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PR Pillars and measuring impact - from Sedgemoor fm's Business Breakfast presentation

Recently I was in the hot seat at Sedgemoor fm’s Business Breakfast, talking about the benefits of PR for business and how to measure your success!


For those who couldn’t make it on the day, who want to learn more about how PR can help their business, or who want to know how to measure the impact PR has had on their business, I’ve included my talking points below.


The PR Pillars


The biggest question I get asked is ‘What the hell is PR anyway?’.


I like to break it down into three main pillars, so now matter what marketing you’re working on you can bring everything back into focus.


Relationships


Good PR is about building relationships. With your customers, your target audience, and the wider community you exist in. By communicating clearly and with authenticity, you build engagement around your business with the wider community you operate in.By utilising a media liaison and having strong relationships with journalists you are also creating more opportunities for your story to be heard. Being consistent, listening to feedback and being responsive will help to curate and strengthen these relationships and create more chances for you to shine.


Reputation


A good reputation is hugely important, especially with consumers doing more and more research into businesses before committing to working with them.


PR is all about storytelling and weaving a narrative that showcases your values, mission, and impact. PR professionals can build an emotional connection with stakeholders and enhance reputation using these ‘good news’ pieces to bolster your image in the local, national and trade media.


The monitoring of media coverage, social media mentions, and online sentiment gives a chance to assess your reputation to the public. By proactively addressing any negative publicity and leveraging positive feedback, you can shape and maintain a favourable reputation.


Trust


Using PR, you have an opportunity to assert yourself as a thought leader, a trusted supplier, the industry expert.


By offering opinion and insight, and tackling your target audience’s pain points, you become the business that customers turn to when they are in need of your specific offering.


Introducing a PR strategy that involves elements like media liaison and entering awards also builds the credibility of your business. Linking back to transparency and authenticity, these both naturally build trust between yourself and your target audience.


Tracking success


Now that you’ve got your PR pillars in place, how do you measure the success of the campaign that’s been implemented? 


Measuring Public Relations and marketing success is often difficult, as the results are less tangible and therefore harder to track in a quantitative way. Below are the considerations I have in mind when tracking the success of client PR work:


Impact


When considering impact, I like to think about both coverage and attention. 


Coverage considers where you’ve been featured, what the readership is, how many views you may have had, the target audience you are reaching and how all of those factors line up with your objectives.


Attention is similar but considers the engagement side of things more carefully. Monitor how people are engaging with your media coverage, with any social media posts, how they are engaging you. Are they reaching out or commenting and liking social posts about your business? Monitoring the sentiment that is expressed about your business is a great habit to get into and I can’t recommend it enough, whether you’re introducing PR or working on your social media strategy!


Traffic


At this point in the presentation I delivered recently, I stopped and told the audience that if there was just one thing they took away from the session it needed to be this:


IF YOU AREN’T ALREADY TRACKING DATA ON YOUR WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS - START. NOW.


It is impossible to track the success of any marketing you do if you don’t already have a baseline to judge it on. I always suggest tracking things like website visits, page views, clicks, follows, likes and other easily accessible insights to measure the success of PR work. Even just measuring the traffic to your site can reveal interesting trends.


ROI


As a business owner, every penny counts. You want to make sure that you are getting a good return on your investment when you spend on marketing and PR. 

First, you have to consider what a return on investment looks like for you. Is it more followers? More sales? An increased presence in a particular type of media? Do you want to be a thought leader?


Once you have figured out your objectives, work out what the cost of advertising during a similar period to achieve those objectives would be. Oftentimes you will get better value for money from a strategy that relies more heavily on editorial, as your target audience will be more likely to engage than with advertising.


I hope you gained some insight from this. If you want to know more or would like to discuss your own PR needs get in touch or book your free PR consultation today!


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