From data-driven strategies to the growth of influencer engagement, our experts share the rising trends across the world of PR and how to begin measuring the impact of your PR strategy in relation to wider business objectives.
In today’s digital age, a PR professional must wear several hats and require a diverse skillset, including knowledge of SEO, influencer marketing, social media campaigns, link building and trending topics to share a real understanding of the impact of PR activity.
In our latest workshop, ‘Investing in PR – Finding a Measurable Strategy for your Business’, our experts discussed key industry-level changes in the PR world, how PR as a ‘channel’ fits in amongst other elements of a wider marketing strategy – including how to measure the impact of your PR activation, and ultimately make the case for investing further in 2023.
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As social media and other factors have a greater impact on the way we engage with audiences, the needs of companies and consumers will also change, requiring PR professionals to break out of their traditional roles.
Below Hayley shares some of the biggest industry-level changes affecting the world of PR this year:
“Due to the current economic climate, budgets are being squeezed more than ever before, which means clients are rightly requesting to see clear ROI from their PR and Comms investment.”
“The use of AI is embraced and tested across the PR industry, which aims to drive real efficiencies. However, professionals need to establish a way to work with AI whilst keeping people at the heart of that strategy to ensure a strong comms and creative approach.”
“Whilst brands are still working with traditional media, we're also seeing those relationships expanding out into influencers with the right credibility and reach of their target audience – whether that be academics, social influencers, associations, or market analysts.”
“In the age of scepticism, brands must demonstrate they have a clear purpose, and are being authentic or responsible, whether that's from an ESG perspective, or trying to engage a younger generation.”
View our Round-up: Brand Loyalty – Why it Matters, How to Measure, and Routes to Success
“Modern PR is about engaging and influencing audiences, across all channels of communication, and should sit at the heart of any integrated strategy – this includes using social media to share, engage, and enforce your narrative, or utilising paid strategies to amplify those narratives.”
View our Round-up: 4 PR Trends to Shape your 2023 Marketing Strategy
James highlights, “you've got to deep dive into a brief and interrogate those objectives to find out what they really mean, only then you can start to measure those things.
It's about telling the story of how the campaign's gone, and how it fits into the other media that you have – campaigns no longer sit in isolation.
So, by using an evaluation framework such as AMEC, you can start to show people that first and last click, meaning you can start to tell a story over time of how that journey is going.
This goes back to the point of trying to find out what a client really wants – particularly around brand awareness – Do they mean greater visibility? Do they want consideration, loyalty, or purchase? And then you can start to devise campaigns that work against those objectives.”
With advances in technology and increasing data analytical services, there has been a huge shift to ensure PR campaigns are reaching the right audiences and meeting intended KPI’s such as brand awareness and visibility - ultimately leading to a tangible ROI.
Kate says, “if it's housed on the social side of things, then you should be looking at impressions, engagement, number of content shares, or how many people can relate to it, but then there is the more qualitative side of measurement – so who was engaged with this? How have they reacted to it?
With a lot of campaigns, it can be beneficial to have more of a content hub and build an area where that creative sits, so you can then measure how that performs and link it back through your PR, social channels or other activity.
So, if you create a content hub for a particular campaign, you can track how that particular creative and all those elements sit in comparison to other areas of the site.
The key thing is you can measure a lot of metrics but it's wider than that, because it's how that compares to what you're currently doing or how you've previously done it to identify the scope and the change in that.”
View our Round-up: How to Get More from your Creative Strategy
Joe says, “In terms of those top-level metrics from a digital perspective, we would look at backlinks and unlinked piece of coverage.
Beyond that, you want to ensure that those and the activity we're carrying out is having an impact on your keyword rankings, organic visibility, which ultimately should increase the number of leads and conversions from your site.
So, when working with clients, we would use Google Analytics to monitor those metrics, the backlinks, and what impact they're having.”
He adds, “when it comes to organic visibility, that's very much a shared effort between digital PR and SEO – you can secure as many links to a website as you like, but if that site or particular page isn't optimised from a SEO perspective, then the work that's been carried out isn't going to have the greatest impact.”
If you're investing in a PR Strategy this year, make sure you're getting the most from your time. GO! offer cost-free agency recommendations, pitch management, and more - get in touch to get started.