There are many ways you can generate buzz and real business for your company; these vary in terms of cost, tone and exclusivity so it’s important to find a method that works for you. One type of advertising that is accessible to companies of any size is utilizing public relations to the best effect. Some people will have a PR agency that they use to help them, and some may choose to have a communications team in-house.
Press releases can help you to share your news with customers, clients, competitors and investors, depending on what exactly you want to shout about. But once you’ve actually written your press release and sent it out to the news agencies, journalists and distributed it online, how are you supposed to decide whether the campaign has been a success? Here are a few tips to get you thinking about it further…
Social media mentions
Firstly, you can look to social media for assistance. Twitter is a good place to start as it is very easy to do searches by subject or topic matter. You can see whether anyone has tweeted your news to their followers, and if you’ve posted it through your own profile first, you should be able to easily find the number of retweets and favourites for your own tweet. If there is something in your news specific to you, make sure you include a hashtag so people can follow the stream.
Referral visits to your website
Another way to measure success is by looking in Google Analytics and looking at the referral traffic to your website. If you have seen a rise in referrals from websites such as news organisations and PR distribution sites, you can see that people have been interested enough in your news to then visit your website. If you only posted your release offline but have included a URL, you might see a rise in direct traffic, but my top tip would be to make sure your press release is sent out via the web too in the future.
If you are reporting to a more senior member of your organisation, you might want to start taking press clippings of all of your PR activity. Alongside this you should research the reach of the media where it has been published so you can get a true idea of the visibility of the piece. If you are also recording where your press release has been syndicated online, make sure to keep note of the URLs where it has been published.
Finally, if you are distributing your press release online, make sure to include links back to your website. This might be on a branded or non-branded term, or simply a URL. Avoid using phrases like “read more” as this does not help search engines to understand the relevance of the text. You might find that your SEO rankings increase for certain terms if they are used elsewhere on the web.