How do you measure ROI on PR?

How do you measure ROI on PR? It sounds impossible because analytics can’t possibly track platforms like TV and Radio, but it works. As an emerging tech PR guy, I’ll share clever methods you can use starting today. After reading this, founders and marketers alike will be able to measure results and collect lead information, regardless of its origin.

It may seem straightforward to measure ROI on PR through written word or web channels. By just running a quick analytics report, you should see where leads are coming from. But data scientists know this isn’t true, and tracking is becoming increasingly difficult. With Chrome removing 3rd party cookie support, Apple removing developers’ ability to track users, and Firefox, DuckDuckGo, and VPNs taking steps to crack down on tracking, How do you measure ROI on PR?

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

The most straightforward and obvious tactic to measure ROI on PR is to remember to provide the proper link to your website. When being interviewed or quoted, give the writer or show producer a link to your site and track what is known as “referral” traffic coming from that website. This may sound obvious, but founders NEVER DO IT.

Most marketers or people who’ve just been interviewed are too nervous to even ASK! But you can! And many will oblige!

I’ve even reached out to journalists who previously ran stories to retroactively add links. They agree often! In some cases, I have even been 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. We were strategic in that link keyphrase, so it increased their rank for a coveted search term as well. Win/Win!

Option 2: Unique URLs

If you have a TV or radio interview, you probably think tracking traffic resulting from the interview is impossible, but it can be done. One tracking method is to utilize 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 the “feelingfuzzy.com” on-air, you can be assured anyone hitting that URL did so from your 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. When considering how to measure ROI on PR, consider memory easy for the journalist, listeners, readers, viewers, and watchers. This is also a win/win!

Option 3: 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 make sure they come across a form that promises a freebie of some kind: something you uniquely have access to that they do not. Perhaps a white paper? Perhaps a video? A PDF? A free trial? Maybe you will physically mail them something?

How do you measure ROI on PR without buying a new domain? Simple, just created a new page for every media opportunity, where the resource will live. Like yourcompany.com/todayshow

Option 4: Keyphrase Training

Training an audience to search for a highly specific keyphrase that leads to a page on your website is a clever way to track inbound traffic. Understanding how to measure ROI on PR is about preparation.

To get ahead of what people will search in their browsers, at the very least, own your company name in search engines. Search for language that can impact your business before your golden press opportunity. What appears when you search for your company or products? If you don’t like what you see, work to fix it now. Read my article on how to appear on search engines.

If you can’t increase your rank on competitive keyphrases, focus on the language you can control. For example, change “pink fuzzy bunny slippers” to “pink furry rabbit slippers” and use only that specific language throughout the interview. By doing this, you train listeners or viewers how to search for you. If you see the corresponding page increase in organic traffic, you can be sure it came from the interview.

Nothing is worse than landing an interview, knocking it out of the park, and having potential customers search the internet to not find you, or worse, find your competition.

Option 5: Correlation

If all else fails, one simple (but often discounted) method is to simply mark the date an interview took place in your analytics and look for an organic increase in traffic. This may seem like a cop-out, but consider how potential customers find online information. They “Google” it.

If someone is watching your TV interview, they might be eating dinner or with friends. If they hear you on the radio, they might be in their car. If it’s a piece of written journalism, there may not be a proper hyperlink. Even if there is a hyperlink, they probably won’t click it. So how do you measure ROI on PR in this case? Correlation traffic.

Potential customers are opening a second tab to search what they can recall later. Think about it, you probably do this often.

More resources on how to measure ROI on PR

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

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10-day guide

How to become well-known in your industry.

My name is Justin Brady. Entrepreneurs, founders and business owners hire me to amplify their story to millions of people. Subscribe and I'll send a free PDF to grow your personal brand in 10 days.