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Five simple steps to improve your PR measurement tools

Author: Nicky

Twelve PR Co-founder

“If you have been charging a ‘mood board agency’ £25,000 for lies then I am sorry.[1]

Targeting the right people, and measuring response has always been a challenge. Data now gives marketing managers the opportunity to be much more precise, finding out who is buying, in response to what channel.

Even a simple Adwords campaign set up with the right campaign targets (such as a sign up page or bespoke telephone number) can provide data which is actually thrilling to read (if you are a number nerd like me or concerned about your bottom line, like most marketers and business owners.) It’s thrilling because it’s just so damn tangible, its lovely.

Speaking at the Digital Journeys conference in Brighton last week, Nestlé UK’s digital lead, Gawain Owen, gave a great case study of the power of programmatic online advertising. You can read Brand Republic’s report online, but basically by letting the computer select the advertising, Nestle found that a particular hand cream brand sold out. There’s a similar success story in the same article about Tesco’s Florence & Fred brand.

The reason I’m highlighting this today is that actually at the heart of this story is a golden nugget about PR. Each product sold out because the online advertising was specifically linked to an article in the news – ie editorial secured through PR activity. “Owen himself spotted an article on the Daily Mail one morning about its hand cream brand Cetaphil.”  

The programmatic advertising wouldn’t have worked if the product hadn’t been mentioned in the Daily Mail in first place, and Owen was then able to initiate the ad campaign from there. This is a great example of how and why your marketing and communication activity needs to be more closely aligned than ever before, and why creative PR should be at the heart of it.

But few marketing managers and business owners will have a marketing budget to match Nestle or Tesco, so what can you do to make the most of your spend, and measure what’s working for you?

Five simple steps to take on your PR journey to improving your PR measurement tools. (OK it was a tenuous connection…)

  1. Google analytics monthly summary – set up a short summary table and take key metrics every month. Do you know which pages of your website people are looking at most? Could you improve on them?
  1. Cross reference – look at what got the best results, for example if you see a spike in incoming traffic from twitter, explore why it worked best. How can you do more of that?
  1. Web site design – have you got the right pages in place to capture results and measure quality? For example do you even give people something they could sign up to or get involved with?
  1. Challenge the data – if your agency is giving you data you don’t understand, challenge them to show you what is working, because it should be transparent and obvious.
  1. Check your content – when you’re looking at your monthly Google analytics summary, at the same time ask the question –  what have you put out that month? Check new content, new adverts, what are you doing to drive people to your brand or website – is PR at the heart of your marketing activity?


[1] Brand Republic 16 July 2015, Gawain Owen, Nestle Digital Lead

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