For us as a PR agency, it is essential to make sure that our PR strategies are measurable and that the data from these strategies can be presented to our clients. Therefore, before the start of a campaign, in addition to the content-related topics we conceptualise, we also define the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs for short) of each project, which are used to measure how successful our strategies were. At the end of each campaign we conduct an evaluation, and it is here that the overall result of the project and any related findings are summarised. This takes place in the form of a final discussion we call "lessons learned" along with any supporting documentation. For us, recording and evaluating any key findings we experienced during a project is the key to effectively improving the performance of future campaigns.
The starting point for the selection of key performance indicators is always the objective of the communication, because short-term goals such as the promotion of an event or a press release require a different approach than a long-term thought leadership strategy or the development and placement of an own study.
The foremost question is always: How do we pay off on the defined corporate goals? The communication goals we set and the measures we take are always guided by this question. We follow the motto: If we don't know the way, no key figure for controlling will help. If we know the way, any indicator that shows whether we have reached our goal is a good thing. However, there is never just ONE indicator. The ideal outcome is an integrated, cross-media control system that makes sense of the successes and the campaign as a whole. Contextualising the respective goals and messages is the first and also the most important step here in terms of analysis. Some proven cross-genre KPIs are: the number of media or press mentions (called clippings) as well as aggregated reach (to be differentiated into reach over time or by editorial units), which can also be summed up. An analysis by topic presence, tonality, share of voice and engagement rates via LinkedIn or other social media channels and the strength of core messages. Nevertheless, it can make sense to also include the cost-benefit ratio, or the Return on Investment rate (RoI), in order to be able to assess the success of campaigns and PR measures. If, for example, PR communication in a crowdfunding campaign generates a certain number of leads who invest in the crowdfunding, this results in a PR RoI. We record all KPIs in a final report.
By measuring clippings, estimating the corresponding reach of those clippings, analysing the tone of those publications and the traffic generated (hits on a website), we are provided with an overall picture of the success of our PR measures. These results can be clearly quantified using the media data of newspaper and magazine publishers. This includes information on publication methods, dates, advertising rates and conditions, details on reach, distribution area of the title, page impressions and user profiles for online offers as well as an analysis of their target reader groups. The ad value equivalency (AVE), which can be calculated on the basis of the title-specific ad price and the size of an individual article (number of characters), quantifies the monetary equivalence in euros that would have to be paid for an ad of comparable size and in a comparable place in a medium instead of an editorial article. However, this value must also be viewed critically, since editorial publications enjoy a higher credibility than advertisements. Such "soft" factors must always be taken into account as well. Nevertheless, it is a good indicator of the strength of the medium and should not be ignored.
In addition, we develop concrete recommendations from the documented conversations with potential influencers and journalists. These are always based on the interests of the target groups and often form the basis for new PR points of contact. The decisive factor here is direct communication with journalists and building a network with the most important media representatives and multipliers. Our experience shows that continuity, foresight and patience are crucial within PR work. Short-term or sensationalistic PR campaigns that cause a stir may lead to high-circulation publications, but they do not necessarily pay off in terms of long-term perception goals. Conversely, a press release may not always achieve short-term results, but it does pay into the necessary groundwork. The goal is to get into the conversation with the target group and multipliers bit by bit.
If you would like to learn more about our success analysis, please get in touch with us or continue to read more about our services and PR philosophy.
monoceros is a strategic communications agency based in Berlin. We develop customized, target-oriented PR campaigns for digital disrupters, startups and tech giants. The basis for our outstanding results: Over ten years of PR experience on the corporate and agency side and the motivation to establish an agency with the highest standards. On our monoceros blog we regularly highlight essential topics of our PR work and report on the latest developments from the digital economy.