The Powerful Role of Digital PR Analytics

Kristyn Snell (She/Her)

May 27, 2024

Public relations (PR) has come a long way from traditional methods like press releases and newspaper ads. While these media forms are still used, today’s approach is much more digital. Whether it's a tweet, a Facebook post, or a YouTube video, digital platforms are where the action happens.

This digital shift has brought influencer marketing and social media content creation to the forefront of PR strategies. But, like every good advertising effort, these digital methods need to be measured: enter digital PR analytics. 

Digital PR analytics can help you:

  • Track engagement & monitor reach
  • Analyze sentiment
  • Measure conversion rates
  • Understand audience demographics
  • Identify influencers
  • Optimize content & benchmark performance

Read along as we explore the powerful effects of digital PR analytics and how they can fit into your next campaign.

What Are Digital PR Analytics?

Before we tackle this question, let’s take a step back into the basics of public relations.

Public Relations 101

Public relations is a strategic communications process. It builds mutually beneficial relationships between businesses and their audiences.

Traditional PR 

Traditional PR utilizes a wide range of time-tested methods such as press releases, media relations, press conferences, targeted pitching to get coverage in traditional media outlets such as broadcast TV and radio and, print publications, and online news sites. It deals with everything from managing reputation and content creation to community engagement and crisis management. 

Digital PR

Digital public relations, as you’ve come to know, shares the same goals such as reputation management, relationship building, and communicating with the public. However, digital PR adapts these goals to the digital world, using online platforms such as X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, TikTok, websites, online publications, and blogs.

Where Does Analytics Come In?

  • Traditional PR: With traditional PR, analytics can be difficult to measure, often relying on estimated reach and readership or viewership statistics. 
  • Digital PR: Digital analytics precisely measure user engagement, click-through rates, social media shares, and direct impact on website traffic and conversions.

With digital analytics, it’s much easier to see the success of your PR campaign. And since influencer marketing boasts significantly more user engagement and conversions than print marketing, this begs the question: why wouldn’t every PR company harness the power of digital PR analytics?

The Power of Precise Digital PR Measurement

Analytics provide insight into the effectiveness of your digital PR campaigns, but how exactly can they help? Analytics allow you to:

Track Engagement & Monitor Reach

Analytics help measure how your audience interacts with your content across various platforms. This includes likes, shares, comments, and views.

Analyze Sentiment

Looking for a clear picture of the public’s perception of your brand or product? Analytics can help by assessing the tone and sentiment of online conversations.

Optimize Content & Benchmark Performance

Through precise analytics, it’s easier to understand what types of content perform best. They also allow you to compare current campaigns to past data, helping you set benchmarks and business goals for the future.

Measure Conversion Rates

With analytics, you can see how effectively your PR campaigns convert interest into sign-ups, sales, or downloads. This helps you understand if your desired actions were accomplished.

Understand Audience Demographics

Knowing who is engaging with your content is critical. By understanding these details, you can refine your target market strategies to ensure your campaign is seen by the right people.

Identify Influencers

Use analytics to identify the right influencers for your campaign. You can see their impact on your target audience, helping you make better choices for influencer marketing campaigns.

Types of PR Metrics

Measuring public relations effectiveness is clearly important, but how exactly is it done? There are several types of PR metrics you should be looking at throughout your campaigns:

  • Engagement Metrics: These include likes, shares, comments, retweets, mentions, and video views and interactions.
  • Reach & Impressions: While reach is the number of unique users who saw your campaign content, impressions are the number of times the content was displayed—whether clicked or not.
  • Traffic Metrics: Including website traffic and traffic sources, you’ll understand the volume of visitors to your website from your digital PR efforts and where that traffic originated.
  • Conversion Metrics: These include conversion rate, which is the percentage of visitors who complete a desired action (ie. signing up for a newsletter), and lead generation, which is the number of new leads generated through your campaign.
  • Sentiment Analysis: See positive, neutral, and negative mentions to gauge public perception and track these changes over time.
  • Influencer Metrics: Including influencer engagement rates and conversion rates, these PR metrics will show you how active an influencer’s audience is and how this leads to conversions.
  • Content Performance: With content engagement, you can understand how individual pieces of content perform. With share of voice, you’ll see how your brand’s visibility in the media stacks up to competitors.
  • SEO Performance: How many backlinks were generated through your digital PR efforts? Were there changes in keyword rankings? 
  • Social Media-Specific Metrics: Check follower growth, view times, post reach, and virality with these specific metrics.

There’s a lot to be gained from using digital PR metrics to your advantage, but it’s important to set strong and measurable goals with clients. Doing so makes these metrics even more powerful, which can help guide your campaign toward the client’s desired outcomes.

Qualitative vs. Quantitative Measurements

Like so many other things in life, finding a balance between qualitative and quantitative measurements is key. 

PR Analytics Tools & Technologies

You know the types of PR analytics to use and their benefits, now let’s talk tools! Some of our favourites include:

  • Google Analytics: This is great for seeing how visitors to your site and what they do there.
  • Adobe Analytics: Find advanced analytics for your customer’s journey and behaviour.
  • Meta Business Suite: Perfect for managing and measuring Instagram and Facebook campaigns.
  • SEMrush: See how visible your site is on search engines like Google and Bing and check domain authority.
  • Loomly: Manage and measure your social media campaigns across platforms.
  • Lefty: Monitor influencer campaigns and connect to influencer’s channels for accurate campaign data.
  • Meltwater: Monitors media mentions and can provide insights into global media trends.
  • Mailchimp: Track your email campaign performance, including open rates, clicks, and conversions.

How to Use Digital PR Analytics to Fuel Your Next Campaign

With all of these digital PR metrics, tools, and benefits at your side, there’s only one thing left to do: put them to use. We’ve put together a play-by-play below as a guide.

Spot Trends 

  • Monitor real-time data with tools like Google Trends or social media analytics platforms to understand what topics are currently popular in your industry. 
  • Find out what your competitors are doing, then do it better, adapting it to fit your specific brand.
  • Use tools like Brandwatch or BuzzSumo to track what’s being talked about in your industry. 

Understand Your Audience

  • Segment your data to see how different demographics interact with your content. Adobe Analytics will be a great asset here.
  • Use feedback tools integrated within email or social media campaigns to view direct input from your audience.
  • Look carefully at posts that generate the most engagement.

Measure & Refine

  • Set Clear KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) before launching your next PR campaign to define what success looks like to you.
  • Report regularly using tools like Loomly or Google Analytics to keep you up to date on how your campaign is performing.
  • Conduct A/B testing on different parts of your campaign to see what works best.
  • Pivot your strategy if the data indicates a need to. If something isn’t working, your analytics will often tell you first.

Improve Your Next PR Campaign with Analytic Insights

In the realm of PR, things will only continue to change. From predictive analytics to real-time data visualization, it’s important for PR professionals to keep an open mind as these developments can help create even more effective PR campaigns. 

Looking for even more help with your next campaign? Get in touch with MODERNSPEAK. Our collaborative Digital PR Agency was created to deliver a lasting impact on your audience. Call or email us today to discover what unparalleled success can look like for your brand. 

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