It's easy to get lost in the brand fluff of public relations — where analytics don't matter but sentiment and relationship-building do. PR is a delicate dance between those harder-to-measure goals (building relationships with reporters ain't easy!) and measurable results.
To give your PR strategy a boost in the analytical direction, make Google Analytics your friend. Keep a pulse on these four metrics to ensure your PR strategy is firmly rooted in measurable goals.
1. Referral traffic
When someone clicks a link to your site from another location, like an article in a tech blog, that gets tracked as referral traffic in GA. These digits are extremely valuable to PR pros since we can evaluatehow well a particular media outlet performed in terms of traffic to our site. If you see good traffic coming out of a particular source you can assume your story or brand resonates with that publication's audience. To continue building a rapport with that audience, see if the publication is open to guest bylines.
Find it: Acquisition > All Referrals
2. Direct traffic
Not all media will link back to your site, though. In the case of a TV spot or a print publication, you should analyze spikes in direct traffic in the day(s) following your company's appearance or mention.
Find it: Acquisition > All Traffic > (Direct)/(None)
3. Mobile traffic
Where are your visitors coming from? Now that 61% of Americans own smartphones, optimizing your PR strategy for mobile is key. Take a look at your mobile metrics to gauge which devices are popular with your audience and test your campaigns there.
Find it: Audience > Mobile > Devices
4. Conversion Goals
The best way to know if your PR is resonating with your target audience is to track if a visitor goes down your conversion funnel. This way, you'll know your marketing and PR align — that you're promising something your company can deliver and consumers have taken interest. If no one is converting, than perhaps your PR needs a new twist. (Here's more on setting up goals in Google Analytics from Kissmetrics.)
Find it: Conversion > Goals > Overview
Armed with these analytics, you can drive your PR to be stronger and reach measurable results.
It seems like most articles covering Instagram ads inevitably embrace the mindset of the-public-hates-ads-on-Instagram. Whether they're pointing out the *shocking* details that users hate the new sponsored posts or telling readers to get over it, there's a lot of negativity surrounding this topic. Instead of rehashing the glory days of Instagram's ad-less experience, let's take a minute to appreciate the sponsored posts as they are — because all the ones I've encountered are amazing.
Instagram ads create a unique brand to consumer relationship
The beauty of Instagram ads is their unobtrusive nature. My stream is occasionally clogged with pointless food photos — often making me rethink why I follow certain people — but the majority of what I see are fun photos from friends and brands. When I was flipping through the app on my train ride to work I saw this cute Ben and Jerry's photo (left). I didn't think twice and kept scrolling.
Then I realized: I'm not even following Ben and Jerry's.
The ad fit so naturally inside the stream I'm used to viewing that I didn't initially question what it was doing there. In fact, it aligned so well with what I'd like to see when I'm browsing photos that I wound up following the brand.
But what really makes ads like these special is the lack of a CTA. There are no links to click, no immediate calls of "follow us for more!" — it's simply great content that speaks for itself. And maybe next time my sweet tooth is craving for some dessert, I'll choose Ben and Jerry's without a second thought.
What's your take on Instagram's new sponsored posts? Sounds off in the comments!
This month I'm working with LearnLaunch, an organization that provides support to education companies, to help members of the Boston edtech community get their PR strategies off the ground. I'll be teaching PR for EdTech Startups with Maureen MacGregor on October 22 (RSVP here!). Edtechies looking for an overview of generating buzz for their products or services should attend.
Some of the topics we'll cover include:
Hope to see you there!
Last week at Get to the Next Level in Marketing, an event by Young Women in Digital, we heard from four speakers about their careers and tips for success in digital marketing. Aside from the great job advice (like finding your kooky skill and making a career out of it), the insights into which digital tools the speakers raved about really stuck with me. Here's a collection of their suggestions, plus some of my own!
Simply put, Quora is a dynamite source to hear advice on any topic. Just search for a question or topic and browse responses written by anyone from CEOs to students. Plus, Quora sends newsletters highlighting some amazing discussions on their site, like What is the most amazing photograph you have ever taken? so you won't miss out!
South Koreans have thought of everything. At least, that's what I thought when I visited Busan and Seoul earlier this summer. Everywhere I went during my trip I felt that the cities were set up to make life easier for everyone, even in the simplest of ways. From amazing tech infrastructure to simple instructions for foreigners, here's how South Korea made its cities accommodating and organized.photo credit: Luke Pineda via photopin cc
Taking the T in Boston feels a lot like punishing yourself for something you never did. Everyone crams in and out of the train doors at once, so it's madness without a method. In South Korea, they solved this problem so simply! Train doors open from the same points on the platform every time, so arrows guide the way for those entering and exiting. You'll never worry about bumping into fellow passengers because everyone follows the correct arrow directions.
In June I traveled to South Korea with my boyfriend to visit my best friend. I took advantage of the free wifi I found in the city to share my travel experiences on Instagram while we explored Busan and Seoul. Here are some of the highlights.
Spreading your wings as a digital professional in Boston is surprisingly easy. From classes to hone skills and networking groups to meet like-minded professionals, this city has a strong digital ecosystem. Check out these 5 awesome ways to improve your digital savvy in Beantown.
Build your digital skill set at Intelligent.ly classes in the South End. Intelligent.ly hosts multiple classes a week where you’ll learn alongside startup newbies, seasoned pros, and everyone in between. Classes for the digitally-minded run the gamut from Google AdWords to social media for startups in the marketing track. Most of these one-time classes cost $25, but you’ll find deals on free classes frequently. Check the calendar to see what fits with your schedule.
Across the river from Intelligent.ly, you can build your marketing and technical skills at General Assembly, housed
in Kendall Square. GA offers everything from one-time classes to multi-day workshops, so you can dabble in lots of topics or dig deep into one track. With classes starting at as low as $10, you have no excuse not to sign up! Check out these upcoming classes that will take your digital prowess to the next level: Intro to Google Adwords and Web Development: Let’s Break It Down.
I recently talked with Mel, the founder of Young Women in Digital, about my role at Boundless. Here's a snippet of our conversation. You can read the rest of our chat on her blog.
Mel: How did you land your job at Boundless?
Jess: During my senior year in college, I joined a Facebook student group about startups and saw a posting for a marketing internship with Boundless. I started interning there within days of graduating and was fortunately hired full time couple of months after that!
What’s the absolute best part of your job?
The best part of my job is the variety of tasks I have to tackle. Writing has always been my passion and I love applying that skill in many places, like email marketing, web ads, blog posts, social media, and press emails. Aside from my actual job responsibilities, the amazing culture at Boundless makes work fun!
Read the rest of our conversation here.
This is a piece I wrote for a journalism class at Boston University.
After the summer crowd disappears from getaways like Peaks Island off the coast of Maine, Block Island off Rhode Island, and Boston’s Harbor Islands, a sense of calm engulfs these small island communities as they sink deeper into winter. Once temperatures dip, only fractions of the summer population remain to endure cold weather and near-empty streets, leaving year-round residents to relish the peace. For residents of islands like these around New England, the undisturbed winter months are a welcome change following a bustling summer.
A distant life on New England islands might not appeal to everyone, but for people like Al Rilla, the caretaker of Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor, it offers serenity not often found on the mainland.
“I work hard all summer long for this opportunity to be out here on the island in the quiet,” he says.