By Conor Heslin, senior account executive at Eskenzi PR
So much of public relations is about the consumer’s awareness of a company, campaign or brand, which makes PR a slippery thing to define and often creates fiction between agencies and clients in terms of desired outcomes. This begs the question; how can you ensure you’re prepared to measure PR success? I’ll provide five key areas in the following blog post:
- Have a strategy in place
You need an approved, concrete PR strategy in place before you even begin to measure PR. This involves having clearly identifiable themes to track in the media. Failing to have a cohesive PR strategy in place will mean that the process of tracking PR will become too convoluted to provide an accurate picture of where your company is.
- Remember PR is not marketing
PR and marketing do have a lot of overlap, but to be successful, they need to remain distinctive, separate entities. While marketing is designed to draw sales, leads and capital to a business, PR has altogether more fluid concerns; making sure a company is seen as a thought leader in their own field, offering educational and advisory content and ensuring the company remains at the forefront of the consumer or decision maker’s minds; failing to realise this will lead to a misunderstanding of the purpose of PR altogether.
- Know your competitors
Not knowing who your competitors are is one of the biggest mistakes a company can make when starting on their PR journey. Make sure you’ve researched your market place and are aware of the other companies that offer the same services and tools as you. Track your competitors media mentions using services such as Meltwater, making sure to filter out any coverage which is not ‘quality’ coverage, such as market reports for listed companies.
- Know your size
It’s crucial to know your businesses size. PR Success for a market leading organisation differs vastly from a challenger brand and know this going into a PR plan is essential. In the cybersecurity space for example, a company such as McAfee, a trailblazing global player with a famous (or infamous) founder and years of experience would automatically gain more coverage than your average Silicon Valley start-up offering similar services. For smaller companies to get any kind of foothold in the press when competing with global players such as this would constitute a success.
- Be Patient
Success won’t be immediate, and PR is the art of the long game. While spikes in coverage are obviously very satisfying to see and can create a ‘buzz’ around a company, it will take months, or even years to see if a PR strategy has worked. So be patient, and you’ll reap the benefits!