From Metrics to Meaning: How Insight Can Drive Your PR Strategy to Success

May 12, 2023

In today’s media landscape, data, and metrics have become two crucial components of a PR strategy.

With the rapid advancement of the industry, public relations professionals now have an arsenal of tools and insights that can help them develop strategies that maximize their reach and impact.

At its core, the process of turning metrics into insights involves taking raw data and utilizing it to inform strategy. By delving deeper into data, PR professionals can utilize these new-found insights to gain a comprehensive understanding of their audience and perform a retrospective on strategy.

These metrics and insights can literally transform the way PR professionals engage with earned media channels, informing everything from how they craft releases to when they pitch a story, all in ways that successfully resonate with their target audience.

Below, we share three ways that key metrics can inform your PR strategy.

Content Creation

When it comes time to craft a pitch, press release, or other written collateral, identifying keywords that are relevant to your topic and/or target audience can help increase the visibility of this content.

Editors’ inboxes are inundated with pitches and releases, so selecting the right keywords to get their attention can make or break your strategy. It’s essential to make sure your content is clear and concise, as well as relevant to current industry trends. Semrush is a great place to start when looking to gather keywords. Using tools like Semrush can help content become optimized for maximum visibility and impact.

With this search, PR professionals can ensure their pitch or press release stands out among the sea of other messages vying for editors’ attention, which in turn leads to media placements.

Furthermore, when conducting keyword research, a user can find data such as keyword difficulty and volume. Although these metrics provide a surface-level understanding, analysis of these numbers can reveal trends about keyword usage among the target audience, as well as related words and questions. This information can offer insights into consumer trends and can inform a PR professional about the searches consumers are conducting and the content they wish to see and engage with.

For instance, searching “public relations” in Semrush yields a keyword difficulty of 91%, indicating that the word is heavily used and it may be difficult to create unique content surrounding this word. Additionally, there are 5.3K questions directly related to this keyword. These questions are frequently searched by consumers and should be considered when creating content as they can help address gaps in the information your intended audience is seeking.

Media List

Before sending out a pitch or release, a media list needs to be created with specific outlets and journalists. These outlets could be anywhere from local to regional to national. They all come with different readership numbers and ad values that should be considered when curating a media list.

For example, choosing media outlets that have a high number of unique visitors per month (UVM) can be beneficial when presenting clients with robust metrics that demonstrate the effectiveness of a media placement in any specific publication.

To determine an outlet’s UVM or ad value, PR professionals can look to PR softwares such as Muck Rack. Muck Rack is also able to provide other metrics such as the scope of an outlet and its media market all within its interface.

After determining key insights such as these, finally, an informed decision can be made surrounding next steps. If an outlet’s UVM and ad value are low, and its audience demographics are irrelevant, it’s wise to allocate pitching efforts elsewhere.

For example, a PR professional pitching an exclusive story on a historic estate would not look to outlets such as Cosmopolitan or Who What Wear. Though both of these outlets have a high UVM and ad value, their audience demographics would not be the best fit for this story. When pursuing an exclusive opportunity, it is key that the outlet that will yield the most success is chosen.

Client Reports

Client reports are essential to any PR campaign because they allow the client to evaluate its success and ensure the objectives are being met. These reports provide insight into the effectiveness of specific tactics and strategies employed during the campaign and also allow for adjustments to be made for future campaigns.

A huge piece of data that can help convey the impact of any PR campaign is website traffic. When tracking links are sent out in pitches, clients can see that site visitors are coming from specific earned media placements. Even better, you can correlate website traffic with dates of certain pitches, wire distributions, or even on-air interviews. All of this data surrounding a client’s website can tell a full story surrounding any campaign.

Other helpful metrics you can find in your Google Analytics dashboard are referral traffic, user demographics, and affinity categories. All of these metrics can help measure a campaign’s effectiveness. By analyzing this data, valuable insights into how users discover and interact with content can be gained.

By including summaries on reports informed by website data, clients can observe a more tangible impact of your PR efforts, helping them to gain a better understanding of how these strategies positively influenced their primary campaign objectives.

When turning data into insights, you can evaluate whether your communication strategies are yielding the best results possible. Armed with this valuable information, you can make informed decisions about where to allocate resources and how to refine your strategies to effectively achieve your business goals.

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