So, you’ve generated a nice stack of press clippings, but how can you tell their actual value? This is one of the most important questions in PR and media relations.
As a result, a whole industry of media analysis firms has sprung up over the past 20 years, offering all sorts of ways of evaluating coverage. However, what if you don’t have the budget to pay for this sort of third-party analysis?
Here are our recommended KPIs for using in your own press coverage analysis, all of which can be recorded in a simple spreadsheet. These measures will help you judge your return on investment..
- Tiers: divide your target media into three tiers, with tier one representing the titles most read by and likely to influence your customers. For example, a B2B travel technology vendor would place Skift and Tnooz in the top category, whereas a tour operator would award top marks to national newspaper travel sections. Now, compare your coverage against those tiers – are you seeing enough stories in the right outlets?
- Tone: is an article favourable, neutral or negative in its treatment of your story? Log this for subsequent reporting and also to judge if any follow-up action is required with the journalist or colleagues.
- Message: does an article get one or more of your messages across? Does it also include a quote from your spokesperson? These are fundamentally important KPIs.
- Links: does the coverage carry a link to your website or mention a URL? Travel is an online industry, so any coverage that drives more traffic to your site deserves a positive weighting in your coverage analysis.
- Source: it’s also worth tracking how the coverage came about, whether from a press release, an interview pitch or some other action. This will help you understand which media relations tactics are working best for you.
The above data should logged on an ongoing basis and will enable you to prepare helpful management reports including graphs. If you’re doing a great job, your bosses need to know about it!