The Ever-Changing ROI of PR

March 4, 2015

3085209738_385419e37f-100257457-orig“What metrics do you use to measure ROI?” – PR Clients, Always – Forever

 Some people get chills just reading that question. There are so many ways to measure PR’s value, yet at the same time, it’s a value that can also be very ambiguous and hard to define. Sure, most companies understand that PR is another tool to elevate brand awareness but how do you gauge that? You have to define exactly what it is your brand needs to be successful. Do you want page views? Increased sales? More signups? Incoming calls? Ad space equivalence?

 When analyzing PR ROI, it’s best to take the Justice Potter Stewart approach to pornography – “I know it when I see it.”

 The beginning of our relationship with Simple Energy began a bit like this approach. Not the pornography part. The ROI part.

The client was preparing to launch a new platform and began to discuss what success looks like. New to the world of PR but confident in their place within the industry, the client’s goal was straightforward – let the utility world know about their upcoming platform.

Which is exactly what we did. Trade media, local press, top-tier business publications, door-to-door media relations, we spent two months forging relationships with the top energy and tech media in preparation for an every-changing launch date. And it was a great launch, with glowing, in-depth coverage and interviews from Forbes, The Guardian UK, VentureBeat, The Wall Street Journal and a bevy of trade and local press. Our team delivered insight into messaging pull through, social sharing analytics, competitor mentions, target audiences and media impressions. Every possible ROI measurement was tracked and reported back.

However, at the end of the day, these were not the metrics that mattered most. Sure, they were elated at the coverage and the potential eyeballs noticing their brand. But at the end of launch week, they were over the moon about the number of leads they’d received from the coverage. When the dust settled, the number of phone calls coming into their office measured the true value of our PR efforts.

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Not every client has the luxury of tying PR directly to sales. Many still have to take a different route to judge the true ROI of their agency’s PR efforts, which is all well and good. But when we’re able to directly tie PR to sales leads and enhancing the bottom line, it makes our job refreshing and most importantly, the client happy. And that’s the best ROI we can ask for.

 

~Jason

 

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