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


The Top Twenty Press Releases of 2011

January 5, 2012
by Phil Dennison, Senior Marketing Specialist, Business Wire/Cleveland

At Business Wire we pride ourselves on our consultative approach to offering our services — we try to give you the best advice on how to make your press releases successful and get the most for your money. From press release tips to measurement facts to targeting options, our account executives and editors help you execute your strategy in the most effective way.

I recently took a look at the twenty most-viewed press releases on BusinessWire.com from Jan. 1, 2011 to Dec. 4, 2011, to see what kinds of trends and facts might be inferred from them. What types of releases garner a lot of views? Big brand names? Photos? Raw content? Headlines?

Ultimately, each company has to decide for itself what the strategic purpose of each press release is, and how best to achieve its goals. Among these releases, here are some facts and figures:

  • Cumulatively, these twenty releases account for 1,216,513 views, or an average of 63,076 views per release.
  • Fifteen of twenty included their company logo (a free service of Business Wire). Seven included at least one photo, and one included a video.
  • On average, 59% of readers found the release directly on BusinessWire.com (while browsing headlines or via RSS feeds or headline delivery emails), 34% found it on another site, and 6% found it via a search engine. Less than one percent of traffic, on average, came via social sources.

traffic sources graph

  • Links are a key factor in engaging readers with your news. Thirteen of the twenty releases included at list one hyperlink in the body of the release; but those thirteen releases got an average of 7,798 link clicks.
  • But don’t underestimate social, especially the top sites. For the traffic which did arrive from social sources, 65% came from Facebook, 29% from Twitter, 5% from LinkedIn, and the remaining 1% from all other social networks.
  • In terms of user engagement and sharing, on average, readers shared each release on Facebook 147 times, on Twitter 103 times, and on LinkedIn 88 times.
  • Business Wire readers are very interested in news about Apple and ExxonMobil.

It’s not easy to discern any clear trends, but two facts do stand out:

1. BusinessWire.com and its list of websites and other online sources carrying our news feed continue to be a crucial part of the news distribution process, getting companies tens of thousands of views, leading to user engagement, photo downloads, news coverage and more.

2. For all the growth in social, search is still a major driver of traffic for companies working online, which is pretty much everyone. Compelling, search-optimized content continues to be key to getting your press releases in front of your audiences.

So, without further ado, here are the twenty most-viewed press releases of 2011. Take a look and see what tips you might be able to get from them to make your own press releases more successful.

AT&T to Acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom

Cyber Monday:  The Season’s Best Deals – No Fighting for Parking. No Waiting in Line.  Just Lean Back, Put Your Feet up and Shop.

Statement by Apple’s Board of Directors

Statement by Steve Jobs’ Family

Adobe Delivers Technical Communication Suite 3

Comic Sans Pro Typeface Family Makes its Debut

ExxonMobil Announces Three Discoveries in Deepwater Gulf of Mexico

HP Confirms Discussions with Autonomy Corporation plc Regarding Possible Business Combination; Makes Other Announcements

ExxonMobil Speedpass Customers Can Save 15 Cents Per Gallon

The Alliance for Consumer Education Names Senator Herb Kohl Honorary Chair

Clear Channel Radio Announces Acquisition of Thumbplay’s Cloud-Based Music Business

Letter from Steve Jobs

Fisher Investments MarketMinder Re-released

Steve Jobs Resigns as CEO of Apple

Exxon Mobil Corporation Declares Second Quarter Dividend

Heinz® Dip & Squeeze® Ketchup is Available Nationally! Heinz and Chick-fil-A® Invite You to Celebrate with Free FryDay

Exxon Mobil Corporation Declares Fourth Quarter Dividend

Exxon Mobil Corporation Declares First Quarter Dividend

FDA Approves YERVOY™ (ipilimumab) for the Treatment of Patients with Newly Diagnosed or Previously-Treated Unresectable or Metastatic Melanoma, the Deadliest Form of Skin Cancer

Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility


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!


Advertising Value Equivalencies: The Mostly Meaningless Metric with Nine Lives

July 7, 2011

by Sandy Malloy, Senior Information Specialist

Sandy Malloy, Senior Information SpecialistLucky seven.  Unlucky thirteen.  Three strikes.  The Top 100 movies of all time.  We love numbers, don’t we?  Rankings, ratings, scores, anything to tell us some kind of truth in a simple way.  My favorite wine retailer told a joke about the guy who comes into the shop: “This wine you sold me last week is awful!”  he tells the proprietior, who responds, “Parker gave it a 92.”  The customer exclaims, “I’ll take a case!”

Ad Value Equivalency (AVE) is the magic number that won’t die despite repeated attempts by the Insitute for Public Relations and well-known measurement mavens to kill it.  Yet another article on the dubious value of AVE appeared in the Wall Street Journal this week.

Why is AVE the Godzilla of measurement?  Probably because it’s simple.  It’s easy to research advertising rates, multiply by column inches or air time, and tack on an “earned media” factor (three is common).  Voila!  You have a magic number that purports to justify the effort.

A poll of 400 respondents on this very blog a couple of years ago found that a third did use AVE but about a quarter didn’t even know the meaning of the phrase.  So, while even more people either didn’t use it or didn’t know about it, a large group of those who responded either:

  • Didn’t know of another way to measure, or;
  • Reported to a client or manager who  demanded a simple number even though the result being measured (message dissemination and influence) is complex.

The WSJ article acknowledges no “simple alternative” to AVE exists, and most PR pros would agree that measuring public relations efforts  depends entirely on the goal of publicity (something I have blogged about in this space.)  As Ketchum’s Dr. David Rockland has said, “AVEs get replaced by a series of metrics that are dependent on what exactly you are trying to do.”

Here are a just a few basic examples of outcome-oriented goals and corresponding measurement methods:

 GOAL:  Create interest in a contest you are promoting, gather sales leads

  • MEASURES:  Track the sources of leads, which might be a combination of ads, press releases and social media mentions.  Record link clicks in press releases and combine with internal Web analytics for a landing page on your site with contest details and entry form.   Create a matrix that compares the effectiveness of each approach with the cost.

 GOAL:  Educate employees about new health benefits

  • MEASURES:  Set a benchmark of desirable awareness level. Poll employees about knowledge of the benefits before and after campaign.

GOAL:  Defuse a crisis.

  • MEASURES:  Track mainstream and social media coverage, noting whether the media is reporting the messages you are trying to convey and the tone of the coverage.  In this case, negative publicity is far worse than no publicity.

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.


Upcoming Business Wire Event on PR Measurement in Portland October 21

October 7, 2010

Upcoming Business Wire Events

Join Business Wire experts in your area for media breakfasts, panel discussions and other insightful events. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from writing for SEO to marketing with social media. Best of all, Business Wire events are usually free of charge. Check out some of our upcoming events in your area:

PR Media Measurement: Defining, Capturing and Reporting Results

Hosted by Business Wire Seattle [Portland Event]

Today’s media landscape has not only shifted the way PR strategies are formed, but also the way success is defined and measured. Campaigns are multifaceted; targeting social media, mobile audiences, trade and traditional media and more. Deciphering return and demonstrating results are critical components to a successful communications program. Join Business Wire Seattle in Portland for lunch and a panel discussion on

  • How to define success for your campaign – ways to build a foundation for capturing results before executing your plan.
  • Tips and tools that can improve your measurement process.
  • Reporting results – how to digest and tie your results back to the company’s objectives.

John Sidline, Managing Principal at Mobility Public Relations will moderate the panel, including:

Thursday, October 21 at 11:30 am PT
Governor Hotel, Second Floor Library
614 SW 11th Ave., Portland, OR 97205

To register: RSVP here: http://bwpdx.eventbrite.com

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/business-wire-events.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


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