Welcome to the team Ruby Edwards
11 months ago
Please join us in welcoming Ruby Edwards to the Prime Mix Marketing team! Ruby is supporting us with PR Consultancy and we look forward to using her global experience with the big brands to deliver public relations locally. Ruby owns and runs You Do Better PR Agency and we’re delighted that she’s bringing her experience to the mix. We look forward to introducing all of our clients to Ruby over the next few weeks.
In the meantime, we ask: do you know what PR is? And what’s the point? Maybe we can help you by explaining a little:
Difference between PR and marketing
PR predominantly involves ‘free media.’ The purpose is to develop a discussion and generate coverage without directly paying for it, which is distinct from advertising. Public relations is about selling a company or brand through positively managing the communication channels between a company and its stakeholders and developing a positive reputation.
Marketing also involves communication strategies, however, it is much more heavily focused on achieving direct revenue. While return on investment (ROI) is undoubtedly important, there are more ways to measure it than just a pound for pound immediate return.
Why is it important?
In today’s socially connected world, public relations is more important than ever before. While ROI is the primary concern, it is also important to not focus entirely on direct sales.
Reputation and long-term brand opinion are as effective, if not more valuable. Even if you take it completely from personal experience, you’re much more likely to purchase something from a brand you like, and that you know have a good reputation, than from a brand you’ve never heard of.
Take Nike or Adidas as an example, they sell trainers and gym kit for a lot more money than other fitness brands, although the reputation and brand it has gained attracts people prefer their products and attracts for more sales than others. That attitude and brand appeal is achieved solely through the positive brand association that’s been built via its marketing and PR activity.
While PR ‘hits’ are never absolutely guaranteed, when they do happen, they spur brand affinity.
One topic that is always hot on the PR industry agenda is how to tackle the evaluation and measurement of PR campaigns and activity.
Unlike direct sales, it can sometimes be a bit more challenging to measure the effectiveness of public relations. Especially for organisations that aren’t 100% sure what the ‘point’ is.
Without PR you could have the best product in the world, although if nobody knows about it and there is no brand appeal, then you may not be making as much revenue as you could – if at all.
Google analytics is one of the best ways to record the ‘numbers’ results of PR. Whilst there are tonnes of information, you can narrow it down to find out the important stuff.
The most important thing is, are you reaching your target market? Well, your Google analytics will tell you and they will tell you where that target market is coming from too.
The information you might want to record could be:
- Who are you reaching?
- Where are they coming from?
- What are they doing when they land on your website?
- How long do they stay and does their visit convert to a sale?
This conversion could be purchasing your product or just calling you up to find out more.
The only drawback to this is that it doesn’t work for ‘word of mouth’ e.g. if someone reads an article about your company through a press release that your PR team issued, unless that consumer directly reports that’s where they found out about you – you won’t know.
An important thing to remember here though, is that just because you can’t track its definite impact, doesn’t mean there is no impact. It’s about brand development and awareness remember!
Forming valuable relationships
The “relations” part of public relations is the most important. A good PR team will build connections and partnerships as well as options for collaborative working with prominent figures, social influencers, media taste-makers and journalists.
A great public relations team, however, will build lasting relationships by working as a bridge between your needs and the needs of the media.
This is an obvious one, monitoring your brand’s coverage across all media channels is integral to evaluating the success of a PR campaign.
Depending on what sector your business is in will depend on which media channels you want to be featured in. Earned coverage through thought leadership stories is one of the most valuable media communications you can gain.
It’s also a great idea to identify early on what your main target magazines will be.
Impact of coverage
As well as quantitative measurement, it is also crucial to look at qualitative outcomes to analyse the content of the coverage. Were key messages included?
This is primarily down to the type of message included in your coverage. While company news is excellent, expert opinion pieces on topics and projects, discussion-pieces and influencers that your target audience are interested in, are even better.
Does the coverage you’re getting highlight the messages you want to be sharing about your business? If so, that is a measurable result. If you’re looking to gain coverage from pieces that have a positive and encouraging tone, you want the readers to find out more about you based on the article.
You can record each piece of coverage against the messages you want to be sharing and then you can actually see in figures if this has been achieved. The team at You Do Better are working on measuring the effect on outcomes rather than the measurement of outputs, with the PR objectives aligned to an organisation’s main business goals.
Ultimately, measuring the effectiveness of PR activity stems from having solid PR objectives agreed with our clients at the beginning of a project, from which success can be measured – but more about measurement of PR another time.
For now, we hope you’ve enjoyed our blog and learnt a little more about PR?