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.