admit that it does get exhausting explaining this everytime. I’m happy someone as influencial as you writes about this and reinforces this important issue!

    Meg Ferguson’s last blog post..Don’t Forget About Your Website. Make it Work!

  • http://www.philadelphia-marketing-blog.com/ Meg Ferguson

    AMEN BROTHER!! I run a digital marketing agency here in Philadelphia and it’s unreal how many companies now entering the digital space (because they have to – Verizon Yellow Pages/ Yellow Book/ Valpak/ AT&T/ Etc) are still pushing traffic and clicks. Interestingly enough, I just finished a case study of one of my most successful campaigns where the website and publicity got few traffic but had a 46% conversion rate! The client called me and was worried they weren’t getting any exposure and less traffic than they expected. um..HELLLOOOO!! I do have to admit that it does get exhausting explaining this everytime. I’m happy someone as influencial as you writes about this and reinforces this important issue!

    Meg Ferguson’s last blog post..Don’t Forget About Your Website. Make it Work!

  • http://www.philadelphia-marketing-blog.com Meg Ferguson

    AMEN BROTHER!! I run a digital marketing agency here in Philadelphia and it’s unreal how many companies now entering the digital space (because they have to – Verizon Yellow Pages/ Yellow Book/ Valpak/ AT&T/ Etc) are still pushing traffic and clicks. Interestingly enough, I just finished a case study of one of my most successful campaigns where the website and publicity got few traffic but had a 46% conversion rate! The client called me and was worried they weren’t getting any exposure and less traffic than they expected. um..HELLLOOOO!! I do have to admit that it does get exhausting explaining this everytime. I’m happy someone as influencial as you writes about this and reinforces this important issue!

    Meg Ferguson’s last blog post..Don’t Forget About Your Website. Make it Work!

  • http://www.davidandsampr.com/ Sam Alpert

    Jason,
    Explaining how we measure what we do is so painful. Like you said, calculated media value doesn’t work. Number of articles doesn’t work. Number of hits to a Web site kind of works, but like you said, how many are qualified leads that then convert into a sale? Everyone in our profession knows there’s no direct correlation between PR and a sale, yet clients expect that. Yes, PR supports the sales process, but getting someone to write about you doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get a flood of phone calls the next day.

    I like the idea of using conversion rates, but what’s realistic for our profession? If we are in discussion with 20 reporters and we get one hit and it’s a full page in USA Today let’s say, it’s going to generate some buzz, but the conversion rate is only 5%. The conversion rate looks low in this scenario, but the result is huge.

    Is a conversion rate of 5% going to satisfy a client’s need for hard numbers? 10%? 20%?

    Sam

    Sam Alpert’s last blog post..Glad all that time was spent worrying about the swine flu…

  • http://www.davidandsampr.com/ Sam Alpert

    Jason,
    Explaining how we measure what we do is so painful. Like you said, calculated media value doesn’t work. Number of articles doesn’t work. Number of hits to a Web site kind of works, but like you said, how many are qualified leads that then convert into a sale? Everyone in our profession knows there’s no direct correlation between PR and a sale, yet clients expect that. Yes, PR supports the sales process, but getting someone to write about you doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get a flood of phone calls the next day.

    I like the idea of using conversion rates, but what’s realistic for our profession? If we are in discussion with 20 reporters and we get one hit and it’s a full page in USA Today let’s say, it’s going to generate some buzz, but the conversion rate is only 5%. The conversion rate looks low in this scenario, but the result is huge.

    Is a conversion rate of 5% going to satisfy a client’s need for hard numbers? 10%? 20%?

    Sam

    Sam Alpert’s last blog post..Glad all that time was spent worrying about the swine flu…

  • http://www.davidandsampr.com Sam Alpert

    Jason,
    Explaining how we measure what we do is so painful. Like you said, calculated media value doesn’t work. Number of articles doesn’t work. Number of hits to a Web site kind of works, but like you said, how many are qualified leads that then convert into a sale? Everyone in our profession knows there’s no direct correlation between PR and a sale, yet clients expect that. Yes, PR supports the sales process, but getting someone to write about you doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get a flood of phone calls the next day.

    I like the idea of using conversion rates, but what’s realistic for our profession? If we are in discussion with 20 reporters and we get one hit and it’s a full page in USA Today let’s say, it’s going to generate some buzz, but the conversion rate is only 5%. The conversion rate looks low in this scenario, but the result is huge.

    Is a conversion rate of 5% going to satisfy a client’s need for hard numbers? 10%? 20%?

    Sam

    Sam Alpert’s last blog post..Glad all that time was spent worrying about the swine flu…

  • http://www.darbydarnit.com/ Petri

    This is a great conversation starter and a great start. However, all media placements are not equal – front page of the Wall Street Journal should be valued differently from the local community rag – and public relations is not just media relations.

    Part of the challenge is that effectiveness of public relations efforts can be measured, but only if clients/companies are willing to invest in benchmark research and evaluation of:

    1. attitudes
    2. beliefs
    3. actions

    As communications and marketing previously viewed as separate disciplines converge, different measurement systems are needed for different efforts.

    I like the direction your proposal is headed. Keep pushing for accountability and systems that highlight success and that alternatively thin the herd.

  • http://www.darbydarnit.com/ Petri

    This is a great conversation starter and a great start. However, all media placements are not equal – front page of the Wall Street Journal should be valued differently from the local community rag – and public relations is not just media relations.

    Part of the challenge is that effectiveness of public relations efforts can be measured, but only if clients/companies are willing to invest in benchmark research and evaluation of:

    1. attitudes
    2. beliefs
    3. actions

    As communications and marketing previously viewed as separate disciplines converge, different measurement systems are needed for different efforts.

    I like the direction your proposal is headed. Keep pushing for accountability and systems that highlight success and that alternatively thin the herd.

    • http://jutilla.com/ Dean Jutilla

      @Petri, agree not all placements are created equal. great point. And to Tom Foremski’s precise point, it’s incumbent upon the client/internal team to define what those targets are that define success. If success looks like a single WSJ placement but instead 5 tech blog posts run, someone’s got to be held accountable, or at least have to walk over hot coals or something, unless of course one is Silicon Valley Watcher :-)

    • http://jutilla.com/ Dean Jutilla

      @Petri, agree not all placements are created equal. great point. And to Tom Foremski’s precise point, it’s incumbent upon the client/internal team to define what those targets are that define success. If success looks like a single WSJ placement but instead 5 tech blog posts run, someone’s got to be held accountable, or at least have to walk over hot coals or something, unless of course one is Silicon Valley Watcher :-)

  • http://www.darbydarnit.com Petri

    This is a great conversation starter and a great start. However, all media placements are not equal – front page of the Wall Street Journal should be valued differently from the local community rag – and public relations is not just media relations.

    Part of the challenge is that effectiveness of public relations efforts can be measured, but only if clients/companies are willing to invest in benchmark research and evaluation of:

    1. attitudes
    2. beliefs
    3. actions

    As communications and marketing previously viewed as separate disciplines converge, different measurement systems are needed for different efforts.

    I like the direction your proposal is headed. Keep pushing for accountability and systems that highlight success and that alternatively thin the herd.

    • http://jutilla.com Dean Jutilla

      @Petri, agree not all placements are created equal. great point. And to Tom Foremski’s precise point, it’s incumbent upon the client/internal team to define what those targets are that define success. If success looks like a single WSJ placement but instead 5 tech blog posts run, someone’s got to be held accountable, or at least have to walk over hot coals or something, unless of course one is Silicon Valley Watcher :-)

  • http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/ Tom Foremski

    Conversion rates are a great metric but what if the conversion happens a month or two later? As a reporter, I might write about a company several months after a meeting.

    As for a USA Today placement, that might not be much use if the goal of the PR was say, to get people to sign up for a web service in beta. It’s often much better to do a specialized pitch for targeted publications rather than general purpose publications.

    Also, if conversion ratio were to become very important, it would be better for the PR firm to work with fewer journalists otherwise their success ratio could be damaged. Which, might not be a bad thing, it would discourage shotgun blast pitches.

    At the end of the day (or beginning) it should be up to the client to set up the parameters for success that way the PR firm knows what it needs to do.

    Tom Foremski’s last blog post..Newswatch: Google Discovers Radio is Not Like Web -WSJ

  • http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/ Tom Foremski

    Conversion rates are a great metric but what if the conversion happens a month or two later? As a reporter, I might write about a company several months after a meeting.

    As for a USA Today placement, that might not be much use if the goal of the PR was say, to get people to sign up for a web service in beta. It’s often much better to do a specialized pitch for targeted publications rather than general purpose publications.

    Also, if conversion ratio were to become very important, it would be better for the PR firm to work with fewer journalists otherwise their success ratio could be damaged. Which, might not be a bad thing, it would discourage shotgun blast pitches.

    At the end of the day (or beginning) it should be up to the client to set up the parameters for success that way the PR firm knows what it needs to do.

    Tom Foremski’s last blog post..Newswatch: Google Discovers Radio is Not Like Web -WSJ

  • http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com Tom Foremski

    Conversion rates are a great metric but what if the conversion happens a month or two later? As a reporter, I might write about a company several months after a meeting.

    As for a USA Today placement, that might not be much use if the goal of the PR was say, to get people to sign up for a web service in beta. It’s often much better to do a specialized pitch for targeted publications rather than general purpose publications.

    Also, if conversion ratio were to become very important, it would be better for the PR firm to work with fewer journalists otherwise their success ratio could be damaged. Which, might not be a bad thing, it would discourage shotgun blast pitches.

    At the end of the day (or beginning) it should be up to the client to set up the parameters for success that way the PR firm knows what it needs to do.

    Tom Foremski’s last blog post..Newswatch: Google Discovers Radio is Not Like Web -WSJ

  • http://ShayDigital.com/ Tim Bay (@timbay)

    Jason, I am with you. Why there are challenges with measuring the PR conversion and it may not be as exact as online store conversion, there is tremendous value in trying to measure the impact beyond just coverage.

  • http://ShayDigital.com/ Tim Bay (@timbay)

    Jason, I am with you. Why there are challenges with measuring the PR conversion and it may not be as exact as online store conversion, there is tremendous value in trying to measure the impact beyond just coverage.

  • http://ShayDigital.com Tim Bay (@timbay)

    Jason, I am with you. Why there are challenges with measuring the PR conversion and it may not be as exact as online store conversion, there is tremendous value in trying to measure the impact beyond just coverage.

  • http://www.burrellesluce.com/freshideas Johna Burke

    Conversion is definitely a strong data point and speaks directly to the “relations” in public and media relations. Some companies have already successfully adopted this model to demonstrate PR contribution to bottom line results.

    By adding qualitative data points (examples listed below) to the USA Today example above you could weight your efforts based on your organizational objectives developing an average “value” of each article using multiple data points.
    Prominence
    Exclusivity
    Feature
    Key messages
    Spokesperson influence
    Marketing power (such as call to action and/or third party endorsement)

    In order to be effective and relevant our results must be tied to organizational objectives.

  • http://www.burrellesluce.com/freshideas Johna Burke

    Conversion is definitely a strong data point and speaks directly to the “relations” in public and media relations. Some companies have already successfully adopted this model to demonstrate PR contribution to bottom line results.

    By adding qualitative data points (examples listed below) to the USA Today example above you could weight your efforts based on your organizational objectives developing an average “value” of each article using multiple data points.
    Prominence
    Exclusivity
    Feature
    Key messages
    Spokesperson influence
    Marketing power (such as call to action and/or third party endorsement)

    In order to be effective and relevant our results must be tied to organizational objectives.

  • http://www.burrellesluce.com/freshideas Johna Burke

    Conversion is definitely a strong data point and speaks directly to the “relations” in public and media relations. Some companies have already successfully adopted this model to demonstrate PR contribution to bottom line results.

    By adding qualitative data points (examples listed below) to the USA Today example above you could weight your efforts based on your organizational objectives developing an average “value” of each article using multiple data points.
    Prominence
    Exclusivity
    Feature
    Key messages
    Spokesperson influence
    Marketing power (such as call to action and/or third party endorsement)

    In order to be effective and relevant our results must be tied to organizational objectives.

  • http://www.vistasad.com/ atul chatterjee

    Yes the challenge is to get some maths into PR. Besides the hit rate to a blog, you can start indexing the number of comments for a post compared to the readers.
    Another measure could possibly be the amount of time spent on a post.

  • http://www.vistasad.com/ atul chatterjee

    Yes the challenge is to get some maths into PR. Besides the hit rate to a blog, you can start indexing the number of comments for a post compared to the readers.
    Another measure could possibly be the amount of time spent on a post.

  • http://www.vistasad.com atul chatterjee

    Yes the challenge is to get some maths into PR. Besides the hit rate to a blog, you can start indexing the number of comments for a post compared to the readers.
    Another measure could possibly be the amount of time spent on a post.

  • http://www.MarsdenAssociates.com/ Anne

    Really good post and definitely a good conversation starter.

    It’s been a long time since I worked with clients that relied on “hits” from Press Release blasts, but I still think we can get better at accountability and effectiveness tracking.

    What about incorporating the same testing techniques we use for promotions and email campaigns? If we are measuring “conversions” in a broadcast (assuming a different conversion report for dedicated outreach versus blast) aren’t we really wanting to see which “pitch” has the strongest take rate? That information helps us improve future Releases, just like we (should) use email and web analytics improve the content in other communications channels?

  • http://www.MarsdenAssociates.com/ Anne

    Really good post and definitely a good conversation starter.

    It’s been a long time since I worked with clients that relied on “hits” from Press Release blasts, but I still think we can get better at accountability and effectiveness tracking.

    What about incorporating the same testing techniques we use for promotions and email campaigns? If we are measuring “conversions” in a broadcast (assuming a different conversion report for dedicated outreach versus blast) aren’t we really wanting to see which “pitch” has the strongest take rate? That information helps us improve future Releases, just like we (should) use email and web analytics improve the content in other communications channels?

  • http://www.MarsdenAssociates.com Anne

    Really good post and definitely a good conversation starter.

    It’s been a long time since I worked with clients that relied on “hits” from Press Release blasts, but I still think we can get better at accountability and effectiveness tracking.

    What about incorporating the same testing techniques we use for promotions and email campaigns? If we are measuring “conversions” in a broadcast (assuming a different conversion report for dedicated outreach versus blast) aren’t we really wanting to see which “pitch” has the strongest take rate? That information helps us improve future Releases, just like we (should) use email and web analytics improve the content in other communications channels?

  • Paul Hydzik

    Conversion rate vs. volume: “A New Formula for Measuring PR Success” – Convince & Convert @jaybaer. http://twurl.nl/58hivq

  • http://twitter.com/denishiller/status/1801256648 DenisHiller

    PR NEWS: A New Formula for Measuring PR Success? http://ow.ly/6PfW

  • http://twitter.com/latinaprpro/status/1801308559 Ana Lydia

    duh! rt @DenisHiller PR NEWS: A New Formula for Measuring PR Success? http://ow.ly/6PfW

  • http://twitter.com/petermcohen/status/1807609741 Peter Cohen

    RT @tweetmeme A New Formula for Measuring PR Success | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Consulting – Convince & … http://bit.ly/uJ8sY

  • http://twitter.com/impactwatch/status/1809365259 ImpactWatch

    A New Formula for Measuring PR Success – Convince & Convert – http://snipr.com/i11sx

  • http://twitter.com/addisonscompass/status/1849279538 Addison’s Compass
  • http://twitter.com/LeahOliveira/status/ Leah Oliveira

    RT @tweetmeme A New Formula for Measuring PR Success | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Consulting – Convince & … http://bit.ly/uJ8sY

  • http://twitter.com/jlysne/status/1854703092 Josh Lysne

    A New Formula for Measuring PR Success by @jaybaer A great post, and great comments too. http://bit.ly/s4GFd

  • http://twitter.com/kiranspillai/status/1970421660 Kiran Pillai

    interesting take on PR and social media http://tinyurl.com/ogkdv8

  • Leila

    Totally agree with the fact that our current measurement process is so OBSOLETE!! Conversion rate is one thing, but there is also the tone of voice, I have been thinking of a couple ways we could rate this for a client from one month to another (red for bad, green for good, grey for neutral) and then sort of add it up with a point system, just so we know at a glance if TOV is better or worse than the month before, but still feels incomplete, any suggestion?…

    • Carlton

      Leila, I’ve only read your comment so forgive me if you’ve answered or revisited this. Please elaborate on TOV. Are you speaking in terms of a press release or media response to the press release?

  • Leila

    Totally agree with the fact that our current measurement process is so OBSOLETE!! Conversion rate is one thing, but there is also the tone of voice, I have been thinking of a couple ways we could rate this for a client from one month to another (red for bad, green for good, grey for neutral) and then sort of add it up with a point system, just so we know at a glance if TOV is better or worse than the month before, but still feels incomplete, any suggestion?…

  • http://YourWebsite Leila

    Totally agree with the fact that our current measurement process is so OBSOLETE!! Conversion rate is one thing, but there is also the tone of voice, I have been thinking of a couple ways we could rate this for a client from one month to another (red for bad, green for good, grey for neutral) and then sort of add it up with a point system, just so we know at a glance if TOV is better or worse than the month before, but still feels incomplete, any suggestion?…

  • http://twitter.com/szahun/status/9625232065 Todd Szahun

    A New Formula for Measuring PR Success http://bit.ly/uJ8sY #conversionrates #digitalPR

  • http://twitter.com/kwalsh30/status/9626903046 Kevin Walsh

    RT @szahun: A New Formula for Measuring PR Success http://bit.ly/uJ8sY #conversionrates #digitalPR

  • http://twitter.com/kwalsh30/status/9626903046 Kevin Walsh

    RT @szahun: A New Formula for Measuring PR Success http://bit.ly/uJ8sY #conversionrates #digitalPR

  • letstalkandchat

    If you’re looking for webinar software, then check out Evergreen Business System. Its perfect for marketers and let’s you automate the scheduling of your webinars, build your list, and even follow up with your webinar registrants. If you’re going to buy Evergreen Business System, then you might as well get a free bonus! So check out http://www.mikelmurphy.com/evergreen-business-system-bonus-webinar-software/ and you’ll get a great bonus that tells you how to create a webinar, what is a webinar, and a blueprint for making a successful one. None of the other people offering bonuses are offering this. Hurry in case the guy (some dude that worked on Lord of the RIngs) offering the bonus decides to pull it down.