Quantifying the impact of creative thinking in public relations is notoriously tricky. Creativity is a cornerstone of effective public relations strategies, weaving trending topics, brand MYTHOS, and media essentials into compelling narratives. It’s the engine driving your PR agency’s relationship, allowing professionals to develop connections and craft stories that surprise and captivate. But measuring creativity? Some would say impossible. But we’re not just creative storytellers, we love facts and figures. We can measure anything. Even the most inventive campaigns have metrics.
In this post, we dive into measuring the success of messaging work and creative storytelling in PR. Read on to learn more, and reach out to us to get started on telling your story.
Measuring the Success of Creative Messaging through Resonance
Working with Blue Practice means diving into “messaging sessions” in month one. Conversations with innovators and thought leaders on your team help us understand your business, challenges, and desired media perception. Armed with this info, we create taglines, messaging hierarchies, and positioning statements. But how can the success of a few statements be measured?
Once media coverage kicks in, we track how the media’s perception changes and whether our messages resonate. We did this work with veritree, working closely with their team to develop a unified language that defined their mission, and the media responded consistently. With the help of our unified positioning language and the high resonance of our messaging work, veritree was able to build trust with the media and build more awareness and credibility for their work.
Measuring the Success of Creative Storytelling
Success in creative storytelling can be measured even before the pitching process begins. Early measurements act as a litmus test, ensuring narratives are not just compelling but strategically aligned.
Starting the measurement process before pitching enables a proactive approach to refining and iterating on messaging during the pitching process. Here are a few ways to measure success before pitching even begins:
Ways to Measure Success Even Before You Start Pitching
- Team excitement sets the stage for a positive tone for the campaign. If you’re excited, the media is more likely to be as well.
- Verifiable data points weaved seamlessly into the pitch is already a win. Data adds credibility and is practically a non-negotiable in today’s media landscape.
- Novel angles on relevant topics offer a fresh perspective that can serve as a reason for a writer to publish a follow up to a recent story.
- Context in the broader landscape provides depth and relevance.
- Giving writers a reason to cover your story now ensures its timely impact.
When There Hasn’t Been Media Coverage Yet
Measuring success isn’t confined to headlines; it starts earlier. Preliminary indicators (listed below) can provide valuable insights into the potential success of your narrative, becoming crucial metrics that offer a proactive way to gauge the resonance of your story before it goes live. A few ways to measure success before stories are published:
- Response and Interest from Journalists
In the pre-publication phase, gauging the response and interest from journalists is a good indicator of the narrative’s potential success. Positive responses indicate an alignment between the story and the media’s interests and signify its newsworthiness. If positive responses aren’t rolling in after some follow-up, it may be time to tweak the pitch, add additional context or data, or consider a different time peg. All of this information is key in building media coverage.
- Follow-Up Questions from Media
An equally telling metric in the early stages is the nature of follow-up questions received from the media. Thoughtful inquiries indicate a deeper interest in your story and demonstrate a journalist’s intent to delve into the details. These questions are not just inquiries; they are hints that can lead to a deeper understanding of what aspects of your narrative resonate most. By paying attention to these questions, you can refine your storytelling strategy and address potential gaps, ensuring your narrative is not only captivating but also aligns well with the media’s interests.
- Stories Published Around the Same Topics
Observe whether stories around similar topics are gaining traction in the media. This can indicate that there is a curious audience for content related to your news, validating its relevance and potential impact. Analyzing the media landscape for similar themes provides valuable context and positions your story within a broader conversation. It not only showcases a demand for the content you’re crafting but also indicates that the narrative aligns with current trends and interests, setting the stage for successful media outreach.
Measuring Once Coverage Rolls In
Once the media hits have started rolling in, it’s crucial to pinpoint and analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) that illustrate the impact of the campaign. These metrics help paint a picture of the success of the campaign – from messaging resonance to the number of stories published about the company.
KPIs and Why They Matter:
- Number of Stories Published:
Beyond mere quantity, the number of stories published provides a gauge of the campaign’s reach and distribution. It signifies how widely the narrative has been embraced by the media, offering insights into its potential visibility and influence.
- Type of Outlets that Covered the News:
Distinguishing between industry-specific and mainstream outlets, as well as niche versus A-tier publications, informs strategic adjustments for future pitching efforts and helps us ensure alignment with the topics of coverage in target outlets.
- Audience Resonance (Did We Reach the Intended Outlets?):
Assessing whether the campaign reached our desired outlets offers valuable insights into the accuracy of messaging positioning statements and indicates whether they resonated as intended with the target audiences.
While not a definitive measure of actual readership, impressions and reach provide an overview of the potential influence a publication holds. Understanding the levels of reach is crucial within the context of the campaign, guiding strategic decisions based on the perceived impact of different outlets.
- Messaging Resonance (Were Our Positioning Statements Utilized?):
Evaluating whether the stories positioned the company as intended is vital in gauging the success of the messaging strategy. This KPI offers a broader-scale perspective post-publication, allowing us to ascertain whether our positioning statements were effectively integrated into the media narrative.
In the world of public relations, success is a journey, with lots of opportunities for measuring success along the way. From crafting resonant messaging to measuring impact, the creative process is both art and science. Are you looking for help telling your story? Reach out to chat with us!