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Tom Keener on your company's PR

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There's no way to measure PR success with clinical precision, but Tom Keener has some evaluation tips. (©Studio One Networks; iStockphoto.com/Jeff Metzger) There's no way to measure PR success with clinical precision, but Tom Keener has some evaluation tips. (©Studio One Networks; iStockphoto.com/Jeff Metzger)
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Q. How do I measure my PR campaign's success?

A. Unfortunately, there's no way to measure success with clinical precision. But there are some steps to take that can help you make an educated evaluation:

1) Determine which media are the most effective targets

That means agreeing on a clear definition of your company's customer, then compiling a list of media and journalists trusted by those people. Keep in mind that, while it might be an ego boost to appear in, say, the Wall Street Journal, you might generate more business by targeting a small-circulation vertical publication avidly read by your customers.

2) Conduct frequent reviews

Once you've set your goals, follow up regularly, as you would with any other part of the business. Your best bet is to schedule monthly reviews. If you're not getting the kind of placements you expected, then you have to ask some tough questions about your original approach. You may, for example, need to re-evaluate your list of target publications or the story angles you've pitched.

3) Watch your sales force

What really primes a prospect for a sale is an objective rave by an impartial expert or peer. That's why the ultimate indicator of PR success is whether your salespeople are able to use the publicity you've received as part of their sales presentations. Your PR campaign has officially done its job when your sales force is able to use media buzz to move product.

Tom Keener is a marketing strategist with over ten years' experience helping Fortune 500 companies and startups build their brands through integrated marketing campaigns. Tom is currently Creative Director of Underhead.net.

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