The No. 1 PR Resolution for 2015: Measuring Your Results

January 2, 2015

By Meghann Johnson, Regional Manager, Business Wire Chicago

As 2014 winds down, the question on top of everyone’s mind is “what can I do differently in 2015?” From tackling new projects to finishing the old, New Year’s resolutions allow us to refocus, reset and rethink our approach, hopefully inspiring some positive change along the way.

rulerSo, as PR professionals, what should be our biggest resolution in 2015? Very simply: make measurement the No. 1 priority! Below Business Wire outlines six measurement resolutions that EVERY communicator should adopt, and stick to, throughout the new year.

Set objectives…and be OK with missing them: The idea of setting specific, measurable objectives can strike fear in the hearts of even the most seasoned PR professionals. As communicators, our programs can often be difficult to track, especially when considering the dramatic impact that WOM (word of mouth), social media and digital has had on our industry. But without setting benchmarks and working toward them, PR practitioners can be left with only a handful of data points, or worse yet, find themselves scrambling at year-end to account for their progress. Even by falling short of your intended objectives, continuously measuring throughout the year will provide chances to adjust your programs and offer insightful ways to improve in the following year.

Break down the silos: Savvy PR professionals tie their communication program metrics to their company’s own key performance indicators (KPIs). This approach is important as it aligns PR with developing direct, benchmarked results for the company. For example, if your organization is running a corporate initiative that’s intended to: 1) drive sales 2) raise brand awareness 3) position corporate spokespeople, it’s best to understand what your organization’s objectives are first and then showcase how PR drives towards them. One way to align with corporate KPIs is to compile the anticipated takeaways from a PR announcement and then rate each article/placement on a scale (1, 2, 3) of how well the piece reflected these three key takeaways. Note: This type of system works best when initiated across all PR efforts for consistency.

under-the-influence-consumer-trust-in-advertisingThink beyond the “pickup”: There’s no denying that editorial coverage is a highly sought after component of every PR program. But, with 84% of audiences making decisions based on WOM, building brand awareness and activating the right audiences can be just as beneficial as landing that coveted Wall Street Journal placement. Additionally, audiences are seeking content in new places, whether that be a company’s own social channels or website; therefore, it’s important to connect with your web teams or online community managers before, during and after an announcement or campaign launch in order to measure how traffic and views have been influenced by your efforts.

Be the journalists’ publicist: When thinking about your PR efforts, remember, media measure too! Journalists are rated on the number of views to their article and time on site, so if your organization gets covered, be sure to promote the news…and then promote it again. Ultimately, the more traffic your team can generate by sharing the piece, the more likely a journalist is to write on you again. Think of it as recycling content and reusing it to your benefit.

Reporter Metrics

 

Let data be your guide: At the recent PR News Measurement Conference in November, David Rockland, Managing Director of Global Research at Ketchum, said about PR, “We are a data rich industry, but analytics poor.”

While there are countless ways to measure PR functions, the hardest part is to contextualize the metrics to make them make sense. One question we often receive at Business Wire pertains to our own NewsTrak reports. For example, what is the significance of press release views or link clicks? Truly, this metric can vary in significance depending on the goal of your program. Did you issue a release to garner media coverage? If so, how many journalists covered it? Or, were you trying to gain visibility and followers to your twitter feed by adding a hyperlink in your release? If yes, check how many people clicked on that link (provided within Business Wire’s report) to see if there is a correlation to the release and an uptick in followers. These seemingly arbitrary numbers can offer far greater insight if there are clear objectives established beforehand or if the PR team is gathering information across various channels.

Use the right tools: There are countless free and paid tools available to help with any measurement program so be sure to use them! Google Analytics is a great place to start. More and more companies use this platform the measure their efforts across Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned (PESO) channels. One simple way to effectively measure press release impact is to add a Google URL tracker to any hyperlinks within the text, which will subsequently track every time someone clicks on the link. Similarly, your team can monitor which information/link generated the most click-thrus and then promote that same info across other channels.

What’s your number one PR resolution in 2015? Share it via the BusinessWired blog or tweet us directly @BusinessWire. And as always, you can contact us directly to learn more about any of these topics.

Stay up to date with the latest news and trends impacting today’s communications programming. Join our mailing list today!


Kommunikationskongress: Business Wire did it again!

October 4, 2013
Guest post by Seval Dogan, Business Wire – A Berkshire Hathaway Company

Yes, Business Wire did it again. On the 26th and 27th September, we were a proud sponsor and exhibitor at the 10th anniversary of Kommunikationskongress in Berlin.

Kommunikationskongress is the largest annual international conference for Public Relations professionals in the German speaking market. Presented by the Federal Association of German spokesmen (BdP) and the respected magazine ‘pressesprecher’, the congress remains one of the most important platforms for discussions surrounding current issues and trends facing today’s PR and communications professionals. With more than 30 exhibitors and over 1,800 attendees, the congress is a popular organization in the area of corporate communications. Members of the congress include companies, organizations, agencies, PR-service providers, political parties, media services and more.

The Business Wire booth was a big hit this year, illuminated by its spectacular brand colors and featuring our newest monitoring service, NUVI. Business Wire thrilled booth visitors with giveaways, ‘Lebkuchenherz’ as the Germans call it, a delicious ginger bread cake shaped like a heart. Our branded ginger bread cakes not only drew the attention of the attendees at the congress, but also touched many hearts.

But it wasn’t the cake that put a big smile on Ms. Gladys Takramah’s, Berlin-based PR executive for Umweltbundesamt Deutsche Emissionshandelsstelle (DEHSt) face. She won our big prize, a Google Nexus 7 tablet.

Business Wire greatly enjoyed being a part of the 10th anniversary of Kommunikationskongress.  It was an excellent event and opportunity to meet with a wide range of PR and communication professionals.

Did you attend Kommunikationskongress this year? If so,what did you think?


Upcoming Business Wire Events: Olympics in London, Katie Paine in Dallas, Meet the Media in Boston, Denver and Charlotte

April 30, 2012

Upcoming Business Wire Events

Business Wire’s Media Breakfast: The Olympics, Media & PR

Hosted by Business Wire London

With the biggest sporting event in the world at our doorstep, join us for a discussion about how the Olympics affects the media landscape. Panelists include: Matt Ball, Editor-in-Chief of MSN UK, Scott Dougal, Deputy Sports Editor, the Press Association, Duncan Hooper, Managing Editor, News & Sport, MSN and Darren Waters, Head of Devices & Social Media, MSN / ex-BBC journalist. This event is FREE for public relations and communications professionals.

Wednesday, May 2 at 8:45 AM BST
St Bride Foundation
Bride Lane, Fleet StreetLondon , EC4Y 8EQ, United Kingdom

To register: RSVP by Monday 30 April to uk@BusinessWire.com

Meet the Boston Media

Hosted by Business Wire Boston

Join Business Wire Boston for breakfast and a panel discussion with members of the local media. Learn about current trends in journalism, what kind of news editors are looking for, and how to effectively pitch a story. Panelists include: George Donnelly – Executive Editor, Boston Business Journal, Abby Jordan – Associate Regional Editor, AOL’s Patch.com, Leigh Montgomery – Librarian, Christian Science Monitor, Frank Quaratiello – Business Editor, Boston Herald and Don Seiffert – Associate Editor, News, Mass High Tech. This event is FREE for all attendees.

Thursday, May 3 at 8:00 AM ET
Westin Waltham Hotel
70 Third Avenue, Waltham, MA, 02451

To register: RSVP to http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2184174926?ref=ebtn

Meet Denver Journalists and Public Relations Professionals Specializing in Targeting the Hispanic Market

Hosted by Business Wire Denver

Learn Tips for Reaching and Pitching Hispanic Media, a Critically Important and Growing Segment of the American Community. Daniel Montano, President/CE) of Elevation Creation International moderates a panel, including María Rozman, News Director, KDEN Telemundo Denver; Roberto Martínez-Maestre, General Director, El Hispano; Kim DeVigil, Senior Director, Communications, University of Denver; and Luisa Collins, News Director, Univision Colorado. This event is FREE for Business Wire members and $20 for non-members.

Thursday, May 3 at 8:30 AM MDT
Denver Athletic Club
1325 Glenarm Place, Denver, CO, 80204

To register: RSVP by May 1 to JoAnne Hirsch, (303) 861-8833 or joanne.hirsch@businesswire.com

Pitching to Pickup – Tips from Local Media on Working with Newsrooms

Hosted by Business Wire Charlotte

Local media professionals will discuss how to effectively pitch news to the media. Panelists include Dion Lim, News Anchor, WCNC; David Harris, Managing Editor, The Charlotte Business Journal and John Arwood, Business Editor, The Charlotte Observer. This event is FREE for Business Wire members and $20 for non-members.

Tuesday, May 22 at 7:30 AM ET
Dilworth Neighborhood Grille
911 East Morehead St, Charlotte, NC, 28204

To register: Please RSVP by Thursday, May 17 to Penny Sowards at penny.sowards@businesswire.com

Measuring What Matters: New Rules for 21st Century Communications Measurement

Hosted by Business Wire Dallas, with NIRI, PRSA, IABC and Critical Mention

What metrics really matter? How can metrics drive strategy? Join IABC, PRSA, NIRI, Business Wire & Critical Mention for the annual joint communications lunch, as Katie Paine, CEO of KDPaine & Partners, provides measurement insight on “best in class” measurement programs for 2012, best measurement tools today, where measurement is headed and more. Standard Luncheon Fees apply: Full-time Student $25.00, Guest $50.00 , Member $40.00 and Table of 10: $500.

Thursday, May 31 at 11:15 AM CT
Thanksgiving Tower (Tower Club)
1601 Elm Street, Dallas, TX, 75201

To register: Please RSVP by May 28 at 10:00 pm on this page

Business Wire holds dozens of local events every year. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from trends in today’s newsrooms to writing for SEO. Events are usually free of charge to members. For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit BusinessWire.com. Follow live updates from Business Wire events on Twitter: hash tag #bwchat


Multimedia Continues to Drive Press Release Views – Now More than Ever!

April 23, 2012
by Sandy Malloy, Senior Information Specialist, Business Wire

Sandy Malloy, Senior Information Specialist

Facebook buys Instagram.  Experian Hitwise reports that Pinterest is now the #3 social site on the Web.  More than ever, the adage “show, don’t tell” applies to communications and communicators.

Adding multimedia to a press release tends to increase the number of online release views.  When I looked at a list of the most-viewed releases of the second half of 2011 to see how many were multimedia-enriched, I found some pretty startling numbers.

Of the top 500 English-language releases, about 75% had one or more photos or videos.  Out of all the English language releases that Business Wire distributes, only 5% include multimedia.   In other words, 5% of all our English language releases accounted for 75% of the 500 most-viewed releases in the last 6 months of last year.

We can’t really say that your release is 75% more likely to be viewed if you include photos or videos, or that it will receive 75% more views.  Nevertheless, it seems pretty clear to me that adding multimedia does help drive release views.

Consider the releases on the most-popular list that ran without multimedia:

  • Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility
  • Announcements from several huge pharmaceutical companies on the results of clinical trials or strategic initiatives
  • Major acquisitions and joint ventures involving public and/or well-known companies
  • One of the major video game manufacturers announcing a price drop

That the Google announcement was hugely popular was no surprise.  News from very large public companies is of inherent interest to the media and markets.  Acqusitions are almost always big news because of investor interest and because they can affect an entire industry.  Video game news, with or without multimedia, tends to be noticed.

Meanwhile, the variety of photos and videos that ran with the Top 500 releases was wide-ranging.  Some examples:

  • A river cleanup
  • A photo of sauces and condiments
  • Photos of existing DRAM technology and an innovative variation
  • Photos of the principals of 2 merging companies
  • A benchmarking study (graphic)
  • Pictures and/or video of contest winners
  • Ringing of the Opening Bell at the NYSE

What is clear to me from this list is that the potential for finding visuals to accompany–or to tell–a story is vast.

A release can be very technical but illustrated with a photo that its equally technical audience will appreciate.  The media do appreciate photos of people, and not just for personnel announcements.  (If those people are celebrities, so much the better, but it’s not a requirement.  Newspapers and business journals love to use photos of locals.)   Charts and graphs can be compelling.  Finally, there are some stories that seem to beg for photos or videos.  Among these are any releases announcing eye-catching new products; corporate social responsibility releases (show the river that’s being cleaned up, the electric car charging stations, the participants in the 10K run);and releases announcing corporate milestones.

Besides the potential bump in viewership,  using multimedia in conjunction with a good story can increase the chances a story will be used by broadcast media.  Broadcast monitoring service and Business Wire partner Critical Mention reported in one of their newsletters that the Yelp’s IPO announcement resulted in 395 hits on U.S. television stations; and these are over-the-air broadcasts, not postings on broadcast websites.  The story was a big one, of course, but the accompanying images were really colorful and exciting.  As Critical Mention described it, the release (what Business Wire calls a Smart News Release) was “loaded with newsy images and video.”

Besides the benefits of attracting attention to your release and giving journalists more reason to cover your news, there is at least one other benefit to using multimedia:  Your news can live longer.  I have seen many instances of photos being used months or even years after they originally ran.  An especially good photo of people or companies in the news can be used more than once, as in this example of Business Wire’s CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz shown with Warren Buffett in a 9/30/11 photo illustrating a 2/6/12 story.

Granted, being affiliated with Warren Buffett is an advantage when it comes to gaining attention.  But even companies that don’t have this advantage can still give their stories greater appeal, and “legs”, by supplementing them with multimedia.


Katie Paine Talks Measurement with Florida Communicators

April 4, 2012

by Julia Sotelo, Client Services Representative & Pilar Portela-Webb, Media Relations Supervisor, Business Wire Florida

Business Wire Florida held “Measurement, Engagement & Influence with Katie Paine- Moving from Theoretical to Tactical,” a memorable breakfast discussion for South Florida Professionals on March 6th. The event featured measurement guru Katie Paine. The event was held at Nova Southeastern University’s main Ft. Lauderdale-Davie campus. The panel was moderated by Laura Sturaitis, Executive VP Media Services & Product Strategy for Business Wire.

L-R: BW Florida Regional Manager Janice Essick, VP of Web Communications Ibrey Woodall, EVP of Product Strategy & Media Services Laura Sturaitis, speaker Katie Paine and Media Relations Supervisor Pilar Portela

Katie Paine shared her 25 years of measurement expertise and offered valuable information on evaluating the success of communications initiatives. In general Katie taught us that what matters isn’t new. For example: Conversations with stakeholders, relationships, and reputation and behavior.

Some things don’t change:

  • What matters has been measured before
  • In a crisis, success is still how fast it goes away
  • Your influencers haven’t changed, they just have different titles

She advised to get past measuring followers and story hits and to look at SEO and Page Rank; Influence; Engagement; Relationships; Advocacy; Sentiment and ROI.

Here are Katie’s 7 steps to Measure What Matters:

  1. Define Results
  2. Understand your audience and what motivates them
  3. Define Investment
  4. Determine what you are benchmarking against
  5. Define metrics (what you want to become)
  6. Pick a tool and undertake research
  7. Analyze results and glean insight, take action and measure again

Among her insights was the importance of involving all departments – PR, marketing, web, sales, SEO – in the strategic planning of communications decisions- “break down the silos.” This is directly in line with what we encourage our clients to do. Of particular importance is connecting web analytics in crafting your release and communications efforts. Katie also talked about the “Kick Butt Index.” How does management define ‘kicking butt?’ Know their definition and set up your communications metrics accordingly. Learn more at Katie’s The Measurement Standard or Business Wire’s Press Release Measurement.

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit our events page or follow Business Wire events on Twitter, hashtag #bwchat.


Upcoming Business Wire Events: Katie Paine in South Florida, Meet the Media in Charlotte

February 27, 2012

Upcoming Business Wire Events

Measurement, Engagement and Influence with Katie Paine- Moving from Theoretical to Tactical

Hosted by Business Wire Florida

Join Business Wire Florida for breakfast and a session with measurement maven, Katie Paine.  Paine’s most recent book, Measure What Matters: Online Tools For Understanding Customers, Social Media, Engagement, and Key Relationships, was released last March and will provide a foundation for her presentation.  “Measurement isn’t just a buzzword on everyone’s to do list anymore,” says Paine. “With tight budgets and a growing proliferation of tools and techniques to get your messages out there, PR pros are increasingly faced with tough decisions on where to put their resources. Only by figuring out what really matters and then developing specific metrics to measure the programs, can the right choices be made.” This event is FREE for all attendees.

Tuesday, March 6 at 8:30 am EST
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue Carl DeSantis Building, 3rd floor Sales Institute, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 33314

To register: RSVP to Julia.Sotelo@businesswire.com by Friday, March 2.

Meet the Media

Hosted by Business Wire Charlotte

A panel of media experts will discuss topics including what’s a good story and current trends in journalism, as well as give tips on effective pitching. Panelists include: Rick Martinez, News Director, NewsRadio 680 WPTF; Rick Smith, Business and Technology Manager, WRAL-TV; and David Bracken, Assistant Business Editor, The News & Observer. This event is FREE for all attendees.

Thursday, March 15 at 11:30 am EDT
Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center
4700 Emperor Blvd., Durham, NC, 27703
To register: Please RSVP by March 9 to Penny Sowards at penny.sowards@businesswire.com

Business Wire holds dozens of local events every year. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from trends in today’s newsrooms to writing for SEO. Events are usually free of charge to members. For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit BusinessWire.com. Follow live updates from Business Wire events on Twitter: hash tag #bwchat


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