Gini Dietrich

Media Relations: Track Effectiveness to Prove Investment

By: Gini Dietrich | April 14, 2015 | 
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Media Relations: Track Effectiveness to Prove InvestmentBy Gini Dietrich

I’ve been thinking a lot about last week’s webinar on how to use media relations to increase your search results.

The feedback I’ve received is, “It was awesome, but there was A LOT of information.” Or, “I feel like I need a ‘Gini Dietrich Webinar for Dummies’ book before I attend another one.”

This tells me the curse of knowledge is at play and I really did try to shove too much information into 47 minutes (and I didn’t even get to all three prongs!).

And, because I recorded it ahead of time, I watched it at the same time you did.

It’s super painful to watch yourself speak, but I also realized there are a few tweaks I need to make to make it easier to absorb the information.

Because it doesn’t make sense to re-do the entire thing, I thought I’d give you more detail here and you can use this when you either re-watch it or download it for the first time (which you can do by clicking here and getting it on demand).

That said, this is really long with only one topic.

Today we’ll do media relations for brand awareness and, on Thursday, we’ll do media relations for SEO.

Media Relations for Brand Awareness

Media relations, of course, is the backbone to any great PR program. It provides the credibility and third-party stamp every organization needs to grow.

In some cases, you are going to do traditional media relations, but you’ll combine that with blogger and influencer relations and with contributed content (guest blog posts, OpEds, bylined articles).

There always will be an awareness goal, but if you follow the steps below, you’ll be able to measure its effectiveness and prove it’s not just nice to have your name in ink.

  1. Determine Priority Keyword or Phrase. This is the most important part of all of the work you’re about to do. If you don’t have a priority keyword or phrase, this exercise will not work. So, for the sake of example, I will use “brain games for adults,” which is what I used in the webinar to show you how this works.
  2. Use the Google Keyword Planner. I take my priority phrase, “brain games for adults,” and I go to the Google keyword planner to see what kind of competition I have. It tells me there are 1,900 monthly searches and that my competition is medium. It also gives me some other ideas, but I think I can compete for this phrase so I go to the next step.
  3. Do a Google Search. Now I go to Google to see how I line up against my competition. I enter “brain games for adults” into the search bar and see that some competitors are on the first page of results, but so are some targeted publications, such as AARP and Prevention.
  4. Add Domain Authority. This is good, but I still don’t know if I can compete with some of the competitors. So I either install and turn on the moz toolbar or I copy and paste each URL from the first page of results into OpenSiteExplorer. I will warn you that, unless you are a moz subscriber, you are limited to a few searches a day.
  5. Create Spreadsheet. Open Excel or Numbers and create a quick spreadsheet. You want to put as headers, “Website,” “Domain Authority,” and “Can Compete?” Then jot down the names of the sites on the first page of the results, what the moz toolbar says is their domain authority, and whether you can compete. For this exercise, the organization we want to build awareness has a domain authority of 47 so they can compete with any site that is lower than 60. If your domain authority is in the 20s, though, you can compete with sites lower than 40. And so on. (Spin Sucks, as an example, is 70 so we can compete with any site lower than 80.)
  6. Build a Content Map. Now you want to build a content hub. I like to do mine in Keynote, but you can as easily just draw them in a notebook. For this exercise, “brain games for adults” is the main topic. The sub-topics are “Mother’s Day,” “Father’s Day,” “graduation,” and any other events they have upcoming. Then I want to create supporting topics for each of the sub-topics. For Mother’s Day, I might have gifts this organization sells. Now I have content that both need to be created for the website and that I can use in my pitching.
  7. Start Pitching. I already know AARP and Prevention have written about brain games for adults. I’m going to add them to my pitch list. I search deeper and discover Real Simple and Health both have consistent columns on the topic. Now I have four targeted publications that have domain authority in the 90s that will help me with my media relations. I pitch them each an exclusive Mother’s Day story that links back to content on my website or blog. Because it links to something I own, I can now track effectiveness.
  8. Measure Results. In Google analytics, go to “Acquisition,” “All Traffic,” and then “Referrals.” In the search bar, add the URL of the media outlet that has run your story. Let’s say AARP did work with us on “brain games for adults” so I just put AARP or AARP.org in the search bar. This will tell me how many visitors they sent, how long each person stayed, and how many pages they viewed. From there, you can get into the nitty gritty and track each person (which we’ll cover in June during the webinar on how to use media relations for lead generation) to know if they become a customer. Let’s say that AARP sent 1,000 unique visitors and 900 of them bought a book called, “Stuff Every Mom Should Know.” It sells for $9.95 so we made $8,955 from that one story we pitched. I’m willing to bet it didn’t cost you nearly $9,000 to place the story so your return-on-investment is pretty high.

The end goal is to to build awareness, yes, but it’s also to bring unique visitors to your website or blog. These people will eventually turn into qualified leads, which then can lead to new customers.

And it’s all tracked back to your media relations program. This is how we show the c-suite that we are an investment, not an expense.

Don’t forget to check back on Thursday! With the two blog posts and the webinar, you’ll be armed to build awareness, increase your search results, and track effectiveness for every story that you place.

photo credit: Shutterstock

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, the lead blogger at Spin Sucks, and the host of Spin Sucks the podcast. She also is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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