It’s hard to believe, but July is here and Summer if flying by. In the middle of Summer Fridays, long weekends and days by the pool, we’re already thinking about the Fall. September kicks off a very busy PR season – conferences, events, product launches and deadlines galore all take place between September and December. In order to prepare yourself and your team, now is the time to start thinking about implementing new measurement standards and, if you haven’t yet, a PR analytics tool to help prove your team’s value.
Here are five reasons that Summer is a perfect time to implement a new analytics tool:
- Test and Vet – before you choose what tool to go with, take the slower days of Summer to ask for free trials and test functionalities against your needs. More often than not, a mix of tools will be the best answer – so now is a great time to try different combinations. Most vendors offer a free trial of their software over a period of weeks.
- Practice Makes Perfect – during the dog days of summer, and while media and PR campaigns are a little slower, your team can get ramped up and practice not just using a new tool, but analyzing and presenting the data it provides. How can you best interpret the data and tell a success story for clients? What does it tell you about your strategies? Try different methods and test a tool’s full feature set while you have the luxury of some “downtime.”
- Planning Time – before you finalize that 2nd half PR plan, be sure you are aware of what your team can improve on - which media pitches are resulting in the best coverage? How is social engagement driving leads? Be sure you are aware of the latest in measurement technologies, and implement an automated tool that can provide benchmarks for you to measure against for the remainder of the year. A great starting place is using AMEC’s new Interactive Framework for setting PR goals. It’s a great start to tying PR goals to outcomes and business impact. Combined with a PR-specific measurement tool, you can monitor and analyze results more deeply, and quickly and easily report on such.
- Training – While the best tools will be very intuitive and easy to use while providing meaningful and useful feature sets, you’ll still need to provide your team with training on how to maximize the functionality. Moreover, you’ll need to set processes in place – who owns the measurement responsibility? When will reports be run? Who will be the data analyst on your team, turning insightful data into useful reports on which your team can take action? Which of the reports will you share with clients, and which will be for internal learnings only? Summer is a great time to offer multiple training sessions (that don’t interfere with the height of PR’s busy season) and to secure a measurement process in place across your organization.
- Budget – August is a popular time for budget assessments, when companies often adopt a “spend it or lose it” mentality. If your team has some extra budget, consider spending it on a PR analytics and measurement tool to enhance your current media and social monitoring, allow you to benchmark and set KPIs, and learn from both successes and failures to improve future strategies. Doing so can help you not only position your work as invaluable to the company, but - ensure bigger and better budgets well into the future.
If you’re looking for a new and improved way to report outputs, monitor outcomes and demonstrate PR impact, consider a PR-specific analytics tool. Summer is the perfect time to get started - call us today for a demo and free trial.