By Wendy Marx
For years, certain assumptions have dominated PR strategy and tactics. It’s handed-down wisdom, for instance, that top tier media pack more wallop than trade media. But is that really true?
What are common misconceptions that people have about their PR tactics? How can you set those aside and have a sounder, more informed strategy tied to the bottom line?
Let’s examine a recent case study from Onclusive, a data science company, that delves into those questions and provides some surprising answers.
Onclusive & 23andMe: A Case Study on Setting Aside Assumptions
A recent case study from Onclusive explores the results of a PR campaign deployed by 23andMe, a popular DNA testing company. The case study sheds light on how we make decisions and the PR tactics that underpin our strategy.
A stumbling block for PR professionals has been the inability to link content generated by PR to actual business outcomes. Instead, PR has been riddled with assumptions and untested theories.
When beginning its PR campaign, 23andMe had certain assumptions. For example, like most companies, 20andMe assumed that tier 1 outlets, such as CNBC or Fortune, would be the brass ring in terms of performance. But instead of taking those assumptions at face value, it was guided by Onclusive’s analysis. And the findings were surprising.
Its PR team met every assumption head on and used the metrics to either support it or refute it. The team didn’t cherry pick the data that supported its assumptions. It looked at the entire picture and as a result understood what outlets and messages were driving traffic and engagement.
“We wanted more than just article numbers and reach in a PR analytics solution,” said Katie Watson, VP, Communications, 23andMe. “We also wanted to attribute coverage to our website traffic and sales, but attribution for earned media has been very difficult to do because most articles don’t have a link back to the featured company’s online properties.”
Or as Sean O’Neal, president of Onclusive, said, “The key takeaway here is that, the modern PR team needs to look beyond the traditional, surface-level metrics like ‘article count’ and ‘message pull through’ and focus more on the direct impact that individual articles are having on a company’s bottom-line. This type of attribution data is what should be informing communications strategy and driving campaign optimization.”
Let’s look at a few assumptions that most PR pros rely on — and how breaking past those assumptions was eye- opening for 23andMe.
3 Assumptions That Could Harm Your PR Strategy
Assumption #1: Big Media Outlets Will Outperform Smaller Ones; Earned Media Outperforms Owned
When analyzing a recent campaign, 23andMe considered the top 5 earned media placements that drove the most traffic to its site. While the campaign garnered press in CNBC and Fortune, the top driver was a local publication, MySanAntonio.com (MySA.com), based on its syndication.
Another top 5 performer was Slash Gear, a site highlighting what’s new in personal technology.
While larger outlets with a lot of name recognition drove site traffic, MySanAntonio.com outperformed them.
Owned media also played an important role. …read more
Read more here:: B2CMarketingInsider