This post first appeared on Solo PR Pro in July 2017. It has been edited and updated.
As a Solo PR Pro, it is not enough to do a great job for clients, you must be able to show results in a way that is meaningful to them. Measuring results begins with the discovery process where you identify the problems they are trying to solve and agree on how you will track the solutions you propose. Still, even with clear expectations, once you are faced with actually pulling together a report, it can be daunting. What metrics do you include? Without a big budget for fancy tools, where do you get data?
What you measure and report on will vary depending on the client, but there are guidelines that will apply to all. For each client, measure what matters to them and the goals that they are trying to achieve. This is a key element of PR measurement. Some pros get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data available, but you should focus on the data points that help you and the client measure the PR program’s progress against the goals you set.
Another challenge faced by solos and micro agencies is where to get good data. The good news is that even without robust software, there is data accessible to the solo professional. Google Analytics offers a treasure trove of information and can be the basis of kinder, gentler measuring and reports for solo pros and their clients. Ask you clients to add you to their analytics dashboard as part of the onboarding process. If you are not familiar with analytics, watch the Google Analytics 101 webinar presented by Jill Van Nostran for Solo PR Pros. Google also has great tutorials that will walk you through how to set up, use and manage your analytics dashboard.
Solo PR Pros generate results for their clients – large and small – that rival their much larger counterparts but like all PR pros we need to be able to translate strategies and wins into meaningful data for clients. Scoring a media placement in a top tier publication is a reason for a happy dance, but your client may not truly understand the value of the placement.
PR's biggest problem is our own PR and that requires tracking and analytics. You want to show the impact you’re having on your clients and earn the respect you deserve? Get to know how to measure the right things and report back to the client.
Highly effective marketing plans are built with the metrics in mind from the beginning.
Defining success from the start helps everyone understand how they are progressing toward the end goal.
Need help setting up a measurement program? Check out Lisa Gerber’s insightful presentation and learn how to use Google Analytics to report meaningful results to your clients.
How do you report client results? Share in the comments below or on social media using #solopr.