This week in #MarketingMinds, Meltwater was fortunate enough to be graced with the presence of a number of PR pros who gathered on @Meltwater to discuss our theme of the week- Measuring PR.

Q1. How do you measure the success of your PR campaigns and benchmark against competitors?

@kate_hamilton expressed the need for SMART objectives that drive business outcomes. In addition to this, @tcajayant explained that classifying PR into two parts: Social and Traditional Media helps ensure objectives are set for both. One tip given when measuring PR is to use the same metrics across our brand and competitive benchmarking to secure consistency.

As @AdotIdotspace pointed out, word of mouth (WOM) is an important metric to consider when measuring PR, however this is sometimes neglected. @PeterLingua suggested we start by tracking hashtags or keywords. Media monitoring tools, such as Meltwater Buzz and Meltwater News can help us do just that, with the added benefit of diving deeper into the data beyond WOM mentions using sentiment analysis.

Q2. Name your top 3 PR goals

Brand awareness, lead generation and change in behaviour through conversion were common goals amongst participants. Furthermore, increased engagement, share of voice, brand endorsement and loyalty were also cited. Interestingly, recruitment branding was also mentioned as a top PR goal. It was suggested that marketing influences all aspects of the business with regards to perception, including as an employer. @taramom0_ agreed, stating employers are becoming more and more concerned about their image in order to attract top industry talent.

Q3. What PR tools/ platforms do you find most useful and why?

Participants use different tools for different purposes. For example, Twitter lists are useful for managing contacts and communities; Google Analytics helps marketeers effectively website visits.  Marketo is a great lead generation monitoring tool and – as mentioned above, media monitoring tools – to track hashtag and keywords are key to measuring success and doing some social listening before we try to start a conversation. @VJM_bytes explained using a matrix of tools & platforms enables us to cross check, thus verifying data and ensuring accuracy.

Q4. How do you track ROI on your PR?

It seems UTM codes are a favourite means of measuring PR amongst Marketing professionals. A handful of participants spoke of attaching specific UTM codes to each link in hope of understanding how much revenue, conversions and key performance indicators PR efforts generated/ met. @usaginyunyu suggested comparing and analysing UTM coded links to see which performed better. The power of a sequence of numbers and letter is truly amazing, hey?

Q5. What social metrics do you use to measure your successes?

Common social metrics used when measuring PR included; followers, engagement numbers,  website visits and total impressions from social media. The need for both qualitative and quantitative data was also mentioned. For example, understanding the sentiment around impressions and as @simonlp suggested, analysing actionable customer feedback, ideas or suggestions.

Save the date in your diaries! #MarketingMinds chat will be back this Friday at 3PM UK time discussing blog strategy.  We hope to see you all there!