Jan 08, 2014

3 Ways Press Release Measurement Can Inform Your Message Strategy

Press Release Reporting

PR Newswire’s “State of Multimedia Use in PR” survey found that 56.4% of communications professionals claim to not have the reporting tools necessary to understand the success of their multimedia efforts, with many relying on ad hoc reporting to convey their results with stakeholders. Despite this perceived lack of resources, 76% of those surveyed planned to increase their multimedia efforts in 2014.

Fortunately for PR pros, press release vendors often provide comprehensive reporting that measures the success of a press release and its multimedia components. If you use a wire service and haven’t taken the time to really look at the numbers in your reports, resolve to do so now! You can derive valuable insights from these reports, such as audience engagement levels, social media impressions, and identification of potential influencers. Given today’s fierce competition for audience attention, press release reporting is an indispensable tool for demonstrating ROI and finding new opportunities to improve your message strategy.

Here are three ways you can take action on the numbers you see in PR Newswire’s Visibility Reports to improve the effectiveness of future campaigns:

Use your engagement score to determine what content is favorable among target audiences

Denise Perez, PR Newswire’s manager of global press release reporting.

One of the unique metrics featured in press release reporting is an engagement score, which measures the level of interaction that readers have with a press release and its contents. Denise Perez, PR Newswire’s manager of global reporting, describes the process PR Newswire uses to derive an engagement score:

“The Engagement Index score derives from the comparison of engagement statistics for a given release with those other releases issued by PR Newswire within the same industry or industries.  Specifically, PR Newswire tallies the number of times readers save, print, email, share or blog about a message and compare this number to the number of times these actions have been recorded for other news releases in similar industries.  Visibility Reports then generates an engagement “score” for that release based on the number comparison.  The scale for index scores is set from 0-100, with 50 always being the industry average. “Visibility” scores (i.e., measuring views to the release) and Engagement scores (i.e., measuring interaction with the release) generated in this way can be considered as an industry benchmark comparison for that particular release.”

Genuine engagement with content such as click-throughs, retweets, and downloads reveal the types of content your audience is interested in. Engagement is also weighed heavily in search engine algorithms, which influence the discoverability of your content.

Refer to release comparison trends to inform your editorial calendar

While the engagement index determines what content is working for your audience, evaluating release comparison trends can help you better determine what does and doesn’t work. View activity trends for your content over various periods of time to understand how long your news was a topic of interest. This information can help inform a timelier editorial calendar built with content that your audience wants to interact with.  You can also quickly ascertain which messages developed stronger traction overall with your audiences, as well as the comparative duds.  Analyze each group, looking for common elements.  Incorporate what you’ve learned from evaluating your more successful messages to improve your future content.

Identify social influencers with detailed social media reporting

Another benefit of press release reporting is the ability to monitor social media conversations. The analytics provided can help you obtain a better understanding of how your message has resonated on social channels. Some of the stats measured include:

  • How many tweets and retweets your release has garnered
  • A full display of the Twitter channels where your release was shared
  • Klout scores of the individuals who tweeted your news
  • Follower counts and total impressions of your tweet

The ability to recognize the industry thought-leaders sharing your news is a major advantage to your message strategy. Targeted influencers are a direct route to additional audiences for your content, which can help generate more leads and drive traffic to your website. If these influencers are also members of the media, consider building this relationship by pitching your stories directly to them. Refer to a media contact database, in conjunction with your press release report, to identify what outlet that leader works for, the topics they typically cover, and preferred method of contact. Genuine recognition from these social influencers will help position your brand as an industry authority as well.

As reported in our survey, communications professionals are increasingly recognizing the power of a good multimedia strategy but admit to lacking the resources necessary to measure their results.  Press release reports are a convenient and easy-to-use solution, enabling users to quantify areas of success as well as areas for improvement. Use it to pinpoint the messages resonating with viewers, find new audiences, and build relationships with media influencers.  As audience attention becomes more selective, the analytics provided within your press release reports will be a crucial asset for staying ahead of the competition.

Have you measured your press release results lately? Log in to the Online Member Center to view your Visibility Reports and further develop your message strategy. 

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