Please note: This article originally appeared on PRNews’ website on Friday, October 2nd, 2015.
“Just tell me what to put in my PR measurement dashboard!”
It’s a familiar cry from PR pros whose dreams are haunted by endless streams of data and budget meetings right out of the Spanish Inquisition.
No two situations are exactly alike, but PR News Measurement Hall of Famer (class of 2013) Katie Paine does recommend that you include these five metrics in your dashboard to help you make data-informed decisions. The CEO of Paine Publishing and measurement pioneer will be a presenter on a dashboard session at PR News’ Nov. 18 Measurement Conference in Chicago, where she’ll go into greater detail on these five data points.
1. Net increase in share of desirable media coverage
We all know by now that raw impressions and “HITS” (How Idiots Track Success) are irrelevant in this results-driven world. What you need is media coverage (social, online, traditional, broadcast or wherever your brand gets mentioned) that recommends your brand and/or leaves the reader more likely to do business with you. Give 10 points to perfect stories, -10 to your worst nightmare and then evaluate all stories that are in media most likely to influence your key stakeholders on those criteria that will make them purchase or act.
2. Top five performing pieces of content measured by conversion
We are all content marketers these days, but you need a metric to determine what constitutes “great content” and what needs revamping or replacing. That metric should be conversions in Google Analytics or whatever web analytics tool you are using. Conversions can be defined as traffic to a specific URL, behavior on the site, purchases or whatever advances your mission. The point is to define them and set them up and then measure all your content based on the extent to which it has driven conversions.
3. Percentage increase in conversions
Once you have conversion behavior established, goal conversions become a key metric that tell you how well your efforts are inspiring your stakeholders to act. If you’re managing an online newsroom, for example, you might want to track the percentage increase in pieces of content used. If you’re managing media outreach, increase in requests for more information might be your key conversion metric.
4. Net growth in high-quality engagement
With the imminent arrival of the “dislike” button in Facebook, evaluating the quality of your engagement in social media is more critical than ever. Likes tell you very little, but comments that contain your key messages are meaningful—revealing which messages are resonating with your target audiences and which are not. Retweets and shares that contain personal endorsements carry far more weight. Develop your own custom engagement index that weighs each user action based on your goals and track this metric over time.
5. Cost effectiveness comparison
The most important analysis of all that should be on your dashboard is the chart or charts that show the correlation between these four metrics. Did that great, message-rich story in the New York Times drive good engagement and thus conversions? Or did that user-generated video have much greater impact? And how much time and how many resources did it take you to produce each one? What is the relative cost effectiveness of each effort?
Learn more from Katie Paine about creating measurement dashboards at PR News’ Nov. 18 Measurement Conference in Chicago.
Follow Katie Paine: @queenofmetrics
Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI