Sunday, March 2, 2008

Web-Centric PR Measurement

Public relations professionals have historically measured the success of their programs in several media-centric ways:

1. Advertising equivalency evaluations: the value of our coverage if we would have purchased it as advertising.

2. Share of voice: how much ink we received in comparison to a company’s competitors and how that has trended over time.

While it remains smart to evaluate media coverage as part of a program’s assessment, there also needs to be the recognition that the most important drivers of business success – lead generation and sales – are now greatly determined by Web search.

Public relations results, whether they are traditional press coverage, industry analyst commentary and/or social media, can positively impact a company’s rank via Google or Yahoo. The more content about a company on the Web with the right key words, the better the search results.

At Strategic Communications Group (Strategic) we have begun to include pre- and post-campaign Web search evaluations as part of our assessment methodology. What key words should we use though? Do we rely on our clients to tell us what they think? Or is there a way we can more scientifically identify the right words to incorporate into our PR activities?

Here are two services worth checking out and, if appropriate, recommending to your clients. There’s a cost associated with each, but they do offer free trials.

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