The Ultimate Guide to PR Management

The Ultimate Guide to PR Management

Philippa Dods
4 June 2018

We know only too well how much of a challenge PR management can be – even just uttering the term sends any communications professional running for cover.

But it doesn’t have to be a hassle. In fact, with all the PR management tools and tips available today, it is easier to manage your PR efforts than ever before. This includes everything from proving your PR success to your Directors, to accurate and attractive reporting.

In the Ultimate Guide to PR Management, we take you through it all, step-by-step. Read from beginning to end for a well-rounded understanding of PR management, or skip to the chapters you are interested in to gain relevant insights.

PR Myths and Problems, Solved:

1. It is difficult to illustrate the value of PR to all stakeholders in your organization.
2. PR measurement is outdated and does not truly reflect everyday efforts.
3. It is difficult to correlate PR with Social Media.
4. Reporting takes time.

Problem 1: It is difficult to illustrate the value of PR to all stakeholders in your organization.

Solution: With Meltwater, you can understand what is important to each stakeholder, create a dashboard with widgets that relate to those needs, easily share the dashboard on a regular basis.

As PR and communication professionals, we spend a lot of time on external communication, but it is not always easy to communicate PR insights internally. We work closely with journalists and influencers, which means that e-mail marketing helps us to communicate quickly and efficiently with our customers and via social media, we are always in live contact with the target group. How can we optimize our internal communication strategies in order to effectively communicate all the successes and results of the PR department to all internal stakeholders?

With these 3 steps, you can easily view the results as well as the value of the results for all other departments.

1. Ask yourself: What information do I want to share with my stakeholders?

If you start to think about the question of how you can keep all your stakeholders, who all have different goals, informed about the right information, then you will probably encounter a few stumbling blocks.

Not everyone is curious about the reach of a press release, for example. Your CEO may be interested in high-level insights about major developments while business development wants more insight into how you are performing versus the competition or how your audience feels about your latest product launch.

Each department is different, so the first step towards illustrating the value of your PR activities is to identify these differences and then do the same with the interests that come with them. This way you can more easily determine what you have to share and with whom.

2. Connect your results to the identified interests

When you have a good idea of the interests of all your stakeholders, you have to connect your own results to this. Use different parameters to show each stakeholder how you are performing yourself.

Share of Voice

Share your “share of voice” to make clear what themes are trending around your organization. Compare, for example, your own products, discover how things are going with your latest launch and then show them to executives or product development. Also measure your own performance compared to the competition.

The Ultimate Guide to PR Management - Showing the Value of PR with Share of Voice

Sentiment

Easily measure how your target audience feels about new developments by analyzing sentiment. Pass that on to executives within your organization or to your marketing department and discuss the results. Many negative messages about a new campaign? Use your sentiment analysis to measure the impact of any resulting crisis communication. Measure the impact of marketing & PR activities on consumer sentiment and show it clearly to your stakeholders!

The Ultimate Guide to PR Management - Showing the Value of PR with Sentiment

3. Share your results regularly within your organization

In order to ensure that your stakeholders have the right information, you should make it as easy as possible for your readers to understand the context and the content of insights directly. Media monitoring tools such as Meltwater offer dashboards where you can easily see your results yourself and now can share them with your colleagues.

By sharing regular insights within your organization, you keep everyone informed of the results they can use. Develop a schedule and share custom dashboards per week, month or quarter with your main internal stakeholders. Determine the following steps together by discussing your insights. By following the steps above you continuously prove the value of your PR activities!

Problem 2: PR measurement is outdated and does not truly reflect everyday efforts

Solution: Meltwater’s suite of widgets allows you to analyze your efforts in traditional and social media in a number of ways, making it easier to correlate your campaigns and initiatives with data that makes sense.

“If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on Public Relations.”
– Bill Gates

A pain point for many, and something we, as marketing and communications professionals, can all relate to – is the measurement of our PR efforts. We all know the ecstatic feeling of seeing the ROI from a great PR victory, but it’s a little different from our Director’s perspective – who usually struggle to understand the correlation between PR and actual business ROI.

In addition to that, it is widely misconstrued that all PR measurement is outdated and does not truly reflect everyday efforts.

The only solution, then, is to have relevant evidence. With the right tools and metrics, you can measure and prove your success.

1. The Difference Between Outdated and Helpful

Unfortunately, many professionals and companies are still utilising outdated and inaccurate measurement techniques.

This leads to PR that doesn’t actually help the brand, or even tarnishes it – for instance, being mentioned in a publication that has a reputation for being biased, or being compared to competitors where the competitors come out on top. In essence, any PR professional’s worst nightmare.

But by using the right metrics and actively avoiding the wrong ones, we are able to discover just how helpful PR can be for our brand and what an integral part of our marketing strategy it is. The question, then, is: how do we know what the right measurement tools are?

2. You Can’t Manage What You Can’t Measure

With global media intelligence company, Meltwater and their suite of advanced and insightful widgets, companies are able to analyse their efforts in traditional and social media in a number of ways. Let’s take a deeper dive into what exactly can be measured and how this is helpful, instead of outdated, PR measurement:
With the media exposure widget, companies can have all their media over a set period of time or within a set region, analysed. Editorial and social media can be analysed separately and the aspects of the widget can be changed to your liking: choose daily, weekly or monthly granularity, whether you want the date by number of hits or percentage of total hits, how you want your chart to look like, and more. Media exposure provides insights into how a particular brand name, campaign, hashtag, product or event is trending over time.

Meltwater Blog | Media Exposure

In this instance, we analysed mentions of Coca-Cola across both editorial and social media over the period of one month, with daily granularity, to have every peak and trough exposed. On editorial media, we can see that on 15 March and 27 March, where the brand had significant spikes, there would have been a press release sent out, a company update or an interview with one of Coca-Cola’s C-level executives, for example.

Meltwater Blog | Media Exposure

With both social and editorial media mentions, both keywords “Coca Cola” and “Coca-Cola” were included in the search, as “Coca Cola” is almost as commonly used in written media as the correct spelling of the brand name.

The potential reach widget is another incredibly helpful measurement tool. This widget gives insight into the number of potential viewers that have been exposed to a brand name, campaign, hashtag, product or event over a specified date range – which, in this instance, is the brand name “Coca-Cola” for one month. This is helpful for understanding whether your press releases are going to the right publications or not, and getting in front of the right audiences or not.

Instead of simply counting the number of articles the brand is mentioned in, potential reach helps you identify the size of your potential audience.

Meltwater Blog | Potential Reach Widget

One of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to measuring PR efforts is; “Are we seeing the ROI?” Unfortunately, it’s also the most difficult to answer.
Measuring the return on investment is challenging as it’s often difficult to find the direct link between the audience who’s viewed your press and subsequently purchased your product. But strong measurement tools make this easier. With Meltwater’s AVE widget (Advertising Value Equivalency), brands are now able to place a monetary value on media coverage.

Another prominent question is, “Which publications are giving us the most coverage?” If you’re looking for the top five or top ten media sources that are mentioning you the most, Meltwater has the tools for you. Top Sources is beneficial for monitoring whether the publications you are paying are mentioning you enough, but also to discover new sources, that you perhaps hadn’t heard of before, that are writing articles about you. The same is for the social sources widgets, where you can identify people or accounts that are talking about you the most, and you can delve deeper into the Top Social Posts and Top Posters widgets too.

For instance, these were the top ten sources mentioning Coca-Cola the most within the last 30 days in Africa:

Meltwater Blog | Top Social Sources Measurement

Because the number one source for the last month is Blogorama, this shows that there are many people mentioning the brand in their blogs. The company would then look at top posters, discover the blogs that are writing about them and decide whether to place more focus on their blog mentions for the next month.

PR Management Made Easy

In essence, these widgets are helping PR, communications and marketing professionals to make sense of the world of data that they are exposed to every day. Most importantly, strong measurement tools, like Meltwater’s, help companies to make more informed decisions. These decisions are data-driven and based on modern, accurate measurement, and make it easy for brands to keep their finger on the pulse, keep up with competition and make the best decisions for the brand.

Meltwater’s dashboards collate millions of pieces of data and portray it as easily comprehendible graphs that update in real-time. Not only does the tool make your PR efforts easy to see and understand in the blink of an eye, but now these dashboards are shareable. Feel free to share your media exposure, AVE findings, audience reach, social volume and even sentiment, with your team, colleagues, directors or shareholders.

Problem 3: It is difficult to correlate PR with Social Media

Solution: With Meltwater, you can illustrate the impact news and social media have on one another.

Today, more or less everyone is on social media. As a company, a digital presence is extremely important for finding new customers and integrating with existing ones. In addition, social media is the perfect platform for collaborating with journalists.

Build a strong relationship with journalists online and let them share the press release on their channels. Additionally, you can add existing PR message to your own stream. This way you increase your spread and see more. Still not convinced that there is a relationship between PR and social media? Let us explain:

1. Traditional PR vs Digital PR

It’s no secret that PR, as we saw it before, has changed in recent years. But it’s not easy if you’ve been working with traditional PR all the time to suddenly switch to digital, it’s not really everyone who’s used to working digitally. It may also be difficult if you work at the marketing department to get the traditional PR department to understand why it may be smart to work with Influencers or bloggers in campaigns. Some professionals may just not understand the connection between social media and public relations.

Social media has opened up for a new type of communication. You or your company may be used to using only one-way communication, but then it’s time to think about it! Social media offers more and more that the audience can speak back which you as a company should see as a great opportunity. You can thus create stronger relationships with your customers as well as respond to feedback online without the customers having to wait.

It’s not enough that you’re the only one talking about your brand, you also have to get other people to do it – otherwise, your credibility will disappear.

2. Let Social Media Strengthen Your PR Messages

If you work at a company where there is no cooperation or interest between your PR department and marketing department, you should consider yourself a thinker. Although it used to be natural that PR worked closely with traditional media and the marketing department focused on social media it is now time for everyone to work together. Otherwise, it’s easy for the company’s message to look different in different channels, which is a BIG NO.

Do you think it’s hard to know who is responsible for creating PR in social media? Then our tip is for you to let them work together. There is no longer a sharp boundary between departments, but instead create a common flow. If your sponsored posts go in the same line as your PR messages, consumers will also perceive your brand more collaborative.

3. Social Media Has a Direct Link to the Deal

Social media often see posts where people ask for recommendations of different kinds. The image below is an example of this: the person in question wants a recommendation. It’s not so credible if you, as a travel company, say that you have the best airline travel site, but you can answer: “Visit our site and compare with others, good luck” to create credibility and expose the company. The person in question has 2,236 followers and potentially one can reach out to many if you choose to answer the post in a good way, hopefully, then the post will reach a few potential customers.

It is also common for people to ask open questions, for example: is business X or company Y better? This is the post you clearly do not have to answer every time, but it is important to monitor such types of posts. Monitoring social media gives feedback on their products and how their competitors are perceived. This information is important to bring along when putting their strategy into social media.

4. See the Connection

Company X just launched a new car model and wanted to measure media exposure. The graph below clearly shows that the car was mentioned more frequently in social media than in what it did in newspapers online. With Meltwater’s new feature “sharable dashboards”, it’s easy for you to compare the difference between social media and news online and other exciting statistics. The new feature also makes it easy for you to get all the material collected ready to be presented.

In conclusion, it is not only necessary to understand how you are influenced by social media, but also to understand how these affect the entire industry. It is important to keep this in mind when deciding how your business will continue to work with journalists. If you choose to exclude social media from your daily interaction with them, you miss an extremely important communication channel.

Are you interested in knowing how Meltwater can help you? Contact us here and we’ll call you straight back.

Problem 4: Reporting takes time

Solution: With Meltwater, you can quickly build and share reports in an instant and put structure to your regular reporting efforts.

1. Reporting That Actually Makes Work Quicker and Easier

Nowadays, thanks to the internet and social media, it’s getting easier to get information about all sorts of things. This huge amount of data, especially information about clients in the various social media, has made the importance of marketing in companies more meaningful. Because the amount of data offers a new possibility to analyze the market, to align the marketing strategy to the customers and to measure the success of these with the help of reports.

Anyone working in marketing or PR with false reporting overlooks potential and loses cash! Because every measure can only perform as well as the reporting shows and enables. If decisive KPIs are missing or connections are not apparent due to confusing data and reporting structures, the analysis is incorrect and a wrong conclusion deduced.

Therefore, already at the start of all online activities a functioning tracking and reporting for performance measurement and analysis is mandatory. Incomplete or missing reporting should be improved at any time to improve control and optimize results.

2. How Do You Build a Report?

Reporting should not only be the typical reporting to a principal or supervisor. Even within an agency, the use of reports, for example, as an information element and assistance in monitoring can not be denied. Therefore, at the beginning of a report, you should determine what added value the report should contribute. Because a report is only as good as the research is based on this. For example, you can create a campaign-specific report to measure and prove the success of a particular marketing campaign. Or they create a benchmark report that allows them to watch their competitors and compare their own business to the competition.

In addition, they can also create a report for the most important customers to always be Up to Date. After all, companies that know their customers well perform 60% better than their competitors. There are many more ways to generate reports. However, it is important that they clearly define what the goal of their report is in the beginning, so that they can then decide which questions their report should answer. These questions lead to KPIs and metrics that you can process in your report. The questions a report should answer depend on the type of report. However, it is important that they specify specific questions as possible. The KPIs and metrics they look at in the report should therefore be able to answer one of these questions. Do not report metrics just because they look good. Possible KPIs include, for example, the number of visitors to a website, the number of downloads, the leads generated, the reach, or the engagement.

Now that you’ve defined the type of report and the KPIs, you’ll need to determine how often which data should be reported next. A survey among marketers has recently revealed that most reports are now being updated daily or at least weekly. Talk to your supervisor and colleagues about how often to report.

3. Aggregation and Presentation of the Data

In order to report comprehensively and effectively in the long term, data aggregation in the reporting must be automated. This is helped by various tools. In 2015 alone, companies around the world spent 26 billion euros on marketing tools, and this number is set to rise to an estimated 32 billion euros by 2018. Therefore, as a company, you should start by considering whether and which tool would not be worth investing in, or whether you should upgrade your existing tools to get more comprehensive and helpful reporting.

Tools such as the Meltwater Media Intelligence platform directly provide data visualization capabilities (such as graphs, heat maps, or word clouds) that can be easily exported as reports.

To get these reports, they must first create searches that show them the data they want analyzed. This data is continuously updated in real time and the period of searching is customizable. Next, they can then create a dashboard based on the search, in which the data found are visualized. After all, how you ultimately present the fruits of your work to your customers or your boss plays a decisive role.

Your marketing report should be descriptive, easy to understand and uncomplicated. For optimal reporting, not only the performance itself is decisive, but also the correct presentation of the data. For example, include real quotes and social posts with real profile photos. This helps to personalize the data and remind the reader that behind the numbers are real customers.

4. Shareable Dashboards

Optimal support for an attractive visualization and uncomplicated distribution of reports are the Shareable Dashboards from Meltwater. With these you can create a dashboard based on previously created content searches, which you can easily and easily share with your colleagues via a link.

A Shareable Dashboard is a dashboard that you can share with anyone easily via a link. For example, this dashboard can include moving numbers in analytics or even a content stream through which they can scroll. In addition, it is password protected, which ensure