Don’t Let Quantification Be the Achilles Heel to Your PR Reporting
Math. People either love it or hate it. For public relations professionals, we often fall into the bucket of ‘dislike’ because it can be difficult to quantify our efforts. For example, let’s say you have a television interview set up organically by a PR person (i.e. not paid for like an advertisement). We calculate the advertising value of that interview as what a person would have spent on that particular station for advertising.
But here’s where things gets a bit complicated: people often purchase advertising in bulk, which means it’s discounted. Rates also fluctuate throughout different seasons and major televised events. We could go on and on, but you get the point. PR is far more valuable than the ad value we provide. Why? A journalist or media outlet singing the praises about your services/products or promoting what you do raises your credibility to a level that no amount of advertising could buy.
Another example may be determining the value of a ‘Like’ on Facebook or a viral video. These are new challenges those of us in public relations are faced with, and we must get a firm handle on in order to communicate how much are efforts are truly worth.
For those hiring a PR firm, it’s important to understand how your firm will explain ROI. Here are a few examples opportunities they may secure and how they quantify those in dollars.
Media interviews. We have spoken with multiple PR agencies and advertising representatives and have determined a few good rules to follow.
-Local media interviews are worth $3,000.
-National media interviews are worth $5,000.
-Online listings are worth $1,500.
Here’s why. Media interviews are valued at three times the cost of advertising because they are earned placement, not paid. That means a third-party (the news station) had to find your organization credible to report about. Since it’s difficult to speculate the cost of purchasing advertising in bulk and the rate changes that occur throughout different times per year, this standard formula is one that works.
From a business perspective, you should ensure that your PR firm is securing regular media interviews. You should also establish a system to convert inquiries you received after an interview as those will be vital to your bottom line.
Social media. It may be difficult to work out the exact math for a social media lead as every industry is different, but here’s one way to quantify. If your business is for profit, consider the net income for one customer. Then, take the new likes, fans or followers gained on a weekly or monthly basis. If your organization knows its average sales conversion rate, great! But in case you don’t, take the potential net income and divide by 10-15 percent. So if a new customer is worth $100, consider eight new likes worth $80 total. This is one of many ways to quantify.
Our best way is to gauge the increases monthly and ensure a strong upward momentum while communicating the growth. From there, we may measure the interaction from posts created and report a steady increase.
Website. Nearly everything should somehow track back to your website. E-blasts should have links that people can click to learn more, make a purchase, schedule a consultation, etc. via your website. Understanding your Google or other analytics will be key in quantifying how well your outreach is performing in getting people to visit and interact with your site. By using that information, you can similarly place a value on what each lead may be worth and understand the math involved with converting leads into sales. Your website is a powerful tool, and there are plenty of analytics available to quantify the value of visitors and understand its potential.
At NSPR, our clients receive both a weekly and monthly report from our team that details what we did, what we’re going to go and the value, or ROI, we brought to their business.
If you’re looking for PR results and want to ensure it makes an impact on your business, give us a call at (813) 865-3093.