You’re making efforts to get the word out about your business, but how do you know if all of that work is paying off? You might “feel” more successful, or perhaps you’re frustrated and suspect that all the work isn’t yielding the results you want. The only way to truly know is to evaluate different aspects of your results and determine what the actual ROI is on your PR Efforts.
Count your press mentions
As you improve your public relations efforts, you need to keep a list of all of the times you have appeared in the media, along with the dates, and what you did to get there. Then compare your results with the past. Where did you experience the most success with your pitches? Print media? Online? Did you see a rise in speaking engagements or in guest articles?
Review your goals and gauge how you measured up against them. If you’re not where you wanted to be, you may need to shift strategies. The only way to know for sure is to look at the results and measure your progress.
Review your acceptances & passes
If you have been dutifully recording your pitches, you should have a concise list of those that were accepted, declined, or are still in progress. Depending on how long you have been tracking, you might not yet be able to compare year-to-year, but how about season-to-season? Quarter-to-quarter? Is the media biting? Are your pitches successful?
If you’re sending out increasingly effective pitches to the right target media, you should see a trend of more acceptances. If that’s not the case, you once again have a good indication that your approach needs refinement. While the latter might not be the news you hoped for, it gives you a powerful place to start.
Check your website traffic
Use your web analytics to view trends in your web traffic. If you have successfully pitched online media, you should see additional traffic to your site from the links that were embedded in the features where you appeared.
Compare your various results. If your online press mentions are up, but your web traffic is unaffected, are you targeting the right demographic? It’s possible you need to go back to your wish list of media outlets and refine your options. While you’ll feel like celebrating every time you see your company mentioned online, it will be a very short celebration if the attention doesn’t convert to sales.
Look for the hidden returns
Not every feature article or real wedding post is going to turn into a whirlwind of sales, but there can be many different kinds of benefits to gaining attention in the media. Maybe certain editors were more open to receiving and accepting your pitches because you consistently provided what they sought. Or perhaps you made new vendor relationships as a result of increased attention. Have you noticed that you’ve been asked to deliver more keynote speeches, or invited to attend more networking meetings? Your press mentions may have increased your credibility among your peers.
Don’t get frustrated just because the numbers don’t appear to yield the results you wanted. Look at the big picture and see if your company has made progress in arenas you might not have considered before. You might have to tweak your approach to see growth in certain categories, but you almost might find more to celebrate than you previously expected.
Measuring the ROI of your public relations efforts can be tricky, but not impossible, especially if you stay organized and keep great records of your actions and their results. Don’t wait! Get started now, because the best way to ensure your success in the future is to reflect on what you have achieved to date.
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.