Over the past few weeks, we have been publishing a three-part series about the best approaches to the Media Relations workflow. We covered both the PR pros perspective of pitching a story and monitoring your results, as well as the journalist’s perspective of receiving a story pitch and deciding to publish. This is part three.
Proving Your ROI
The final step of a pitching initiative is being able to report your success back to any stakeholders. PR pros have struggled to showcase how they are moving the needle and impacting their company’s bottom line. Previous methods have traditionally been a tedious process, but Meltwater makes it easy.
Once you have pitched the journalists in your targeted media lists and secured several articles, it’s time to begin tracking your coverage. Set up searches in your Meltwater account with your company name and keywords relevant to the story pitch. With our Boolean Search, you can narrow down your results to just your earned media by adding exclusionary phrases from your company boilerplate. This will eliminate your newswire releases and any publications that directly copy your story pitch to their website. Alternatively, from a more general search, you can tag the earned media resulting from your pitching initiative.
Tracking Your Coverage with Analytics
From your search or tag, you can create a report with the analytics that show the impact on your company’s bottom line. While KPI’s may vary from company to company, most will want to report on the total number of articles received, their virality, and how they drove traffic back to the company website. Our Media Exposure, Top Social Echo, and Google Analytics widgets are a good place to start. While the analytics show a visual representation of your earned media, it is up to you to weave the full story of how you got those stories published.
Be prepared to talk about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into the analytics you are presenting. After finalizing the analytics in your report, create a shared dashboard or Custom Report to present to your stakeholders. In addition to the metrics from your dashboard, add external data such as the pitches you sent and the outreach stats. Use this opportunity to show how your time and energy is spent and demonstrate how this benefits the company’s bottom line. This is your time to shine!
Refine Your Outreach
After presenting on this pitching initiative, and before the next ones begins, be sure to further refine your media lists. Analyze your outreach stats to identify messaging that is getting you results, which outreach is getting high open or click-through rates, and use this information to adjust your content strategy moving forward. If any contacts unsubscribed, be sure to remove them from your lists, so as not to waste anyone’s time. Now is also a good time to identify contacts who have never opened any of your story pitches and the reason behind it. If they have changed beats or roles, it may be that your story was irrelevant to them and they should be removed from your list. Or perhaps email is not the best way to contact this journalist and you should reach out via phone instead.
Even when there are no pitching initiatives happening, there is still media relations work that can be done. Stay on top of your media lists as journalists are moving around rapidly. As contacts change jobs, be sure to either add or remove them from your lists. This is also a great time to engage with journalists without specifically pitching a story. Interact with them on social media and provide your thoughts on other stories they are writing where appropriate. This is the best time to strengthen your relationship with the media, so you can be that much more prepared for your next pitching initiative.
Want more tips and tools to successfully pitch to the media? Download our eBook, New Strategies in Media Relations.