By Jenna Dobkin
Last week, a trusted friend and former colleague asked me to evaluate his company’s PR firm. He had recently joined a promising blockchain gaming company as CMO and was questioning their performance.
Here are four telltale signs your PR sucks and metrics you can use to correct your course.
#1. Your share of voice is minuscule
The gold-standard in PR performance tracking is share of voice. It gauges how well your perspectives are included in the conversations you care about most. There are numerous social media listening tools you can use to track share of voice, including Cision and Trendkite (click for reviews). Be aware they come with a hefty price tag.
For a quick-and-dirty analysis, I used Buzzsumo instead. The tool is widely used by content marketers and SEO practitioners to identify the most viral content on a given topic quickly. You can also click to see who wrote it. When I searched “blockchain gaming,” I discovered that content was shared 100,927 times over six months. This is valuable context, considering the PR agency in question reported 1860 shares of stories in their most recent clip report (same timeframe).
A 2% share of voice raises all kinds of red flags for a category leader that’s been investing in PR for over two years. For one, you’re not talking to the right people.
#2 You’re featured on sites no one cares about
Based on the assumption that articles published on popular sites are more likely to drive more eyeballs, I factored Alexa scores into the analysis. Alexa ranks every website on the planet according to average traffic and engagement scores. As you might expect, publications like Yahoo! Finance (included in the clip report) ranks among the 1,000 most popular sites in the United States (and globally, for that matter), while leading cryptocurrency trade publications like CoinDesk and Cointelegraph rank among the top 10,000 websites.
A weighted average score of 1.8/4.0 shows nearly half of the stories were published on obscure sites with 50K+ Alexa scores. In other words, the PR agency is investing its time and client money to generate these stories.
#3 Your message is buried
Not all stories are created equally. A well-written feature article is far more effective at brand building than a passing reference. To quantify their prominence, I assigned scores to each of the stories included in their clip report, as follows:
- 4 points per feature story
- 3 points per 1-to-2 paragraph writeup within an article
- 2 points per story with a 1-2 sentence mention or an executive quote; and
- 1 point for a passing mention
- 0 points for press release reprints
Their score of 2.8/4.0 reflects the fact that most stories included a few sentences or one- to two- paragraphs about the company. The majority of mentions were buried far below the fold or were too brief to be of any real value.
The score could indicate you need to develop deeper relationships with the writers you know. You might also need to come up with more compelling storylines.
#4 Your pipeline promises more of …read more
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