Press releases are powerful tools for businesses and organizations to communicate important news, announcements, and updates to the public and the media. It is crucial to track and measure the impact of your press release to determine its effectiveness and make informed decisions for future strategies. The key steps you should take to track your press releases include:
This guide will help you double down on your success or realize you need to switch gears.
If you’re a marketing nerd, you should know that your first step should always be to set goals. Every business is unique in its size, age, customer base, products and services, and more. Marketing and PR will look different for everyone, so you need to sit down and set your own goals.
Before launching a press release, establish clear objectives and identify what you aim to achieve. Examples of common objectives include increasing brand visibility, driving website traffic, generating media coverage, or enhancing industry authority. Clear objectives will guide your tracking efforts and allow you to assess whether your press release accomplished its intended goals.
An essential step in tracking press release success is monitoring media coverage. Keep a close eye on various media outlets, both online and offline, to gauge the extent of the press release’s reach. Track the number of news articles, features, or interviews generated as a result of your press release. Online tools, such as media monitoring services or Google Alerts, can help automate this process.
First, check Google News to see Google’s algorithm picked up your press release. Many people use Google alerts to send relevant news to their email inboxes. If your keywords match their alerts, they’ll see your press release in their emails.
Next, track key media websites who received your press release. Open their site and see if your release shows up in their new stories.
You can also try Googling yourself and your company’s name to see if it comes up in any top search results. News outlets and notable websites in your niche may have covered your press release without copying it entirely.
Any coverage, especially from top outlets like CNN and Forbes, is good coverage. Don’t just think about how many outlets have mentioned you, but how many impressions you’ll get from them. If your press release is showing up on the front page of a website that gets thousands of views a day, that means your brand is at least leaving brief impressions on thousands of people a day, even if they never read it.
You can set up Google alerts to notify you any time your name or company name gets mentioned online. A good PR service will give you a report that includes all the outlets that have covered your press release.
One important advantage of distributing your press releases through eReleases.com is the powerful tracking we supply for every press release we distribute.
Once eReleases sends out your press release, it will start appearing on multiple different websites. Within hours, you will receive a copy of your WireWatchTM report, showing proof of distribution and up to 50 links to websites currently running your press release.
Click here to see several samples of actual WireWatch Reports showing traffic, audience, and engagement with your press release, as well as press release pickup on up to 300 different online PR media submission sites.
Of course, you should immediately post your press release onto your own site. Hopefully, you’ve indexed this page with Google so that people can find your press release. You might have even shared this page on your social media accounts to alert your followers.
Your content management system and your analytics tracking system should have a dashboard for website traffic. Using this dashboard, you will be able to see what your traffic was before, during, and after the press release.
Many web traffic monitors also tell you where this traffic was coming from. You can get a good view of your audience by seeing what kinds of devices they use, where they’re from, and if they’re coming from social media sites or search engines.
Knowing this information isn’t just good for your press release metrics, but for refining your marketing tactics in the future. You can better understand your audience and retarget your messages.
The best-case scenario is that your press release caused a spike in visitors and your traffic going forward has improved from previous traffic levels. Have your team keep an eye on this indicator to see how it fluctuates. If one of your goals was to improve web traffic, check your improved traffic against your KPI to see if you’ve been successful.
Social media can be a tricky beast, but a good chunk of your marketing efforts should focus specifically on it. You can extend your brand identity through social media accounts that interact directly with your target audience.
Social media platforms offer an excellent opportunity to measure and amplify the reach of your press release. Track social media engagement metrics such as likes, shares, comments, and retweets across different platforms.
If you’ve been mentioned in multiple news outlets, you’re likely visible on social media. If your brand name is trending on social media, you’ll probably get noticed by journalists. Watch for spikes in traffic to your existing social media accounts. Watch for posts and comments referencing you and the subject of your press release.
Having a large number of accounts mentioning your brand name organically is a good sign that you’ve been successful at creating a buzz. It also means that their followers will also see this when they might not have heard about your brand otherwise.
Keep track of how many times your brand gets mentioned and how much engagement is going on in relation to your press release. Pay special attention to the sentiment of the responses to understand how your press release is being received by the audience. You can use social media analytics tools or platform-specific insights to gather this data.
A good press release will be published in multiple different media.
A great press release will generate calls from journalists and reporters for more information they can use in preparing their own stories about you.
Your press release should list media contact information for the key media representative for that campaign. It’s vital that person rigorously tracks all requests for more information, interviews, and source information.
Your overall company communications should also be tracked for similar information.
This can help measure potential features and other articles being written about you and your story.
When it comes to PR, your goals should focus on your brand exposure. Try focusing on website traffic, social media mentions, and search engine results.
Now that you know your goals, you can set KPIs (key performance indicators). KPIs act as red flags for failures to reach goals or green lights for continued success in reaching goals.
For example, if your goal is to increase web traffic by 20% due to your press release, your KPI will be your web traffic as monitored on your content management system.
Figure out what your KPIs should be for measuring your goals and set up the tools you need to check on them consistently. Some press release services will offer data that you can watch, but you can also have your team check search engines and social media manually.
One of the best ways to tell if your press release was a success is if other websites have picked it up to feature on their site. To find out if this has happened, you’ll need to use search engines.
Type your exact press release title into Google’s search engine bar and see what results come up.
You won’t be able to rely on the number of results that pop up because Google will bring up many results that are relevant but not your press release.
If you are receiving too many false results, try typing quotation marks around your title in the search bar. Quotation marks alert Google that your search is for a very specific thing rather than for relevant topics.
Make a note of how often your press release comes up on other sites, and keep checking back to see if it has changed. You should also make a note of how reputable the sites are that are posting your press release. Repostings by popular websites will do a much greater service to your business because those sites enjoy a lot more traffic.
While you’re at it, click on these sites to see how they have presented your press release. Check to see if they’ve provided a link to your site as well, which would drive traffic in your direction.
To gauge the effectiveness of your current press release, compare its performance against previous campaigns. Analyze metrics such as media coverage, website traffic, social media engagement, and KPIs to identify patterns, trends, and improvements. This comparative analysis will help you understand the progress made and highlight areas for further enhancement.
You shouldn’t just compare your numbers to your past campaigns, but to your competitor’s numbers. Part of your brand’s mission is to be a leader in your niche, so a press release isn’t successful unless it pushes you ahead.
Check out how often your competitor’s press releases show up on search engines and get coverage from news outlets. See how their brand fares on social media. Use these numbers as a guide, whether it’s a goal to reach and surpass, or numbers to stay ahead of.
Tracking the success of a press release is an essential aspect of any communication strategy. By defining objectives, monitoring media coverage, analyzing website traffic and social media engagement, measuring key performance indicators, evaluating search engine visibility, and comparing against previous campaigns, you can gather valuable data to assess the impact of your press release accurately. This data-driven approach empowers you to make informed decisions, refine your strategies, and improve future press releases to achieve even greater success.
Remember, tracking the success of a press release is an ongoing process. It is essential to establish a baseline for comparison, set up reliable tracking mechanisms, and consistently monitor and analyze the data to gain meaningful insights. By understanding the effectiveness of your press releases, you can optimize your communication efforts, strengthen your brand’s presence, and build stronger relationships with your target audience and the media.
Taking time to set goals and measure results against your KPIs will keep your efforts focused. eReleases is the #1 press release distribution service for small businesses that can help you get there.
We have a proven track record of reaching major media outlets and a subscriber base of journalists, ensuring press release success. Trusting your press release marketing with eReleases means hyper-targeting of the perfect audience and measured results delivered to you in detailed reports.
Contact us today to get started!