What is my ROI? Did we achieve what we had set to? What did we get out of this coverage? Some of these are very prominent questions that brand communications and corporate communications people ask themselves as well as their consultancies. Any campaign can be called successful if it can be measured well and evaluated on various parameters, which can corroborate with the achievement of the objectives set in before the launch of the campaign.
Interestingly, without any kind of measurability, the public relations practice itself stands a chance of losing the credibility and value that it delivers to any client, brand, or company. Earlier, a simple method like the number of press clippings achieved was used to measure the impact of the PR campaign. It then moved to things like share of voice amongst competitors, and ad equivalent value, etc.
With social media coming into our lives, the whole measurement concept is undergoing a sea change, and consultancies are looking at many specialised ways of measuring the impact of their public relations and communications campaigns.
One of the ways of measurement could be to link the output with the set objectives. Assessing the objectives, and seeing if they have been achieved, is one of the basic ways to measure the campaign. If the objectives are related to sales for a consumer product where the PR campaign could have worked towards awareness creation, interest generation and thereby building a demand to drive sales. An ROI can be easily calculated.
Traditionally, the number of clips and ad equivalent values have been calculated, however, the advent of social media has changed it all. Readership of print media with certain numbers of circulation is one thing but the same story being shared by others in their network is completely different. Many journalists track how often their stories are shared in external networks to see how popular their stories have been.
When any media coverage is amplified in social media, the social media have inherent systems to measure the impact delivered through their platforms. For instance, Twitter analytics have a way to tell you how many tweet impressions, how many profile visits, and the number of mentions has been achieved including a change in the number of followers. All this can easily give you insights into the impact, which is very different from the traditional print media.
Moreover, as social media allows you to leverage traditional media, measurement plays a major role. It can give you specific pinpointed insights, suggest ideas for course correction, and facilitate real-time feedback to even improvise the ongoing campaign.
Another way is to stack your coverage against some strong competitor or maybe even more competitors in the same universe. This will be a great benchmark, as the share of voice can be calculated and measured from time to time.
In the age of social media tracking “brand mentions” can be one great way to measure the media coverage. If the engagement is high at any given point in time, you will notice a surge in the brand mentions and vice versa. You can measure brand sentiment, whether it is positive or negative. The kind of language used by the audience to discuss the brand will provide you insights into what kind of sentiments are prevailing and if there is an upward surge or a reduction in them.
Deploying good social media listening tools will allow observing the space well and proper corrective actions can be taken to ensure reputation remains intact and is built upon further. This will also ensure that the brand reputation is protected, and the campaign remains effective as inputs on engagement, the share of voice, and brand sentiments are available easily.
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