Case Study: Press Releases Increase Awareness, Sales of Lakemaid Beer

October 16, 2014

By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social and Evolving Media

Earlier this month, Business Wire launched the first in a series of case studies showcasing how clients are utilizing press releases to increase awareness, message permeation and, ultimately, sales.

In this CommPro piece, we speak with Pocket Hercules to find out how one press release, video and image resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in media coverage, views and ultimately, sales for Lakemaid Beer.  This program is one that many PR professionals can duplicate to support a wide range of products, services and more.

Click here to read the entire article and then ask yourself, how are you utilizing traditional PR tools to support your organization?


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


PRSA International Conference Preview: See you in Orlando!

October 14, 2011

by Amy Yen, Marketing Specialist, Business Wire Los Angeles

Heading to the PRSA International Conference this week? So are we! We’re looking forward to meeting PR professionals from across the country and learning about the latest trends and developments in the industry.

Don’t forget to come by and see us at Booth #401/403 for fun giveaways and a chance to win an iPad2.  We’ll have our team of experts on-hand to discuss our entire suite of public relations services, including:

While you’re at the show, take advantage of free one-on-one demonstrations of our dynamic NewsHQ Online Newsroom solution conducted by our online newsroom expert Ibrey Woodall.  You’ll learn how a better online newsroom can benefit your organization. Contact your local account executive or email Conferences2011@businesswire.com to schedule your free consultation.  We have times available all day Sunday and Monday.

Business Wire’s Laura Sturaitis, Executive VP of Media Services & Product Strategy, will be speaking with Greg Jarboe, president of SEO-PR, at a session called “Maximizing Press Release Performance Online” on Tuesday, October 18 at 9:45 a.m. ET in Palazzo Salon E.   You won’t want to miss their presentation of the results of an 18-month study on online press release performance and the strategies and best practices for optimizing press releases to increase traffic and engagement with key landing pages and websites.

Follow live updates from the conference on Twitter @BusinessWire.   Hope to see you there!


To Register or Not to Register? For Press Release Measurement, a Tough Question

August 9, 2011

by Sandy Malloy, Senior Information Specialist Sandy Malloy, Senior Information Specialist

In a column on ClickZ entitled “5 Traits of the Analytically Empowered Organization,” Neil Mason offers basic guidelines on how to get the most out of measurement and analysis.  Mason addresses website analytics but his guidelines can also apply to interpreting press release measurement data collected in Business Wire’s complimentary Newstrak reports.

“In an ideal world, data is integrated around known users but this may not always be appropriate or possible,” wrote Mason. “Some internal data may be on a customer level, but digital data is often based on cookie level data.”   

In other words, if you know with whom you are dealing (your own customers, or website visitors about whom you have specific information that they provided upon registration) you can record accurate information about those people.  If not, you have to gather information using less direct, and therefore less accurate, methods.

So, although ideally you would like in-depth, accurate data about each visitor to your site, or viewer of your press releases, realistically you might not be able to gather this data without compelling that person to register.  But compulsory registration can cause someone to leave a website.  A recent study found that 75% of consumers take issue with being asked to register on a website and will change their behavior as a result.

The Business Wire site stopped requiring registration as a prerequisite to reading full press releases because we wanted visitors to stay on our site longer and read more of our clients’ releases.  The trade-off is missing visitor-supplied information about their geographic location, industry, job title, and other facts from registration forms. 

We can still report upon each visitor’s “location” but that information actually corresponds to the IP address of the visitor.  Sometimes that’s the same as where the visitor is located.  In other cases, it only reflects where the internet service provider is located. 

We’re not alone in swapping broad access and happy website visitors for information that we have to then find indirectly (or selectively,  from the relative few who don’t mind registering). 

For instance, I’ve seen demos of social media analysis products that have geographic and demographic sections.   When I have pressed the salesperson for how these data were derived, I learned they used IP addresses–exactly as we do–and reported demographics for users who include that information in their profiles.  In other words, indirect, or selective; or even very, very selective, information.

None of this means that their reports, or our reports, are useless.  On the contrary, they can be extremely useful but, as is the case with any statistical report, you must know what you’re viewing.

Here are some tips on how to use statistical reports with these constraints in mind:

  • Don’t accept any numbers at face value.  Understand the context in which they exist and how they fit in with one another as well as with any statistics you might be gathering internally.
  • Make sure you are indeed gathering those internal statistics.  Don’t rely on third party reports to tell you the whole story about what you are trying to measure–the “known users” referred to above are YOUR users, and you can leverage those relationships to gather a lot of information.
  • Especially if you are purchasing a measurement product, don’t be so lulled by the sexiness of the presentation that you fail to ask the vendor, “How do you find this information?”  Prod for  specifics so you’ll know what numbers to rely upon and which should be taken with that proverbial grain of salt.

Free Tools to Enhance Your Press Release Reports

July 5, 2011

 

 

This year, we’ve worked hard here at Business Wire to enhance our release reporting capabilities, pushing out a significant upgrade this Spring with even more enhancements in the pipeline.  That said, there are always companies and their agencies interested in customizing their NewsTrak reports beyond what we offer in order to gather deeper insight or simply to impress the top brass.  In this post, I’m offer tips and tools you can use to enhance your reporting and earn that gold star on your next report card.

Google Alerts

Most people are familiar with Google Alerts, but if you’ve been working with it for a long time you may be guilty of the old “set it and forget it” with the default Alert settings from a year ago or more and are missing out.  Google Alerts now offers six different classes of results:

  • News (collected from Google News)
  •  Blogs (collected from the sometimes controversial Google Blog Search)
  • Realtime (collected from the new Realtime Search, which often shows mostly Twitter results)
  • Video (mostly Youtube)
  • Discussions (likely focused on Google Groups and forums).

Setting up seperate alerts with key search terms for each of these result types will give you far more comprehensive results than setting up just one “everything” alert set to show “only the best results.”

Google Alerts even has an option to export to CSV at google.com/alerts/export , which you can then take into Excel and merge with other Excel based reports you are using.

Alexa, Compete, Delicious 

Now that you’ve augmented your reports with additional web activity, you can use public data from services such as Alexa, Compete, Delicious to show a rough measure of relative popularity (despite frequently inaccurate data) of different website and blog sources from traffic and Google alerts.  For Delicious, you can use the number of site bookmarks as a metric. For Alexa & Compete, the site ranking is a good one to use.  In every case, you can find the score simply by typing in the site address into the search in the corresponding service.

Topsy & BackTweets

It seems that no Twitter search engine is perfect, even Twitter’s own, but both Topsy and BackTweets do a pretty good job of reaching back into the distant Twitter past (ie one week ago!) and finding tweets based on URL searches. Topsy also provides broad recommendations on which Twitter users are influential.

Klout and TwitterGrader

Since you’ve used Alexa and the like to enhance your web results, why not use Klout or TwitterGrader scores to show a rough measure of influence from the Twitter users that have tweeted your release.  Unless you have a huge list of people, the quickest way to gather the data is simply to type each Twitter handle into Klout’s search box and save the corresponding score.  You can do the same with TwitterGrader, although it typically takes a long time to calculate each score, while Klout scores are reported instantly.

There’s my summer tips for enhancing your release reporting.  Try’em out and become the metrics master at your office.


Tips for Measuring Sentiment Analysis: Don’t Let Early Adoption Become Buyer’s Remorse

May 31, 2011

 

by Sandy Malloy, Information Services

A recent  blog post by measurement expert Katie Paine calls sentiment analysis the “latest shiny new measurement toy” and suggests questions to ask before attempting to measure  social media sentiment of corporate and other messaging.

One of her most important points  has relevance for press releases:  Do people express any sentiment at all in discussing your brand? 

Simple searches on Twitter and/or Google blogs will give you an idea, but first consider the kind of news your company announces.   If you sell measuring equipment to scientists, for example, it’s unlikely that sentiment will register anything but “neutral”–even if your products are discussed in social media.

No sentiment = no need for sentiment analysis.

That said, monitoring all types of media for what’s being said about your company, industry and competitors is important.  But monitoring is not analysis, and analysis might not be sentiment metrics–thus, paying for analytics when all you need is monitoring makes no sense.

Just for fun, I reviewed about 200 social media clips that a long-time subscriber to Business Wire’s NewsTrak Clips had received over a few days.   Almost all the tweets and mentions of  this engineering company were neutral.  One item stated that the company had been “called out” for some action. 

A human reader could easily identify the statement as negative, while software might or might not make that determination.  Either way, though, I would have had no trouble doing my own analysis with such a low volume of posts.  For Paine, the cut-off before investing in analysis software is 10,000 relevant non-spam mentions per month.

Of course, you can analyze your social media mentions in other ways to put this information into a meaningful context.  Almost every week, I see lists like this one that offer help managing and analyzing social media clips.

If you still can’t resist the “shiny new toy,” here are some steps to take to assure your early adoption doesn’t become buyer’s remorse:

1Start with monitoring and worry about analysis later.  You can use free tools or a more comprehensive paid service, as long as you can monitor how many posts or tweets come through daily.

2.  Commit to either looking at the results yourself or making sure a colleague does every day.  That way, the task won’t be overwhelming unless the volume is overwhelming –and then you’ll have a case for investigating analysis software after all!

3. If sentiment analysis is indeed a “key metric,” decide on whether the volume of posts and tweets justifies buying software.  Also, be aware that sentiment analysis software has improved but is unlikely to be 100% accurate.  You’ll probably need  people to cross-check at least a sample of the results.

4.  If you determine that sentiment is largely absent, decide what metrics are relevant and find the tool(s) that will help you gather the information.


Press Release Measurement: When You Don’t Know Your Goal, Any Tool Will Do

February 23, 2011
by Sandy Malloy, Senior Information Specialist, Business Wire

A common question I get as one of the Info Divas at Business Wire is “How’s my press release doing compared to others in my industry?” 

I understand the desire for benchmarks, but politely suggest that’s the wrong question.  Better would be: “How well did this press release help me satisfy my goals in sending it out?” 

You can’t measure without goal-setting–just as you can’t say whether your fitness program is successful if you don’t know whether your goal is to drop 20 pounds, bench press 250 or simply show up at the gym three times a week.

While our recent  PR Peeps poll  reflects what pr professionals say constitutes press release success, too may of them fail to set goals before asking the “how are we doing” question. A recent post by Todd Defren of PR Squared and many who commented on it, echoed this sentiment.  

Starting with a goal in mind–whether it’s increasing brand awareness, generating traffic, scoring link clicks, or any other specific, measurable objective–provides context for the numbers you do gather.  And articulating your press release objective allows for a more complete picture by supplementing press release metrics with other meaningful statistics (e.g., number of Likes on Facebook, sales leads generated, etc.)

Here are a few guidelines on setting measurable press release objectives:

1.  Tie your goals to those of the organization, and identify what piece of the puzzle you represent.  You might not be able to correlate a press release with increased sales, but you can set a goal of increasing sales leads and then measure traffic to a landing page on your website.

2.  When you talk about the ROI of a press release you are measuring means, not ends. A press release, the means, is a strategy.  Your objective is the end — what do you want people to do as the result of the release appearing?

3.  In addition to your desired outcome, include your target audience.  This phase of measurement will involve steps to take after the release goes out.  If you want to measure brand awareness among the under-20-somethings who buy your video games, for instance, you might have to just track social media mentions; whereas setting up focus groups could be more appropriate if your target audience comprises pharmaceutical executives.

4.  Set a time frame for achieving the objective.

The Institute for Public Relations is a good resource for more information on public relations measurement.


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