social media consultancy

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What online PR campaigns can teach us about measurement and ROI

It’s no secret that the traditional PR measurement model is woefully ill-equipped to deal with today’s integrated online PR campaigns, and new, data-driven methodologies have emerged to effectively tackle social media PR.

However, while traditional agencies may still judge the success of a campaign on ‘equivalent advertising value’ or a nebulous ‘PR value’, an understanding of digital PR gives us the opportunity to measure almost every facet of a campaign, and crucially, start making that all important link to ROI.

Not only that, but social media measurement techniques give us the opportunity to apply a new analysis framework to traditional PR campaigns, in doing helping drive forward the industry as a whole. Online PR

This debate is not unique to PR; in every marketing discipline, there exists a lively hotbed of opinions and views into how to best measure a campaign, and more importantly, how to effectively demonstrate ROI. And rightly so. We also like a good debate here at Prohibition PR, so it’s really music to our ears.


Analytics

A starting point should be a good working understanding of Google analytics. If your team doesn’t know what this is then they’re in the wrong job. Set up goals so that you can track conversations, whether that’s a sale, a sign-up or some other strategic imperative. Each piece of media coverage you generate should contain a link, if it doesn’t then ask yourself is it really benefiting the client? A half page in a national might do wonders for brand awareness (and probably will result in some sales you can never prove to your client) but chances are a blog post with a useful link will drive far more conversions for you and you can then track these.

Conversions to sales

Also get a good understanding of your client’s conversion rates. Based on average conversions and basket size, how much of the traffic you’re directing to the site could be resulting in a sale? What’s the value of this and how does it compare with the investment your client’s made in PR?

Similarly, find out how much your client is investing in online media spend and PPC. Calculate an average CPC and cross reference with the traffic you’re driving their way.  Suddenly you’re in a position when you can attribute a monetary value to your activity. Cost per Click is great but cost per acquisition is even better.

This is only scratching the surface, and we’re not going to reveal all of our techniques here (you have you be a client or a friend to benefit from that). But as an industry we need to be more honest with ourselves, especially when it comes to working with brands that are prominent online – are we getting media coverage for the sake of getting media coverage because it has always been our currency, or are we helping them achieve real business results?

While of course, PR and social media is not usually a direct response mechanism in the way that e-commerce or direct mail is, that’s not to say we can’t still be accountable for the services we deliver. In fact as an industry we should strive for this, for the benefit of our whole industry otherwise we could be left behind the digital and SEO Agencies.

Image credited to Stuart Miles, thanks very much via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Businesses using social media in the Yorkshire region – updated statistics

In November a good friend of mine Charlotte Britton, conducted a survey with businesses in Yorkshire to find out how companies in the region were utilising social media marketing.

One of the most interesting statistics I noticed was that 75% said social media had been responsible for creating positive PR
about the company and 40% saying social media had helped mitigate PR problems. Those are quite bold statements but here are some of the other interesting headline statistics:

  1. 82% of respondents said they used LinkedIn to promote their business with 67%
    saying there key individuals were using LinkedIn to promote their business. 47% of
    respondents said they updated their LinkedIn profile weekly.
  2. 82% of respondent said they used Twitter a part of their business (to find
    customers, new business etc) with 57% respondents saying they updated their
    Twitter account daily.
  3. 75% of respondents said they used a blog as part of their business strategy with 40%
    saying they updated their blog weekly.
  4. 50% of respondents are using YouTube as part of their business strategy with 30%
    saying they were unsure how often the company updates the account.
  5. An astounding 37% said they felt social media has been responsible for saving
    money in support or customer relations, with 25% saying that they felt it had
    certainly contributed towards it.
  6. 57% respondents said social media had been responsible for or contributing towards
    creating new business and sales.

Personally, I think these percentage numbers are quite high and I think that’s probably because the people that completed the survey were already advocates of of social channels, as the survey was pushed on twitter, blogs and Facebook. I should point out that some businesses were also contacted through email. However, when I speak to local business people I tend to find people are using Linked-in to promote themselves or their companies, so I think that statistic is probably pretty accurate. I also think many companies are trying to keep the costs down by doing things themselves but there is a lot to be said for doing things correctly. For instance if best practice is not being followed properly, or a channel or blog is missing a certain plug-in or widget, the company could be missing a trick to getting the maximum search benefits from their content creation. In other words their content won’t be working for them as much as it could be.

Overall, I find these results very positive. Social media now has a big role to play in our region but it’s not the be all and end all, it’s just one part of a marketing mix. Traditional media relations, advertising and eMarketing all still have significant roles to play.

You can download the full survey results from Charlotte’s presentation which is here on Slideshare..

This is also cross posted on Dead Prohibition.

Prohibition PR launches online word-of-mouth campaign for the alternative xmas tune

It’s been a busy few months over in the Prohibition caves, we have scooped a number of new social media accounts and we also have a few new team members who

will be revealing themselves to you shortly I expect.

I don’t normally cover that many case studies on the blog but I decided recently that I am going to try and do more of this. This is mainly because when I have been speaking at events, people really seem to prick up and listen more at the case study section. I think most people prefer to here about practical application rather than the theoretical side.

So here goes – one of the online word-of-mouth marketing campaigns that has got us really excited has been the launch of Audio Technica’s search for an alternative Christmas Track. Here’s some campaign blurb we have written to put you in the picture:

The popular music manufacturer is looking for fun and vibrant YouTube video entries from the underground music scene that put a positive new spin on the age old tradition of Christmas carols.

The nationwide competition, which is being judged by Grammy & Brit award-winning record producer and chairman of the Music Producers Guild Steve Levine, is being formally launched via Audio-Technica’s social media channels of Facebook and Twitter.

The online competition is not restricted to any particular type of music so bands, DJs or music producers from any genre have the opportunity of scooping either the top prize of £500 or five runners-up prizes of £100 worth of Audio-Technica equipment. As an extra incentive the first 100 entries will all receive a free pair of Audio-Technica ATH-CK51 headphones worth £30 each.

image We launched this particular campaign last week and we have already had some brilliant entries and posts from influential bloggers in this area. To bring it to life I have enclosed one of the video entries for you to take a look at – it’s quite amusing although I do admit if feels weird writing about Christmas already.

This campaign has come about because we held a strategic social media workshop with Audio-Technica a while back now and from that workshop we drew up a clear strategy to help them become more fun and engaging online. I think this campaign is a great way of doing this, as it allows musicians to express themselves using their own user generated content.

The campaign I have highlight here is just one we are working with them on. We are also helping Audio-Technica with some blogger relations and have a number of new campaigns to tell you about later. To help bring blogger relations to life I thought I would share a quick post from one of the product reviews we have organised recently to give you a flavour.

The great thing about Audio-Technica is it produces really good quality products that are right down my street and if you have good products, then your customers or bloggers should say nice things about them and if they don’t then you can use that feedback to make the products better. Don’t be scared to ask bloggers, or any influencer for that matter, their opinion.

To stay in touch with the latest entries, just subscribe to Audio-Technica’s YouTube channel here.

So that’s enough about the campaign, if you can play a musical instrument, why don’t you have a go and get yourself a free pair of headphones? You never know it could even be fun!