As we start the new year, measuring PR and marketing programs effectiveness is top of mind for agencies and clients. We recently switched our PR data analytics vendor and have found there is no perfect solution and it is up to PR professionals to customize the measurement for meeting clients’ goals. Each of our clients is different so we keep the business goals in mind for each company and tailor how we measure our results.
Finding the right analytics tool can be time consuming. At Tanis, we have used several tools over the years and recently completed an evaluation of some of the top providers. Here are some of our observations that may help you if you are seeking a new solution.
Sysomos is a platform that I used a couple of years ago while in-house as VP of communications. It provides an easy user interface that we could produce visual and quantitative charts based on mentions in press by campaign and engagement that we regularly shared with the executive team. It also provides an easy way to search competitors to analyze conversations and identify trends for the PR team to consider for shaping strategy and new storyline ideas.
TrendKite is another user-friendly platform that we used for more than two years. Anyone on the team can go in and customize reports and track share of voice across messages, topics, spokespersons and competition and mentions in the press for unique coverage. Oftentimes we had to manually add coverage that did not get automatically picked by the algorithm. One of their newer enhancements is the ability to measure influence of coverage on search engine ranking by using their SEO Impact, powered by Moz. This helps validate the publications you are securing coverage in that have higher search rankings.
We have not used AirPR but spent time evaluating their solution. We were impressed with their offering for attribution with Google Analytics across earned and owned media and showing leads that converted to customers. Users can also identify new press targets and outlets according to which are producing the greatest return.
We recently migrated to the Cision platform, primarily because it provides integration with their robust media database. Unlike some of the other platforms discussed above, it requires more time to set up and training sessions to get acquainted with the platform, which it recently upgraded to simplify the user experience. Its prominence and impact considers a number of factors such as outlet circulation, article length, the number of times a company is mentioned in the article and where it is mentioned within the article.
These platforms among others provide advantages as well as areas of improvement or customization by the PR team. As predictive analytics become more prevalent, we expect to see continued enhancements in these platforms and new application uses for PR professionals.
Michele Landry is principal of Tanis Communications, a PR and marketing agency based in Silicon Valley.