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Blog post
February 24, 2020

How to measure PR: The 3 key pillars

How do you measure the effectiveness of a Public Relation (PR) campaign? In this post we explain some of the key PR metrics used by leading brands to demonstrate PR ROI.

Measuring the success of Public Relations has typically been a difficult task for Communications professionals.

This is because relying on traditional metrics such as reach and impressions in isolation often doesn’t result in a clear, concise understanding of the performance of a PR activity.

So how do you define success in PR? Here are the three key pillars of any PR measurement program.

Pillar 1: Defining your objectives

As a PR professional, it’s important to have a strategic plan that encompasses what your organisation is trying to achieve and how PR will support those goals. 

Strategic planning is a critical first step. This is particularly important when measuring the performance of PR because ROI cannot be measured solely based on traditional metrics alone. 

Are you looking to increase your CEO’s profile among potential stakeholders? Your PR objective could be to arrange speaking opportunities at industry events for your CEO to become known among key audiences.

Is your brand targeting new sectors? Your PR objective could be to pave the way for lead generation with a PR campaign. You could then use other marketing tactics to target your prospects.

Is organisational reputation under threat? Your PR objective could be to improve brand reputation over a set period of time.

Is your organisation launching a new product? Your PR objective could be to focus on awareness and support the marketing organisation in the delivery of a product strategy.

Having a clear and defined strategy can yield a robust and effective PR action plan that will support your business goals.

Pillar 2: Defining PR metrics

In today’s hyperconnected world, the abundance of metrics available to comms and marketing teams can make reporting overwhelming.

On the other hand, choosing your key metrics wisely and getting alignment between these and the set business objectives can lead to measurable PR.

So what are some of the key measures of the effectiveness of a PR campaign?

Mentions

Depending on your objectives, tracking media mentions can be a realistic representation of the performance of your PR campaign. 

With the right tools you can track mentions as they relate to brands, topics, spokespeople and more. Let’s take brand mentions as an example.

Brand mentions, though not directly tied to sales, are essential to understanding the impact of your PR campaign. Here are only some of the key metrics that you can use to examine brand mentions:

Brand mentions by media type

Brand mentions over time

Total cumulative volume of brand mentions

Sentiment related to those brand mentions

Brand mentions by spokespeople 

As an example, in the below chart we have analysed a data set of brand mentions over the space of two weeks. PR teams can leverage such a metric to track the performance of a PR campaign as it relates to message penetration and volumes over key dates.

Measure effectiveness of your PR strategy at key dates
Media coverage over time gives you a view of the effectiveness of your PR strategy at key dates

Your chosen metrics should help you determine if your PR campaign is performing according to plans or if there is an opportunity to pivot your channels, message or other aspects of your activity.

Key outlets

Monitoring your target outlets can be a great way to understand whether your PR message is landing in the right hands and how this is like to resonate with your audience. Not surprisingly, most PR campaigns rely heavily on the successful execution of two key elements:

  1. Consistency of the message
  2. Share of Voice across target channels

Here is how outlet analysis can help you visualise message penetration, without employing manual processes.

PR monitoring by publication
Media outlet analysis helps you measure PR effectiveness by publication

The same data can give you insights into the potential reach of those channels, adding more context and measurable output to your reporting.

Measure of the potential reach of you PR content
Media outlet analysis can give you an important measure of the potential reach of you PR content

Share of Voice 

Employing Share of Voice as part of your PR reporting toolkit can shed some light on the performance of a particular message or topic over another. Whether you are tracking brands, industries, or other topics, Share of Voice can help you identify:

Volume of mentions for one topic over another (and over time)

Volume of mentions of one topic over another as it relates to sentiment

Volume of mentions by media type / channel (Example below)

Other key metrics that can help you contextualise your media coverage

PR monitoring by share of voice
Share of Voice can help you measure the effectiveness of a PR campaign by campaign

Geography

Understanding the geographical extent of your PR effort is vital in order to assess the effectiveness of your campaign. In fact, whatever the objectives of your overall strategy are, most organisations have a very specific geographical reach or target.

Measure the geographical effectiveness of your PR strategy
Location charts can be utilised to measure the geographical effectiveness of your PR strategy

Location charts can help you identify where your message is landing and the geographical impact of your PR campaign. Your location report should include major metropolitan as well as regional outlets. 

Pillar 3: Tracking and Reporting

After you have identified the objectives and key metrics of your PR plan, define your tracking and reporting methodology.

Too often, reporting is seen as a tedious task to be carried out upon campaign conclusion. Tracking and reporting, if done correctly, can be an effective way to identify areas of improvement and opportunities to give your campaign the best chances of success. When defining the methodology of your PR tracking and reporting framework, consider:

  • Responsibilities: Who will be in charge of tracking and reporting on the various metrics?
  • System: Define what tools your team is going to use to measure PR and share the results with the various stakeholders. These can be as basic as shared spreadsheets or more comprehensive PR monitoring tools.
  • Cadence: Define the intervals of your tracking and reporting. When is the team going to look at and report on the various metrics?
  • Audience: Who will be the audience of your reports? Will this be shared externally (Perhaps with clients) or internally (Executive / leadership teams)?
  • Adjustment: What will be the process for analysing the results and adjusting your strategy throughout the campaign.

Conclusion

In this article we discovered the three pillars of a PR measurement plan and discussed how measuring PR doesn’t only come down solely to analysing data. 

Defining your goals, setting your metrics and having a tracking and reporting system in place are the essential components that any PR and Communication team should take into account.

Isentia is APAC’s leading media intelligence provider, empowering PR and communications teams with the tools they need to make great decisions. For more information or to see our platform in action, schedule a demo today!

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Case Study
Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia

The Royal Flying Doctor Service relies on Isentia’s suite of media intelligence solutions to inform their decisions and monitor their reputation across multiple geographies.

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In our third edition of Isentia Conversations: Communicating through Change, we chat with Rochelle Courtenay, the Founder and Managing Director of Share the Dignity. Rochelle talks to us about how she stays connected with over 6,000 volunteers across Australia and how she motivates those teams to work to end period poverty.

Isentia’s Insights Director, Ngaire Crawford also shares some of the trends seen across social and traditional media about home not always being the safest place for some people, and how social communities can help combat this.

Because many of us are working from home, we saw this webinar series as an opportunity to connect with each other, learn from subject matter experts and hear their stories, as we adapt to a new way of working.

https://youtu.be/uphrqGuXO7w?list=PL6mOcXpe0JCOp0LlpmFdkDIRdfMBuNiKk

Ngaire Crawford from Isentia talks feeling safe and secure at home

4:55 - Although most of us are now working from home, home isn’t always the safest place for everybody.

5:25 - The main topics currently reported on mainstream media:

  1. The increase in family violence - a topic that has been present since the lockdowns in Australia and New Zealand.
  2. Connectivity and education - there is concern about people not having access to the right equipment or  not having good enough internet connectivity for homeschooling.
  3. Poverty during lockdown - there are restrictions in place to stay at home and access to food more controlled than ever before. Food specials are a thing of the past and fresh food may be more difficult to get.

8:55 - Within ANZ, data shows people are searching online about the rules for lockdown. What are they? Are they doing the right thing? What are the policies?

9:10 - On social media, people are reaching out and using their social channels to create connection, to remind everyone to check in on people and be a source of safety. During March, references to being scared and feeling unsafe more than doubled across ANZ.

Cluster topics driven by COVID-19 for feeling unsafe included: Rates, self-isolation, stress and mental health. 

Cluster topics driven by COVID-19 for feeling scared included: Government, kids, workers, rent, supermarket, police, trust and social media. 

10:15 - It’s important to see the good in social media right now - it’s the greatest facilitator of social connection. Not only can people reach out to others directly, toxic people and unhelpful communication can be called out very quickly. Always use your common sense when using social media, check your sources and investigate claims before relying on them.

13:13 - The importance of community

  • Communicating with your social media audiences and communities is valuable during this time. 
  • See the good that people are doing as well as the innovation.
  • Listen to your audience and ask for feedback. We’re all in our homes and more conversational than ever.
  • Be genuine and authentic when talking to your audience, if you look as though you are doing the right thing, then people will be on board. 
  • Follow on social media those affected most from lockdown and watch what they are doing and how they’ve adapted their businesses.
  • Watch cancel culture on Twitter, understand what’s driving people to call out brands and public figures on social media.

Rochelle Courtenay from Share the Dignity talks staying connected and keeping your teams motivated

15:45 - For the past five years, Rochelle has also been known as the ‘Pad Lady’. Share the Dignity was created after Rochelle read about the high number of Australian homeless women who didn’t have access to essential sanitary items. 

Twice a year, she drives two collections for sanitary items and runs the ‘It’s in the bag’ campaign each December. For this initiative, every day Australians are asked to fill a bag with essential items including toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitary items, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and soap. For a woman who is fleeing domestic violence, it may have been weeks since she has brushed her teeth, so these basic items are essential for these women in need.

16:56 - Communicating online to her ‘Shero’ and ‘Hero’ volunteers has been the norm for Rochelle since she founded Share the Dignity. Using ‘Workplace’ for their intranet, internal communications via announcements to all 5,783 volunteers is easy and effective. 

17:45 - The most important thing when communicating is to be authentic and genuine.  We ensure the most important people (Sheroes and Heroes) within our charity are kept informed and are at the forefront of everything that’s done. We ensure our communication comes from the heart first and our heads second.

19:03 - Reinforce the message you are trying to communicate. With charities, it’s important to remind volunteers (and staff members) why they are doing the work they are doing. Often, different types of communication are developed to cater for different communication preferences. Videos are recorded and also written up to deliver the same message.

19:58 - Since COVID-19, Share the Dignity has adopted new engagement initiatives on social media. The most recent; a Mother’s Day campaign where the community was asked to share their favourite photo with their mum. The campaign encouraged people to connect and engage with one another, to share stories, smiles, tears and laughter. It was a great way to create a community within a community. It’s important to help people within your community through difficult times.

24:30 - A key part of running a charity is to sustain volunteers’ passion. We do this by sharing stories about the women they have helped and continue to help.  We make sure they know how much of a difference they are making to someone else’s life.

If you would like to view other Webinar Isentia Conversations: Communicating through Change:

Isentia Conversations: with Katherine Newton from RU OK? 

Isentia Conversations: with Bec Brown from The Comms Department

Isentia Conversations: with Rachel Clements at Centre for Corporate Health

Isentia Conversations: with Helen McMurdo at MTV

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Blog
Isentia Conversations: with Rochelle Courtenay from Share the Dignity

Because many of us are working from home, we saw this webinar series as an opportunity to connect with each other, learn from subject matter experts and hear their stories, as we adapt to a new way of working.

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The effects of COVID-19 are being felt worldwide. During this time, choosing the right brand messaging and executing it at the right time can give greater resonance to your brand. It can also strengthen customer relationships.

As businesses are under increasing pressure and governments urge citizens to stay home, communicating the right message has never been so important. In the corporate world, it’s a balancing act that highlights the essential value of the PR, marketing and communications role for the ongoing operations of their brands.

What metrics can PR and comms professionals use?

Being proactive is key. 

We’ve spoken extensively about Reputation Analysis and how this proactive framework provides a benchmark metric brands can follow to understand their reputation. However, as a modern PR, marketing or comms professional, there are numerous measurement metrics that can give important insights about your brand’s reputation. 

Brand reputation often influences the actions or choices audiences and buyers make, impacting a brand financially and its ability to grow. It’s especially important throughout a crisis to determine whether your key messages are getting to the right audience at the right time. 

Share of Voice

Utilising Share of Voice as part of your PR, marketing and comms toolkit can help you contextualise your media coverage in relation to a particular message, topic, brand or industry. It can also help you understand how effectively your brand is participating in the conversation. Using COVID-19 as an example, Share of Voice can help you identify: 

Volume of mentions for COVID-19 over another (and over time) - measure your brand’s visibility in the conversation in your industry in relation to COVID-19.

Volume of mentions of COVID-19 over another as it relates to sentiment - measure your brand’s visibility and the sentiment about your brand in relation to COVID-19. 

Volume of mentions by media type/channel (example below)

Measure mentions by volume by media type/channel
Measure by volume of mentions by media type/channel

Mentions

Throughout a crisis, tracking media mentions can help you spotlight spikes in coverage due to expected or unexpected events. Here are some of the key metrics you can use to examine brand mentions:

Brand mentions by media type - track the volume of brand mentions by media type (social, broadcast, print or online)

Brand mentions over time - see spikes in mentions and can be particularly useful when comparing mentions pre-event, during and post-event.

Sentiment related to those brand mentions - understand how your brand is perceived by your audience (and wider audience)

Brand mentions by spokespeople - understand who is talking about your brand and how often

Day to day volume of mentions per entity (example below) - understand how prominent your brand is in various locations.

Brand reputation can be measured mentions by volume of particular entities
Entities over time helps you measure mentions by volume of particular entities

Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment analysis is one of the key metrics that a PR, marketing and communications professional can use to understand their brand’s reputation. It also enables you to analyse negative sentiment to uncover new ways to improve brand reputation, PR and marketing campaigns.

Key Outlets

Monitoring your target outlets can be a great way to understand whether your message is landing in the right hands and how it is likely to resonate with your audience. Not surprisingly, most campaigns rely heavily on the successful execution of two key elements:

Consistency of the message

Share of Voice across target channels

The below outlet chart provides a visual representation of coverage published by volume. This helps you understand which outlets are amplifying your messages and provides you with more context into how your content or message are being received.

Measure brand reputation by coverage published by volume
Media outlet analysis can give you an important measure of coverage published by volume

Media intelligence is key

Media intelligence allows you to be proactive. In a rapidly changing environment, it’s crucial to stay across the latest, most relevant news and information. With COVID-19, we are seeing record levels of content across a single issue and a constantly evolving traditional and social media landscape.

Your brand’s reputation is one of its most valuable resources. Using these metrics can provide valuable insights about your brand and help you achieve the best possible outcome for your brand reputation.

If you would like more information on how we can help your brand monitor the media during the COVID-19 crisis, get in touch with us today.

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Blog
The key metrics for brand reputation during the COVID-19 crisis

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt far and wide. During these times of crises, choosing the right brand messaging and behaviour plus executing it at the right time can instil greater meaning to your brand and strengthen customer relationships.

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Another year draws to a close and 2018 fast approaches, but it's business as usual at Isentia offices across the globe. Mediaportal is now available in Korea and Taiwan, and Asia Pacific continues to be a highlight for Isentia’s Media and Intelligence business.

We spoke with David Liu, Chief Executive, Asia, and Sean Smith, Chief Executive Media & Intelligence, to get their insights on how Isentia will continue their expansion into Asia.
Isentia's growth in Asia Pacific has been positive for the business for some time. With the recent launch of Mediaportal in Korea and the addition of Taiwan to the portfolio, can you share your thoughts on the journey in Asia so far?

David: From my point of view, if any company wants to launch in a new country, the key is a flagship brand, or product. What we would like to see is Isentia moving from more than just a company name but to a strong and recognisable brand. The exciting aspect about our future in Asia now is that we have a product that can really help us to build our presence in the market. The launch of Mediaportal in Korea and Taiwan really marks the beginning of a new chapter in the launch of Isentia in Asia.

Mediaportal is a very powerful tool that provides a lot of clarity to our clients on what our capabilities are. Anybody can say ‘we monitor media’ but with Mediaportal, what we can do means so much more and it’s going to make it easier for us to continue to build the brand in the region.

Especially with the capabilities Mediaportal brings:
• Metadata applied to local sources
• Multilingual content when it’s available
• A user interface in English, Korean and Traditional or simplified Chinese

Having this portal in very unique countries like Korea and Taiwan, where the media landscapes are not in line with any other international market, gives us the insight and confidence to expand our services further and faster. As a business we haven’t actually changed anything that we can do at the core, but it’s much easier for the team to tell the story of what we can help clients achieve.

How have clients received Isentia’s new product offering in Korea and Taiwan?

David: The reception in Korea has been incredibly positive. The fact is, the decision making processes in companies in these markets are typically longer than most countries, so there’s still a lot of opportunity there for us to sign on more clients than we already have. I’m confident it’s going to be a real breakthrough for us.

Taiwan is just as promising! We’ve recently launched and already signed our first round of clients. They’re coming over from competitors after seeing a demo of a prototype. So you can see that there was already a buzz building there. Of course, the client services team are really excited about Mediaportal, too.

Sean: The other key point to add to this is that this is the first time we’re taking a single platform approach to Asia. We’re simplifying what we do by retiring a series of smaller platforms and outputs & providing a superior, whole-of-company approach. In doing this we will give our clients the best media intelligence service and make it more seamless to our clients to go get regional or global servicing.

The important thing to emphasise again is that we’re delivering a Mediaportal experience which has been adapted to the client needs of each market. Mediaportal will have a multilingual UI and be able to receive content and data from any Asian language.

Sean, I know you’re heading over to Hong Kong and China really soon, can you tell us a bit more about what that trip will entail?

Sean: My time in Hong Kong and China will focus on getting both these markets ready for Mediaportal. There’s a big change management process that David and I need to work through in order to enable our teams and ensure a successful release of Mediaportal.

Launching in Korea and Taiwan was exciting because both were new markets, and there was no legacy to contend with. This isn’t the case when we go live in Hong Kong and China. We’ll introduce a new platform, and a key challenge will be enabling our people and clients so that Mediaportal is easy for them and improves the service. We already deliver the market leading media intelligence service in Korea, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand. We now want this to be the reality in Hong Kong and China.

So we are coming together to build the internal culture and knowledge. What David brings is the skills, expertise and leadership in doing business in Asia, while I bring my experience in Media and Intelligence – we meet in the middle and will work towards a shared goal of releasing Mediaportal in Hong Kong and China and all other markets. Isn’t that the plan David?

David: [laughter] We’re really happy with the way we have structured this because what we have is someone who really understands Mediaportal through his experience and leadership in Media and Intelligence. The support in implementation, positioning and communicating the value of Mediaportal is fantastic and will really help our teams to expand their knowledge.

As we see digital connectivity continue to grow across the region, it’s easy to see the potential in this diverse and unique region. What’s your take on the media landscape and the growth in Asia Pac.?

David: Well as you you’ve already pointed out, the landscape has been rapidly changing and becoming more digitized. I think the difference in Asia is that the capturing of data is actually easier than before because there is less print (print media requires more complexity to capture and costly) and maybe less in broadcast. A notable change in the media landscape is that there is more online news and social –with the digital growth, everything is moving on to the cloud. If you’re not using a platform with the power of the cloud, how will you contain all the data?

Another key point, as well as fast paced growth, is the demographics across the Asian population. For the most part, it is a younger subset. For example the median age of the Vietnamese population was 30.4 years in 2015. This has a big impact on the adoption curve to digital and how media is consumed now and into the future.

What does it take to succeed? And what can we do to bring all that together?

Sean: We know Mediaportal is a great product and that our clients in other markets use it successfully every day to help manage the media and stay informed. Getting the change process right will be critical. We need to make sure our people become experts at using Mediaportal and understand how to show case to our clients so that they can see the benefits it will bring to them as professional communicators.

Secondly the media market is very different in Asia, not just as a region, even as we look country to country. As David has pointed out it is more digitally driven – so online news and social media will be key. Isentia has always had depth of content and data and in Asia this will be no different. In addressing this, we have got to be smarter – the volumes of data in Asia are infinitely bigger. Managing volume and noise for our clients is that we do, by getting the relevant sources to our clients at the right time.

Can you outline what each of you view to be the key competitive advantages that Isentia have over other key players in market?

Sean: We have the greatest reach and can provide our clients with the relevant content and data that they need to stay informed. We do this through a single platform (Mediaprotal) and clients can access this through the web, mobile apps or any device. Importantly Isentia monitors any media type - whether it is print, broadcast, radio or online news - we cover it all. Our clients will have the confidence that they are fully informed. This is unique, as what I see of most other players in the market is they only cover one or two media types.

Another key difference is what Isentia does with all that content and data, through our relevance engines. We make sure that we get the right information to our clients at the right time. We shield them from the noise!

Lastly, it is the strength of our people, we are local and operate in every country. Our teams will understand the media landscape and clients in each country individually.

How do you both collaborate and come together to bring some of Isentia’s strategic objectives to life?

Sean: We talk all the time! We have regular meetings and when needed I spend time in Asia. We stay connected and touch base on all the important points and have very open and robust conversations about what we need to do.

Again, we both bring different strengths to this partnership. David has the Asian knowledge, like people and sales, whereas I bring a range of experience across media intelligence, and that’s how we build a better business.

David: I think we have only one goal and is to make sure that we deliver the best client experience – that is how we really grow Isentia. We understand the client needs locally and I think Sean and his team contribute different industry knowledge and product insights so that our teams can deliver.

“Powered by Technology. Inspired by people” – What does this mean to you?

David: We’re in the business to help clients solve problems. We need our people to understand the client problem and the approaches we can take to help them solve it. But when it comes to implementation, we need technology to help with the complex media landscape world. I doubt any company successfully performs without technology and people going hand in hand.

Sean: I think it’s getting the best out of both. Our service is powered by technology, especially when you talk about the scale and volumes we now encounter. Our people help guide our clients through that busy 24/7 media landscape, and add value to what technology cannot already do.

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Blog
Breaking Boundaries In Media Intelligence

Another year draws to a close and 2018 fast approaches, but it’s business as usual at Isentia offices across the globe. Mediaportal is now available in Korea and Taiwan, and Asia Pacific continues to be a highlight for Isentia’s Media and Intelligence business.

Ready to get started?

Get in touch or request a demo.