Let us consider this scenario for a moment. Your client is set to announce a significant acquisition. You distribute a press release on their behalf. At the end of the day, your client comes back to you and asks: “I’m getting questions from our leadership team on the ROI of the press release. Do you have any analytics or insights I can share?” Seems like a reasonable request, right?
Such a simple request may not be so simple if you do not have access to the right analytics. According to a new survey from News Direct, four in 10 communications pros indicate that they do not have a good sense of the impact of their efforts, specifically with online media targets and social media platforms. Additionally, more than one-third of respondents do not feel confident that they understand the ROI of the content/releases they distribute to traditional media outlets. That is a problem.
The next time you are considering a newswire to distribute critical news and content, consider the depth and breadth of their analytics reporting.
- Do not rely on aggregate UVM. It is not enough to say that your press release appeared on Yahoo! News, or other news websites, only to have it rotated out after a short period of time. Who is seeing your content? You should have a clear sense of how the content appeared on a news website, along with insightful data points on the quality of the website and inherent domain authority.
- Social media is not independent of PR. Your social report should not be separate. Right now, most customers using wire services leverage a separate service for social media measurement. But that doesn't always need to be the case. If you're tracking your news release activity, your newswire should be meassuring social activity of your content when shared to your owned accounts. By accessing your report in one single platform, you can easily get a full picture of how your campaign is performing across postings, earned and social media accounts.
- Earned media coverage tells the real story. Many newswire services make customers pay for the inclusion of earned media coverage in measurement reports. While seeing where your press release or multimedia content is picked up is helpful, it only tells part of the measurement story. Earned media coverage should come standard. After all, it is arguably the most important metric to share with leadership when discussing ROI. You should expect it to be included. And further, for public companies, understanding the impact of your news on your stock is valuable information that should be provided - ideally, free of charge.
Now, more than ever, as companies continue to scrutinize every dollar in their budgets, they need to have a clear sense of the return on their investment. So, the next time you are considering a big piece of news that needs to go over the wire, make sure you're prepared to answer the question: What is the ROI? And rest assured you can find a distribution partner that understands your needs and delivers the actionable analytics you deserve.