How do you measure ROI on PR?

How do you measure ROI on PR? It’s not an impossible task. While it’s true PR is a long-term awareness game, there are several straightforward strategies that allow you to measure results, and collect lead information even through TV or radio.

It may seem straightforward enough to measure ROI on PR through written word or web channels by just running a quick analytics report to see where leads are coming from. But consider Chrome may be removing 3rd party cookie support along with Apple, possibly removing the ease of tracking users. And when that changes how do you measure ROI on PR? Here are five strategies I use.

First, it’s important to have some kind of analytics tool installed. Google Analytics is, by far, the most popular choice, but there are other tools too. Squarespace even has analytics baked in (albeit, they’re not great).

Referral traffic from a single backlink
Referral Traffic from a single backlink.

The most straightforward tactic to measure ROI on PR easily without fancy tactics is to remember to give the writer or show producer a link, then track what is known as “referral” traffic coming from that website. This sounds obvious, but in my experience, I find that most marketers or people who’ve just been interviewed are too nervous to even ASK! But you can! And many will oblige!

There have even been a few cases, where I asked retroactively for a link, and got a favorable response. In some cases being told, “well, we don’t typically give out links, but we went ahead and did it for you.” If you’re kind, you have nothing to lose. Once you have a great backlink (and nice search engine bump) it’s a matter of tracking referral traffic.

One client with somewhat anemic web traffic got 1,462 web hits in a single day from one backlink. Because we were strategic in that link keyphrase, it also increased their rank for a coveted search term.

Unique URLs

If you have a TV or radio interview, one easy tracking method is by giving out a unique URL that isn’t your main corporate website address. For example, if you make pink fuzzy bunny slippers, you may buy “feelingfuzzy.com” (it’s a mom blog apparently) and direct it to your main website URL. When you give our “feelingfuzzy.com” on-air, you can be assured anyone hitting that URL heard about it via your media interview.

This is also a clever memory tool for media consumers. The longer the web address, the less likely they will be to remember it. How to measure ROI on PR is about making things easy for listeners, readers, viewers, and watchers.

Resource Downloads

What good is a click to your website that doesn’t convert? For now, you can retarget people that hit your website, providing some long-term value for even a visitor who bounces, but there’s a better way. Collecting their contact information is ideal, and the easiest way to do this is to have a compelling resource they can’t live without. When they do visit your page, you should have a form of some kind that promises to auto-email them the resource you know they want. How do you measure ROI on PR without buying a new domain? Simple, just created a new page for every media opportunity. Like yourcompany.com/todayshow

Keyphrase Training

Nothing is worse than getting an interview, knocking it out of the park, and having people immediately go to search for your product and not find you. If you sell pink fuzzy bunny slippers for example, but you don’t appear on the 1st page of most search engines, your PR efforts were spent giving your competitor a boost. How do you avoid this?

Understanding how to measure ROI on PR is about preparation. If you have time to prepare, knowing what language to use, and what to avoid are important. You should be aware of what happens when you do a web search for language that can impact your business before your golden opportunity and seek to fix it by increasing your rank. If you can’t increase your rank, focus on the language you can control. For example, swap out “pink fuzzy bunny slippers” with “pink furry rabbit slippers” and use only that specific language throughout the interview to train the listeners how to search for you. If you see that page increase in traffic organically post-interview, you’ll know where it came from.

Correlation

If all else fails, one remarkably simple (but often discounted) method is to simply mark interviews in your analytics software and looking for organic increases in those time ranges. This may seem like a cop-out, but consider how people search for products of interest these days.

If someone is watching a TV interview, they might be eating dinner or with friends. If it’s a radio interview, they might be in their car. If it’s a piece of journalism and there’s no backlink, they might go down a rabbit trail, and later close the tab. In almost all cases, people don’t click links or come directly to your site. So How do you measure ROI on PR in this case? Correlation traffic. Potential customers are opening a second tab, and search for you online via what they remember. Think about it, you probably do this even when you’re reading an article.

How to measure ROI on PR

How do you measure ROI on PR? It’s about preparedness, and making sure your web presence is clean, ready, and developed by professionals. We’ve all searched for a product we were excited about only to not find it, or find a webpage that looks like a knockoff. Anticipate these scenarios and avoid them.

10 Day Press Guide

Now, the only challenge is creating a pipeline of engaging stories to get some highly sought-after coverage. The easiest way to start is by downloading my free PDF that will guide you through a straightforward process to get you and/or your brand more press in 10 days. Just enter your first name, and email address, and I’ll send it to you in 5 minutes. (You will never be asked for payment info.)


 

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