September 8, 2014

3 ways to sharpen your PR measurement skills

PR

Focus on what you should be measuring so you can streamline your PR measurement tracking

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises

Shonali BurkeWhen it comes to the latest in PR measurement, the mere thought of it may make you feel like it’s impossible to “keep up.” Before you overwhelm yourself, take a deep breath and focus on growing your skills by incorporating these three principles into your regular routine. By focusing on these simple – not to mention, free! – tips to refine your skills, you’ll become a measurement star before you know it!

1. Simplify and Streamline Tracking

As I mentioned in a previous Socialbrite post on creating a measurement program, most of the time we don’t have access to fancy dashboards; because we are often limited by client budgets in the tools we can and cannot use. That’s ok, because I’ve found that the more uncomplicated you keep tracking, the better.

Here’s how you can do this:

  • Use an Excel or Google spreadsheet to track outputs and outcomes
  • Making sure the time frame within which you’re tracking different things – e.g. traffic, downloads, purchases, whatever – is the same
  • Watch your Analytics (at the very least, Google Analytics) at the same time, and regularly look to see if there is a correlation between outputs and outcomes.

2. Two Tools to Know and Love

Let me preface this by first reiterating one of my big “don’ts” – don’t get caught up in shiny new measurement tools. Focus on what you should be measuring, as opposed to getting bogged down, overwhelmed, or limited by a tool. That said, there are some tools and techniques that are just crying out to be used.

I’ve already referred to it once, and I’m doing so again: it’s time to become BFFs with Google Analytics and the Google URL Builder. The tracking of URLs has been around in the marketing world for a while now; and it’s something PR pros should know how (and why) to do. Especially for campaigns where you’re driving calls-to-action online, it’s one of the best ways to understand what is driving actions, clicks, downloads, purchases, sign-ups, etc.

After all, it’s only when you know what is and isn’t working that you can adjust your strategy to make it more efficient, effective, and ultimately more successful.

3. Spread Your Measurement Wings

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” Just as it’s important to continue to track and measure the growth of a campaign or initiative, it’s equally important to facilitate our own growth as industry professionals… and that means seizing every opportunity for learning when we can.

Here are a few free ways to spread your measurement wings:

  • Read. It’s that simple. By regularly reading smart bloggers who regularly talk about metrics (Lee Odden and Jim Dougherty spring to mind) you’ll be one step ahead on the PR measurement front.

Want to go the extra mile? Make a point to add a couple of smart books to your library. Social Media Metrics by Jim Sterne is one of my faves.

  • Events. Attending or taking advantage of free events seems like a no-brainer, no? Here are just a few:

○      AMEC Measurement Week: presented by Cision (disclosure: client) and Vocus, this free five-day event takes place September 15–19, 2014 in New York City. It will bring together more than 16 speakers who are experts in measurement and analytics across the communication spectrum, and includes keynotes from Mark W. Schaefer and Peter Shankman… and me! Seriously – if you’re going to be in/around NYC next week, you really should attend. Register here, and the hashtag to follow on Twitter will be #AMECatWork.

○      #measurePR Twitter Chat: As the founder of #measurePR, I’m clearly biased, but I’m proud that in its fourth year, #measurePR still connects measurement geeks across the world. From newbies to old hands, they (we) all congregate here… and I hope you will too! #measurePR takes place the first Tuesday of every month, 12-1pm ET (the September chat, however, is on the second Tuesday, Sept. 9, to accommodate returning from the Labor Day holiday).

○      Webinars: Find and participate in free webinars focused on measurement every chance you get. Now, I know it can be tough to find really good webinars (though Cision – and yes, I’m mentioning them again – offers them frequently), so head to PRSA and IABC’s online events calendars to see what they have coming up. That’s a very good place to start.

I hope this helps you get started on spreading your measurement wings. And remember if you’re going to be at AMEC Measurement Week, or drop in at #measurePR, please give me a holler – I’d love to say “hello”!

November 1, 2012

3 analytics tools to gauge your social audience


Image by kgtoh on BigStockPhoto.com

Listen, implement & measure to keep up with your users’ needs

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, metrics specialists, educators.

Guest post by Ritu Sharma
Social Media for Nonprofits

Like many of the nonprofits Social Media for Nonprofits works with, we were excited by the recent release of Beth’s new book, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit: Using Data to Change the World.

In line with the book’s focus on turning data into knowledge through powerful, insightful measurement and analytics of social media efforts, we wanted to share three simple tips and resources that nonprofits can put to work.

All of these platforms have been profiled at our recent Social Media for Nonprofits conferences, which is about to produce its final U..S program of the year in Seattle on Monday, before we head to New Delhi in December, and then back to New York City, Silicon Valley, Vancouver, plus most other major U.S. markets in 2013.

And now, for those tips and tools: Continue reading

October 22, 2012

12 ways measuring can empower your nonprofit

Book giveaway: Win the book to grasp the power of metrics!

John HaydonIf you’re like most nonprofit professionals, you’ll eventually admit that you could do a better job of measuring.

The good news is that you’re not alone. Most nonprofits (and in fact most for-profits) are struggling with the challenge of measuring relationships, which is essentially what social media is all about.

To help you keep your eyes on the prize, Beth Kanter and Katie Paine sell the benefits of measurement in their new book, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit. Continue reading

September 27, 2012

Is Instagram useful for nonprofit marketing?

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, Instagram users.

Guest post by Beth Kanter
bethkanter.org

Instagram, the mobile photography app (and company) purchased by Facebook, has been getting a lot of attention lately. From critics saying it is killing photography to hype and hoopla from marketing pundits saying it is a must-have as part of your “visual marketing tool box.”

In Steve Rubel’s Ad Age post, The Revolution Won’t Be Televised; It Will Be Instagrammed, he points out some underlying trends that might make some of the hype less hype:

February 14, 2012

To create a metrics program, first identify your goals


Image by Vladimir on BigStockPhoto

If you don’t know what you want to achieve, it doesn’t matter how many people ‘like’ you

This is the first part of a two-part series on creating a strategy for your nonprofit or social cause.

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, cause organizations, brands, businesses, government agencies.

Guest post by Melissa Foley

Deciding how to measure your social media efforts can be a challenging undertaking. Number of likes? Number of followers? Level of engagement? Which measures are right for you?

Believe it or not, these measures are virtually meaningless. In fact, all measures are meaningless — unless they are tied to your goals.

Think about it: An organization working to raise awareness about an issue and an organization working to pass legislation are likely to have very different goals, even though they are likely to use many of the same tools (eg., Facebook and Twitter). One-size-fits-all “Top 10 social media metrics” lists can be tempting but dangerous. Each organization should choose measures that align closely with your goals.

Figure out what you want

Your first step is to figure out what you really want to do, how and why. I recommend using the following strategic planning process. Don’t let “strategic planning process” scare you — one or two well thought-out bullets for each step is sufficient:

  • Step 1: Goal & objective
    Your first step is to carefully define a high-level goal (eg., pass this legislative bill) and a measurable objective (eg., get six key legislators to vote for the legislation).
  • Step 2: Strategy
    Next, you need to decide at a high level how you want to go about doing this. For example, influence newspapers in key districts to write stories about community support for the legislation.
  • Step 3: Tools and tactics
    Once you’ve got your strategy, map out an action plan for using new media and other tools to execute your strategy. For example, follow local newspapers on Twitter and engage in conversations with them, breaking news related to the legislation. Target communities when possible.

Continue reading

July 19, 2011

How DoSomething engages young people

 

Make it easy to participate, make it mobile — and don’t forget the fun!

JD LasicaOne of the great success stories of online advocacy has been DoSomething.org, a not-for-profit that encourages young people to use the power of online to “do good stuff offline.”

Last fall I moderated a panel at BlogWorld Expo with DoSomething chief technology officer George Weiner, and last month I co-presented a Social Media for Social Good bootcamp at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service with George.

“This generation is far more engaged than anyone can possibly understand or measure due to the amount of conversations going on in social media.”
— George Weiner

So during a brief break in the action I got him to talk about how DoSomething spurs 1.2 million young people a year to take action on behalf of a social cause they care about.

“Young people have this amazing thing they can do that doesn’t require car, money or an adult,” he says. Simply put, any young person — 25 or younger, with a sweet spot of 16- to 17-year-olds — can launch a social cause campaign about any cause they feel passionately about.

The nation’s largest cause site for young people, DoSomething has about 30,000 cause projects started by young people.

Watch, embed or download the video on Vimeo

Success comes down to a combination of factors


The annual DoSomething Awards airs on VH1 in August.

The site’s success comes down to these factors:

• They make it easy to participate by lowering the barriers to entry.

• They’re laser-focused on catering to young people.

• They make it easy to take part in campaigns via mobile devices.

• They try to make causes fun by emphasizing use of participants’ social networks. Continue reading