3 Steps to Measuring Press Releases’ Effectiveness

For years, PR professionals have been using press releases to distribute their news, but today many are unsure of their value. In a world where information is shared faster than the speed of light, are press releases still effective?


According to research from Hubspot, press releases are viewed about 275 times in a week, with the media viewing them about 70 times in a week. People are looking for your press releases – are you giving them what they want?

When done right, press releases are a useful tool in the professional communicator’s toolkit. But if you’re just sending out press release after press release without understanding how effective they can be, you’ll never reap any of the potential rewards.

If you want people to pay attention to and read your press releases, you need to measure and analyze what’s working and what’s not. With the right strategy in place, and by focusing on key metrics, you’ll be able to improve your results, make better decisions and drive more leads and revenue to your business.

So where should you start? Here are the three steps you need to follow to measure the value of your press releases:


1. Set Goals

Before you even begin writing, you need to have a deep understanding of what your organization intends to gain from your press release strategy. Your press releases could be used to spread awareness of your brand, drive traffic to your website, increase event registrations, etc.

Whatever your goals, make sure you clearly define them with the help of your team. Consider working with other members of your organization to ensure everyone’s needs are being met. With input from across your organization, you’ll have a much more well-rounded strategy.


2. Measure Effectiveness

Once you’ve established your objectives, it’s time to figure out how you will get there. That means understanding the key metrics that you need to track. Not all metrics will give you the information you need to succeed, so it’s important to focus on the right ones. We recommend you start with these five:

Reads:
While impressions will tell you how many people were exposed to your news, reads will tell you how many people actually viewed and read your release. Tracking this number can tell you how effective your headline is, the effect of your distribution time and whether or not your press release is resonating with your audience.

Social shares:
How widely was your news shared – and by whom? How much is your brand being talked about on social? Track which influencers are sharing and talking about your news to better understand its impact. Knowing this information will also help you improve your influencer relations strategy and build stronger connections.

Click-throughs:
Besides knowing how many people read your news, it’s important to know how many interacted with it as well. Include calls to action in your release and use tracking URLs to find out how many people clicked on the links. This will be a good indication of how interested your audience is in your brand.

Coverage:
This is the oldest metric for determining how successful your press release is and indicates the amount of news coverage your release generated. Take a look at what publications picked up your news and the impact it’s making on your audience. Once your brand has secured coverage, you could leverage that news coverage to get even more coverage.

Conversions:
Once someone has clicked on a link in your press release, what do they do next? Do they sign up for a demo or register for an event? Their actions will tell you how successful your press release is at converting customers.


3. Prove Value

When you’re measuring the success of your press releases, there is no end point. Measurement is a continuous process that should be ongoing throughout creation and distribution. Take what you learned from analyzing the metrics above to improve future press releases.

For example, if you learn that one topic gets more views and shares than another, consider writing more press releases on that topic. Use A/B testing to fine-tune your press release strategy and find out what works best.

Without the data you gain from measuring your press releases, you will be unable to show how valuable your strategy is to your overall business. When you can pinpoint how your press release is affecting leads and conversions, you can share the information with your executive team and prove how valuable your strategy is.

Start creating more effective press releases. Get started with PRWeb today!