The Relationship between PR Success and ROI: Is there a RIGHT way to Measure PR Success?

In today’s socially connected world, Public Relations are an absolute necessity. Customers are constantly searching your brand, reputation, product information, as well as crowdsourcing their experiences. Public Relations have an important effect on Return on Investment (ROI), yet calculating an exact figure can be challenging. PR builds brand recognition, trust, and positive brand sentiment – all of which are challenging to convert directly into tangible results. Most importantly, PR has a direct responsibility to drive leads and company value. Yet to calculate this successfully, you often need two alternative methods.

Is it possible to calculate the ROI of PR strategies?

Public Relations will build brand identity, communicate directly with your target audience, and build customer trust and recognition. These metrics cannot be measured effectively through a simple cost-to-benefit calculation. PR strategies affect fundamentally human features that often do not translate neatly into numbers.

Here are three alternatives to measure ROI outside of the traditional metrics:

How you CAN track PR success

  1. Google Analytics Referral Traffic Tracking

Empower your brand through access to your Google Analytics. This will inform you of the percentage of monthly sales qualified leads resulting from media positions, social media and blog traffic. Use this tool to observe what articles your PR team obtained on third-party sites boosted sales qualified leads.

  1. Number of Media Placements as a starting point

Online content published months ago can continue to drive referral traffic to your company’s website. Once a PR team obtains a media placement on a third-party site, they will keep the momentum going by promoting them regularly on all social media platforms, sending out email blasts and EDMs, and using paid content promotions.

  1. Tracking domain authority

Organic searches are the number one driver of customer leads. Over 60% of organic clicks go to the top three Google search results. Your PR team can help you increase SEO through credible backlinks to your company’s website. If a credible website with high domain authority, such as the South China Morning Post, has a link to your website, then Google will measure your website as more credible. This means that when you publish content online, it will be higher in the Google search results.

Why it’s important

PR agencies promote brands and individuals through editorials and online media. These agencies help put forward and build a reputation for your brand. PR experts will study your brand and extract a powerful message and identity, which can be expressed through popular media outlets. Here are why Public Relations agencies are important for your brand.

  1. Forging your Brand

A PR firm will help you build a distinct and recognizable brand identity, and advance it consistently throughout all media platforms. Don’t let the media dictate your brand’s identity: design and promote your brand and your story.

  1. Command the media spotlight

When ensuring your brand occupies the center stage, not only are you increasing your brand exposure, but you are keeping your competitors out of the spotlight. Pushing content sharing, being active on social media, gaining articles on your brand, obtaining guest spots in interviews or podcasts, working with influencers and more, will continue to push your brand forward. Every space you occupy limits your competition.

  1. Form meaningful and long-term relationships

PR experts will build strong, online connections between your company and important figures, influencers, journalists, as well as your target audience. Establishing these long-lasting relationships ensures that your brand and audience’s needs are continually met.

  1. Reach your target audience

PR experts will help you determine who your brand should be targeting and ensure that you are promoting directly to them. Advertising can help increase your brand’s exposure, but PR will enable you to target the section of the population that you can persuade and convert to clients. PR experts know which publications your target audience prefers, what individuals are popular within your market and how to gain market share with your target audience.

  1. Get endorsed!

According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust their family and friend’s recommendations over any form of marketing. Luckily, social media increases consumer’s trust network to include influencers, celebrities, thought leaders and editors. This means that nowadays, customers will trust these individuals just as much as close friends and family, and forging these relevant connections can be extremely beneficial. PR experts can help you connect with and consolidate these relationships which will enable a trustworthy and direct channel from your connections to your target audience.

PR professionals put your brand identity in the spotlight and form important relationships benefiting your brand in the long term. PR success can be measured through an ROI calculation that incorporates a holistic approach combining brand awareness, sentiment, response and engagement – and there are numerous creative ways you can venture to gain awareness of the success of your PR strategies. Look beyond a basic cost-benefit analysis, and view the realm of benefits that can be reaped from PR strategy for your brand.

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