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Bill Gates said he’d spend his last dollar on PR. But as an industry we’ve not always demonstrated our effectiveness, or used data to show what works. For example:

  • What publications referred visitors?
  • What activity drove spikes (traffic, search, share price)?
  • What blogs are shared? What search terms need a focus?

We collaborate with both in-house teams and agencies to demonstrate and improve comms effectiveness / activity.

Campaigns can be treated as social-science experiments and the more data we can access the better, enabling us to not only identify the success of a campaign, but identify issues along the way by asking:

  • Can your PR focus on particular activities, publications, regions, languages?
  • Are more people buying, searching or sharing your products as a result of PR?
  • Does search correlate with web traffic – or does SEO need to be improved?
  • Does traffic correlate with sales – or does the website need a redesign?

Putting measurement in place to evaluate improvements in awareness, salience, search rank and improve against your competition.


Three of our favourite graphics:

1. What’s the effect of a launch?

Following their rather fantastic launch that went viral – a simple exclusive that went on to give world-wide coverage / awareness in a matter of days – we worked with the BrightSpark PR agency to quickly demonstrate the effect of the coverage and ask did it drive awareness, did it cause potential customers to change behaviour and either take to social media, visit the site for more information, or at least search for the company?

We also identified which publications were shared, which gave inbound links (and then referred too) and, which didn’t. And by examining search / share behaviour from competing publications we were able to see which to prioritise for follow-up exclusives.

2. Are wires worth it?

Wires will help you get coverage in influential titles like Bloomberg, and the WSJ. Our previous research has placed these among the world’s most influential titles when it comes to technology coverage. But is all coverage on these sites equal?

Bloomberg’s URLs show which articles come from editorial and which come from wires, and for one client we undertook share counts analysis to determine how engaged readers were. And the answer – no! Wires may guarantee coverage. But they do nothing for reader engagement.


3. How do you demonstrate improvements in salience?

Name one cycling race – I’m guessing it’s the Tour de France?

The above graph recreates one created for an old agency of mine, which promotes the 3-week Giro d’Italia bike race. Their aim to increase their following, allowing them to demand more from sponsors and broadcasters.

Coverage analysis merely showed they had 5 times the Earth’s population seeing the coverage (raising alarms) – but coverage doesn’t mean people are watching. And only few fans follow the race through its website. So instead we looked to search data.

When the agency started, the Giro saw less than a 10th of the searches of the Tour de France. And two thirds that of the Vuelta a EspaƱa. Today, it has not only overtaken the Vuelta as the world’s second Grand Tour. It is catching up fast on the Tour, from having just a 10th to nearly half the searches of the Tour. Crucial information in negotiations.