Through the Distinct Lens of Evins PR

Setting Expectations: The New Breed of Metrics and How You Should Be Measuring Success 

Long gone are the days of relying on metrics like circulation and advertising value equivalency to measure the success of PR efforts. Metrics like these may still have their place in some instances, but technology and tools have made for big advances in finding the most informative key performance indicators (KPIs). Here are five that you should be paying more attention to as a brand or business. 

Earned Traffic

The ultimate goal of public relations is to compel action and earned traffic measures how much website traffic that coverage is driving for your clients. By sharing access to GA4 (the latest Google Analytics for websites) with their agency, businesses can learn more about what media coverage is doing for their company – and how to measure success. Earned traffic is just the tip of the iceberg, and using metrics like conversions, leads generated and returning visitors can also be used to track the customer journey from introduction to purchase. 

Share of Voice

It seems so obvious, but many brands don’t even know who their competitors truly are, let alone how to track their success against them. One of the easiest ways to take the pulse of your success in the marketplace is a share of voice analysis. Conversation leads to purchase, and brands being discussed are brands being considered, so understanding your share of voice versus competitors is a great way to track what campaigns are resonating and creating buzz – and which are falling flat.  

Brand Sentiment

One of the more ‘classic’ metrics on this list, sentiment is still not taken as seriously as it should in the analysis and monitoring department by many brands. Understanding the most sentiment is neutral, many companies use sentiment solely to track negative mentions that need attention (if they track it at all). There is a huge opportunity to use all sentiment to see what is resonating with your customers, what they’d like to see more of and where you may be creating friction with your audience.  

Keyword and Message Permeation

One of the metrics that Evins often uses that clients don’t usually consider is message and keyword permeation. If we draft a pitch or create a campaign angle to share with media, influencers or the general public, one of the best ways to track if it is resonating with those audiences is to check against the words and phrases to see how much they are being used in online conversation and media coverage. In fact, this can sometimes show which parts of a campaign are working and which are not, allowing for a quick pivot to optimize success. 

Engagement Rate

Much like message permeation, one underutilized way to measure success is through engagement rate. For over a century, PR success has been measured by awareness, but that was only in the absence of access to data confirming action being taken by an audience. With modern technology and tools, we have more data than ever before and tracking the percentage of the audience that is engaging with your content and media coverage as well as how they are engaging (and what actions they are taking) is an amazing indicator of the potential ROI of a program or campaign.  

These five examples are just a few ways to track success, and depending on the product, service or industry, there are sure to be many more that you can use to better track the success of your campaigns. What are some metrics that you can’t live without? Let us know by email or through social media!

 

What to Know About the Relationships Between Media Outlets and A.I.

In late May, Vox Media and The Atlantic announced a deal with OpenAI, the latest media companies to announce agreements to establish content partnerships with the companies behind this emerging technology. OpenAI alone has recently signed deals with News Corp (The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, and The Daily Telegraph), Axel Springer (Business Insider and Politico), DotDash Meredith (People, Better Homes & Gardens, Investopedia, Food & Wine, and InStyle), the Financial Times, and The Associated Press. But what does this mean for these media companies, and the ones resisting the dollars to partner?

Media companies bet big on social media integration just a few years ago, and Meta (owner of Facebook and Instagram) spent billions on partnerships with key new outlets globally for the launch of its Facebook News Tab. Recent updates from the company state that users utilizing the tab in the U.S. and Australian dropped by 80% in 2023, sparking a pivot away from further integration with news outlets.

Much like social media’s credibility problem when it comes to trustworthy content, generative A.I. tools have been called out for inaccuracies and ‘hallucinations’ in their content, like the recent rollback of A.I. search summaries used by Google for suggestions that people should eat stones and put glue in their pizza caused a commotion. Pulling more content from trusted news sources will theoretically help with this issue, but some media companies aren’t playing along.

The New York Times went the other direction, announcing a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft for copyright infringement in their using of the publications works without permission. This highlights the different opinions on the future of partnerships between A.I. companies and the media. One thing is for sure; media companies are still looking for alternative revenue sources to replace print advertising dollars and A.I. companies need a consistent resource for vetted, trustworthy content. How the two industries figure it out (or don’t) is yet to be seen, but we will be watching very closely.

 

Is That Event Worth Sponsoring? Five Questions To Ask Before Committing

Events are back in a big way in 2024, and so are sponsorship opportunities for brands and businesses. In fact, 89% of professionals say that events are critical to reach their business objectives. But with all of the different options for reaching a new audience, how do you determine the most effective use of your budget? We have five quick ways to determine if that event is right for your brand, and how to make the most out of those sponsorship dollars.

1.     Is the right audience in attendance?

You’ve done the work to identify your target customer, but many will throw that all out the window if an exciting event opportunity comes along. Looking to reach Gen Z, for instance? Recent data shows that 2 out of 3 say events are relevant to them. Regardless of your ideal audience, the most important question to ask yourself is ‘how does this help me reach them?’. If the answer is unclear or ‘it doesn’t’, move on to the events that will put your brand in front of the right people.

2.     Is the event in the right location?

Just because an event is well-known or prestigious doesn’t mean it is right for your brand. For instance, if you are a small startup trying to build a presence in New York, a beach bash in Miami may not be the best option for your event sponsorship dollars. It is true that every brand needs to think globally, but in this instance, save your budget for events that target your key markets.

3.     Is my brand showcased in the right way?

Sure, all press is good press and visibility counts for something, but before signing that contract, make sure that your brand is going to be presented in the best possible light. That means the theme and focus of the event aligns with your brand ethos, but also that your name, logo and product are displayed in a tasteful, appropriate manner. If you can’t get specific answers to how your brand will be featured, it may be time to pass.

4.     Are my competitors present as well?

Nothing can ruin the benefits and fun of sponsoring an event more quickly than seeing the logo of your biggest competitor next to yours on the invitation. That’s why it is absolutely acceptable to request category exclusivity to go along with your sponsorship dollars. The event may request more money in return, but unless it is an industry-focused event, your brand will benefit from the exclusivity.

5.     Is the value there?

Most importantly, is the participation cost worth it for your brand? Studies show that events and experiential marketing have a success rate of 38%, which is well above digital advertising, content marketing and even partnerships. Don’t be afraid to do the math and calculate the cost per attendee. Brands are used to doing this with digital ads and other spends, but it doesn’t always factor in as a metric when looking at events. The cost per potential customer absolutely needs to be considered, and if the cost is too high compared to your other marketing channels, don’t be afraid to bring it up with the event organizers or walk away from the opportunity entirely.

AND ONE MORE THING TO CONSIDER…

6.     What does my brand get out of the event?

Visibility is great, but what else? More than half of marketers think that event marketing drives the best ROI, but it’s all about how you make those results happen. Do you have access to photos from a professional photographer, do you receive a full guest list of attendees with contact information, or can you send a custom email to all attendees through the event mailing list? All of these options (and many others) are crucial to consider in determining whether to participate in an event. After all, the event itself is a great way to introduce or further enlighten people about your brand, but it is the marketing work afterwards that will truly determine the ROI of the event, and you will want to have access to as much information and post-event content from the organizers as possible.

Finding Your Voice: How To Set A Social Channel Strategy For Your Brand

From the new replacements for X/Twitter to the looming threat of a TikTok ban, there’s a lot of options (and a lot to consider) when it comes to where your brand can see the most impact. That’s why we’ve created this short guide to the opportunities out there to help make that decision easier. After all, you can’t be everywhere, but if you do it right it’ll seem like you are to your ideal target audience.

If you ask brands these days which social media platforms are most important to their brand, you will hear a lot about TikTok, even if they aren’t utilizing the platform or aren’t sure how to maximize their efforts. Add to this the threat of a looming ban that many don’t understand, and the confusion is rightfully rife around the site.

This doesn’t mean that users and brands are abandoning the channel – in fact, quite the opposite, as it continues to grow. As a brand, it is important to remember that no matter what happens, TikTok will not disappear overnight, and if your brand is seeing success there is no reason to stop. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare with a contingency plan, which can include other avenues for sharing video content like Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts, which are viable alternatives if the worst happens to TikTok.

Another concern is X, the platform formerly known as Twitter before being purchased and rebranded by Elon Musk. While it is true that the platform has struggled to grow its user base, there are still over 556 million active users on the site, which receives 6.1 billion visits per month. This is strong proof that the channel isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Still, those looking for alternatives can try Bluesky, Mastodon, or Threads. None are really proven at this point (although Threads is owned and operated by Meta), but having tried them all, we’ve found lively conversation and good opportunities for brands.

Finally, Instagram continues to be a popular avenue for brands, as the popularity of Facebook for brands continues to wane. YouTube is a great option if you have an abundance of video content to share, but those looking to “make a YouTube” without the rights assets and a content creation strategy in place are not going to see the best results from the platform.

Each brand is different, and while some may benefit from a social media channel like X or Threads that prioritizes written content, others truly shine through photos and video. Finding the perfect channels can be a challenge, but don’t be afraid to try it all, and don’t be afraid to pivot if something is not producing the desired results.