For many clients, the sole purpose of implementing a PR campaign is to see their name in lights.
Achieving positive press coverage is often seen as the highlight of any campaign, whether targeting local media, national newspapers, consumer magazines or social media influencers.
But a great PR campaign shouldn’t be solely judged on how many times your company name has appeared in print.
For too long, ‘public relations‘ has become synonymous with media relations – yet this is only one aspect of the wide spectrum of activities that make up the profession.
Since the explosion of social media and the ability for consumers to engage directly with brands, I believe that PR is now coming back to what it was historically all about – the PUBLIC.
At the heart of it, PR is about all about managing your reputation.
It’s about educating clients/customers to think favourably of you. It’s about generating positive brand recognition – ensuring that the public knows what you do, and what you are good at.
It’s about communicating your messages in a clear and concise way to your target audience; whether they are consumers buying your products, stakeholders investing in your business or communities engaged with your activities.
Yes, media relations plays a part in this – but it is only one vital cog in the wheel.
Judging Real Success
Thanks to data analytics, it is easier than ever before to judge the success of a PR campaign, above and beyond the volume of media clippings.
Free analytical tools such as Google Analytics can help you evaluate whether your media coverage has led to an increase in web traffic or an increase in sales for example.
But in order to take full advantage of all of this information at your finger tips, any media relations activity needs to be viewed in the wider context of your ongoing marketing and PR campaigns – with a clear strategy, specific objectives, and a means to ‘track’ referral via unique codes and urls.
This all requires forethought.
Taking the time to look at the bigger picture and putting in measures such as the above, will then give you insights such as:
- where your customers found out about your brand and therefore which publications are most effective
- what behavioural actions may lead to purchasing decisions (if applicable)
- whether they are likely to become an advocate for your brand
You can in turn use this in-depth understanding and knowledge of your customer to improve your services and/or products; therefore establishing a stronger reputation, and more positive brand recognition.
Over the years I’ve seen social media updates from PRs rightfully shouting about the amount of press coverage that they’ve achieved for clients, and it should be applauded.
Achieving media coverage in a saturated market is tough. BUT (and this is a big but) if the outcomes of this coverage have not led to further action (e.g. a website visit, contact enquiry or product sale), can it really be judged as being a success?
This is why at Marley Bird, we take the time to fully understand your business, and develop strategic PR campaigns based around your business needs.
We don’t set targets and outcomes based on the amount of coverage we want to achieve – our success is judged on whether you have seen an improvement in your business growth. After all – that’s the true value of a great PR campaign.