Tag Archives: metrics

PR Measurement for Startups

We all know that even the smallest startup needs PR. (And we hope they know it, too!) But what many may be overlooking is the need to measure their PR efforts, no matter how small.

Agencies and larger corporations are already measuring the effectiveness of their PR campaigns and programs, and while these measurements may not be realistic for startups (too much time or money), they can still offer some lessons and best practices.

I know the list below is not exhaustive by any means, but the measures below are the most important for startups to adapt when analyzing PR. Some of the measures I have suggested are not scientific and by no means as accurate as what we may like. But keep in mind that the point of measuring is to reduce error and uncertainty, not completely eliminate it. Any reduction is valuable, no matter how small. Continue reading

Using Metrics to Reduce Uncertainty

Ruler with imperial and metric measurementsSometimes we all get too caught up in perfection. If you work on that report 10 minutes longer, will it be closer to perfect? If you search one more time, will you find every single mention of your brand or company across the Web? There’s a point at which additional effort isn’t worth the reward.

I often find that there is a misconception about the purpose of measurement. Whether in PR or social media or physics, for that matter, the purpose of measurement is to reduce uncertainty. Note the word “reduce.” Continue reading

Finding Insights In a Data Haystack

Close-up of a SpreadsheetSo you’re actively engaged in this whole social media thing, and you’ve even figured out how you’re going to keep track of it. You’ve chosen a few tools that came highly recommended, you plugged in all the right information and now those tools are collecting data for you. All the time.

Now what?

With seemingly unlimited amounts of data coming at you in real-time, how do you make sense of it all? I’ve often been advised to look at it from the CMO’s perspective. What are the big bullet points that they would need to know? What are the insights?

Forgetting for a minute that very few of us actually have any first-hand experience knowing what a CMO wants, I wanted to walk you through my process for gleaning insights. After working in the media analysis business for two years now, I’ve found that often learning what to do with all that data can be just as tricky as finding the right data in the first place. Continue reading

Real-time vs. Benchmarking: Which Measurement Style is Right for You?

Business colleagues, man pointing and woman writing on sidewalkMeasurement, measurement, measurement. It’s all we can talk about lately, right? With all the discussions about complex metrics and the ever elusive ROI, some of the more basic concepts of PR measurement have been drowned out.

Once you’ve come to terms with the idea that you absolutely must be measuring, where do you start? One of the first questions you should answer is whether you want to measure in real-time or whether you want to focus on measuring against a benchmark. Both satisfy rather different needs, but they could be paired to create a more robust measurement program as well. There is also some unavoidable overlap because, after all, measurement is measurement.

Real-time measurement

First of all, real-time is more aptly described as monitoring, though there can be some more quantitative aspects involved. The focus here is to gain an understanding of what is being said, where and about what right now. Continue reading

PR measurement was never meant to be an exclusive club

Close-up of stack of mobile phones with a tape measureOK, maybe I have a biased opinion about this, but I don’t think PR measurement was ever intended to be an exclusive club.

I remember learning about measurement during the first week of my first PR course in college. We even learned an acronym that included research and measurement: RACE (Research, Action, Communication and Evaluation). Research and evaluation were engrained in me right off the bat.

Perhaps this made me wrongly assume that measurement was already an integral part of the PR industry, and I’m still continually surprised by how few professionals talk about it. Continue reading

Back to School (to get schooled)

School bus, rear viewAfter spending the bulk of one’s childhood and adolescence in school followed by four years of higher education and yet another two years of Even Higher education, one is understandably relieved to have the days of learning behind one. Or, to put it another way, I paid my time; let me be an adult in the real world now, please.

But, as your mother always told you, you never really stop learning. You hoped she meant that as “you never really stop learning what those divots on the sides of plastic wrap boxes are, for example,” but she actually meant it as “you never really stop learning, as in cramming your head full of stuff to prepare for a rather important test.” Except this time, you can’t really write the irregular Spanish verbs on the insole of your shoe to help you along. (Bloody irregular verbs.)

This is all a roundabout way of saying: I have to get my learning on, and I am not a happy newt. Continue reading

Sentiment vs. message in social media – which do you value more?

Scale of justice, close-upRecently I fell into a discussion about specific social media metrics (isn’t that so not like me?) and the concept of sentiment analysis was brought up. There have already been many discussions about the usefulness (or lack thereof) of automated sentiment analysis tools, and I won’t bore you with yet another discussion of whether automated sentiment is worth your while.

What I think is a more valid question: is the sentiment or the message more important to social media measurement? Continue reading

Crowdsourcing social media measurement definitions

Crowd Looking UpRecently the Web Analytics Association announced it published social media measurement definitions on which it wanted the public to comment. I bet y’all realized I’d be excited about this since I’ve been so adamant about crowdsourcing (and not!) in the past.

I am eager to see how this works out and whether many in the social media community contribute thoughts to this. We all claim to be experts and have opinions on just about everything we possibly can, and this is an amazing opportunity to come up with definitions that are not forced upon us but that we create ourselves. Continue reading

Is it Time to Introduce Analytics to E-mail Pitching?

Businessman with graphI don’t usually write about the more tactical, day-to-day issues of PR and marketing, choosing instead to focus on the delicate work-life balance, thinking like an entrepreneur and why I think it’s OK to not have a traditional PR background. But today, bear with me for a bit, as I’m going to get pretty tactical on something every PR and marketing professional uses probably every single day of their jobs: the e-mail pitch.

Ahh, yes, the infamous “pitch.” Loathed by many, MANY, but in today’s smart phone-obsessed world, about as important as ever in terms of driving successful media outreach for brands and organizations. I won’t get into the whole debate about whether e-mail pitches should or should not be used, but there were a couple of interesting points I wanted to hit from Cone’s main points in the article on about how we can all make our e-mail pitches a bit more refined and increase the rate that our e-mails to bloggers and reporters will A) get opened; and B) actually get us some type of response. Continue reading

If you’re going to measure, you have to get real and face the music

Ruler with imperial and metric measurementsLately there has been much more of a focus on public relations measurement, which I think is a great step for the industry. My concern with suddenly embracing measurement is that it’s a bit like Othello – takes a minute to learn the basics, but a lifetime to master.

Measurement is tough, and measuring PR requires a great deal of thought. There are many, many factors to consider when deciding what metrics to use and what exactly it is that you want to measure. Sometimes when folks rush into measurement, they only focus on metrics or media sources that they think are going to yield the best results. Why? Because it’s easy to get budget for a measurement project that is going to give you a pat on the back. Continue reading