How do you measure PR?

I’m writing an essay at the moment, it’s actually a case study analysis. I’m ‘critically’ analysing the success of a campaign, focusing on the implementation of tactics, the results achieved and how it was all monitored, measured and evaluated.

Monitoring, measurement and evaluation of PR activity is a hot topic right now. Going out into the industry this year it’s a must that graduates understand how to use social media, and more importantly how to measure it. We’ll be offering companies a wealth of knowledge they simply cannot live without.

The campaign I’m writing about was very successful in meeting the objectives with rather impressive results, and succeeded in changing the brandface of a much loved UK company for the better. The way some of the results were monitored was through the use of Cision. Cision software is one of the best monitoring and measurement tools available, my personal experience with it has been positive and it delivered tangible results in a neat dashboard. However the results provided from this campaign shows little indication that Cision was used to its full potential. Using the dreaded AVE’s, press clippings, circulation figures, sales and the increase in followers and fans was as deep as it got, this was all through volumes, not the interest gained. It does not demonstrate influence.

The use of online and more specifically social media in PR campaigns has changed clients expectations; people want to see solid results in money terms to be able to fully understand the value of PR. There are now many tools available which attempt to do exactly that.

Social Mention is a free search and analysis platform that uses user generated content to create a dashboard of information from across the web in real-time. The dashboard includes information on sentiment of mentions, your passion score which is ‘a measure of the likelihood that individuals talking about your brand will do so repeatedly.’ The reach and influence of the mentions using keywords and ‘a very simple calculation is used: phrase mentions within the last 24 hours divided by total possible mentions.’

A free tool which is Twitter specific is Twendz, it’s a Twitter trend analysis tool that measures real-time sentiment. There is a history bar chart which is useful to be able to provide sentiment snapshots.

How Sociable is a free tool which could be used in conjunction with others, e.g. Twendz. How Sociable provides a basic way to measure impact on the internet, the scores provide information based on your search term, measuring activity levels on up to 36 popular websites.

Monitoring and measuring in real time ensures you react faster to comments and this will increase levels of trust in your online community. Using tools such as these increases the depth of knowledge surrounding the brand and is one step closer to providing a measurable value of PR activity.

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