Written by Jessica Levine, PR Assistant, HJ-PR
Data literacy, the ability to obtain meaningful insights from data, is increasingly becoming in demand in the PR industry. A large number of PR professionals lack the confidence and skill set to effectively use data to their advantage. Understanding these metrics is key to creating an effective strategy that will support your brand’s goals.
A common misconception is that PR metrics and KPIs are thought to be the same thing. The difference is that KPIs indicate if you’re hitting your goals with quantifiable data, while metrics record the status of an ongoing project. It is crucial to know the difference because PR metrics give you the ability to measure the performance of your ongoing efforts and change direction accordingly. The following are 5 metrics that matter:
Web visitors: This is important to track because it allows you to see an increase in visitors or traffic to your website that corresponds to your PR campaigns. On the other hand, if you are seeing no significant increase in visitors, that means your campaign might need some tweaking.
Conversions: This is when a site visitor acts on your call to action. This usually means performing a business transaction with you, for example making a purchase or investing in a service. If your conversion rate is not on track, you might need to re-analyze your strategy.
Referrals: This is how people find their way onto your website. It is important to know where your traffic comes from so that you don’t waste your money on platforms and channels that won’t benefit your PR initiatives.
Social Media Engagement: This tracks how involved your audience is with your content by measuring likes, comments, or shares. Having a high engagement rate means that your audience finds your content enjoyable or useful.
Media Reach: This is the best way to track your brand awareness. This can be specifically measured by impressions, reach, and placement. Impressions are how many times an individual sees a piece of content, while reach is the number of potential viewers a piece of content has from your followers and its shares.
As technology advances, metrics are becoming more accurate and reliable. This lends a huge helping hand to any PR strategy. However, you don’t always have to measure everything. Depending on the goals of your PR campaign, your metrics can be collected according to the most beneficial areas of measurement for the success of your brand.