The end of the year also marks the start of many things. It’s time for celebrating and witnessing our colleagues a little worse for wear at the Christmas doo, the lead up to some much needed time off and dates with the family – or if you’re anything like me – a date or two with Nextlix.

Yearend also is a time for reminiscing over events that have unfolded. Accordingly, it’s around this time that we PR and Marketing professionals measure the effectiveness of the year’s brand strategy and gear up to report on the successes, challenges and opportunities that we face going forward. Our bosses are expecting us to have made fact-based budget decisions for the upcoming year, and brand measurement insights enable us to do just that.

So how do we go about measuring and evaluating the success of our PR campaigns? Well, there are a number of ways we can measure our brand strategy impact, let us explain..

1. Media Coverage

The number of brand mentions received in publications, partnered with potential audience reach, has a corresponding impact on our bottom line, which is reason enough to measure media coverage. Analysing peaks and troughs of articles captured over a specific time allows us to understand and measure brand strategy and media relations impact to assess the extent to which our campaign’s objectives were achieved. Benchmarking ourselves against previous years is a great way to see our position. Media coverage analysis can also provide answers to the following questions:

  • What publications are interested in our brand? Do we need to improve our targeting?
  • Is the publication of high value? Does it have a large potential readership? Targeted audience?
  • Which journalists are reporting on our brand? Have we reached influential industry voices?
  • What information is highly circulated? It could be new product launches, company news or brand campaigns.
  • How do opinion leaders view our brand? This gives a good indication on whether we need to tweak our messaging.

2. Share of Voice

How can we measure brand strategy over 2014? Measure share of voice in relation to quality of publication and sentiment of message.

How can we measure brand strategy impact over 2014?

Don’t just keep up with the Jonses, beat them! It’s pretty simple, all we need to do is monitor our competitor’s PR and news and voila! Suddenly we have a pool of insights from which to work. Benchmarking against competitors is a great way to measure brand strategy success by reflecting on how well we’re doing from a market share perspective.

In order for our brand to be recalled from memory we have to be memorable, more so than competitors. Memorability involves repetition, repetition, repetition (sorry couldn’t help myself!) of our brand and message, hence why share of voice is an important metric to monitor. We should, however, be aware that simply the number of hits in any number of publications isn’t the be all and end all. The potential reach to our target audience of the publication is just as important to measure in order to observe how many were exposed to our messaging.

3. Geographical Breakdown

Understanding where in the world our brand is making waves helps us gauge the reach of our campaigns, performance in certain areas and the overall impact our brand has had in various countries/ regions. We may be able to see potential growth development areas or make informed decisions on withdrawing resources in locations that have shown little interest. It’s also interesting to see our presence versus competitors and the reasoning behind their success or failures so we can imitate or avoid.

4. Sentiment

The most effective way to measure brand strategy success is to combine both quantitative and qualitative data. For example, having our brand mentioned in a record number of publications is great, unless they are tarnishing our brand by airing dirty laundry online. Sentiment analysis helps us save face in these kinds of situations by diving deeper into numerical data and bringing tonality of coverage to light. This particular metric is useful during crises as it helps us study how our brand message is resonating with the media.

5. Advertising Equivalent Value (AEV)

The cost of editorial coverage had the article been an advertisement is a common metric used to evaluate the value received from PR; the keyword being value, not volume. Value refers to reach as well as who the publication is reaching- it must be our target audience to be of use to us.

6. Social Reporting

How can we measure brand strategy impact over 2014? Listen on social.

Not only should we be keeping a close eye on media coverage when measuring brand strategy impact – but we should remember those who are most important. Our customers.  Listening to what our customers’ are saying on social gives us a good indication of:

    • Campaigns they find most engaging
    • Where they are engaging, so we can make informed decisions on whether we should increase efforts on a certain channel/ location in the world?
    • Our social share of voice
    • Who are the top influencers and our level of engagement with them
    • How much our customers love us through sentiment analysis

That’s just a few ways quality online news monitoring tools, such as the Meltwater’s PR suite, can measure brand strategy impact. In addition, our newly launched product, Meltwater Pulse, can help us take reporting to the next level by enhancing our media monitoring efforts with strategic analysis and results. We have the option of monthly, quarterly or annual reports delivered straight to our inbox making our hectic office lives a little easier and hopefully scoring us some brownie points with management along the way!