If you were to compare the measurement metrics and systems used across 100 PR agencies, I would hazard a guess that whilst there would be a slight cross over, every single agency will use their own method to highlight their successes and identify any room for improvement.
Within Hatch, we pride ourselves on our measurements and reporting system, which has been identified as a key highlight for our client retention.
But why is measurement so important? Can’t you just send over a simple email highlighting coverage secured every day to put a smile on a client’s face?
Here at Hatch, we take ‘meaningful measurements’ to the next level and use it to capture not only our past or current work, but to guide our future plans too, continuously adapting to fit our clients’ preferences.
Whilst some of our clients like to receive a detailed breakdowns of imagery usage or a deep dive into the consumer vs trade media split, others like to see which stockist have been listed, and the total overall potential reach.
As you can see below, we break our levels of measurement into 4 sections, measuring all of them simultaneously, with each level adding another level of information to our evaluation.
The metrics and types of measurements we use are every growing, depending on the needs and wants of the client, and what is useful to them. It’s a bespoke system to ensure it not only works for us, but the client too.
But to pin point it, what is the gold standard for measurement and evaluation and how can it help inform and shape your success? Here are our top tips for producing meaningful measurement.
Set objective led KPIs and Fish Where the Fish Are
We can all say we want our clients to be featured in outlets that will be seen by millions and millions of people, but, if your objective is to sell straight to B2B, you may find more business success by being featured in a much smaller trade title, which is read direct by all of your audience.
It’s important to ensure you’re getting your clients products and brand name in front of the people you need to engage with. Don’t get me wrong, national outlets are brilliant, and will always put a smile on both client and agency faces, but a well-placed press piece direct to your audience in a key title will always be more effective.
Bespoke is best
There is no one size fits all when it comes to measurement and tracking – what we do for each client is bespoke, however it’s important that we follow a standardised agency-wide approach for consistency and quality control.
We use both quantitative and qualitative measurements to capture the full picture of our projects. Quantitative being the numbers such as total pieces of coverage, circulation of outlets and average Domaine Authorities. Whereas we use qualitative to capture things such as key messaging, topic, sentiment of the pieces to give a fullbodied result.
Key title wish list
To better measure your success within PR, a key title list is a must. This is a list of outlets your brand and client would love to be featured in. Perhaps it’s an outlet where a clients target audience predominantly consume their media, or a hero title within that specific industry.
By measuring not only pieces of coverage in general, but with also focusing on what percentage of coverage is within those specific key titles, you can ensure your pieces are landing where you want them.
Quality not quantity
A big focus for clients is often the number of pieces of coverage secured each month. Whilst it’s an easy metric to measure and can appear to be the main sources of success – the quality of coverage is generally much more important than the number of pieces secured.
You could quite easily get a press release syndicated regionally and hit 100 outlets. But, will that really help achieve the brands objectives, or reach their target audience?
Consider taking the time to build and foster relationships with journalists from key media outlets that your client wants to be featured in. It can be a lengthy process, but the results will be favourable and have a long term effect by generating high-quality coverage.
Traditionally, evaluation and coverage tracking is completed towards the end of a campaign, or following a set period of pitching specific press releases. At Hatch, we measure and evaluate coverage achieved by our clients every single day. This isn’t just to look good to clients, it’s because it allows us to make result-based action. By constantly tracking and evaluating we can see which pieces work best, which sector titles we’re not making it into, which allows us to continuously adapt so we can meet our internal KPIs and more importantly, our clients.
You don’t want to wait till the end of the campaign to sit down with your client and tell them why you’ve not successfully met KPIs. Evaluate throughout to ensure you leave every stone unturned and adapt your method of pitching. At Hatch we use the OASIS strategy from the very beginning of the planning stages, through until the end of the campaign. This allows us to develop ideas from the clients objectives, all the way to the results whilst ensuring this is effectively communicated to the client throughout.
The OASIS method forces us to think from the very start how our work will generate the desired results, and more importantly, how we will demonstrate this to the client. It’s important for us to recognise where measurements fit into the process of developing campaigns, as this then informs the strategy and implementation.
Don’t give up!
If you’ve set measurements, it is your duty to ensure you climb the highest mountains and scale the widest seas to make it happen. Nothing gets between us and achieving our KPIs.
If you like the sound of our measurement and evaluation systems then drop me and email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s work on something great together!
Want to hear more about our evaluations for digital PR, social media and more, keen an eye on the Hatch blog for more to come..