Don’t get caught up in last click attribution when trying to measure the impact of PR
In my last blog post I talked about how important PR can be in supporting inbound marketing and driving potential prospects to your website. But beware of viewing PR as a lead generation tool. (And to my fellow PRs don’t ever devalue the work you do by being tempted to sell your work on a cost per acquisition basis.) While digital measurement does give us visibility into the power of PR in building links, driving traffic etc, to boil down the impact of PR to these data points would be the end of our profession.
Just as online retailers are turning their backs on last click attribution (LCA), where the affiliate partner carrying the advert that finally drives a customer through to your site before purchase gets 100% of the reward for the sale, marketers must consider the influence of PR throughout the customer journey. This means that whilst PR driven activity might not result in click-throughs that result in sales, it does not necessarily mean PR is not working or contributing to the sales funnel.
While I don’t wish to return to the days when PR was considered a black art, although it’s hard to measure, do not underestimate the power of having a brand that a prospect recognises, the credibility of happy customers and an active thought leadership voice in persuading people that you are a company worth doing business with as they engage in the sales cycle.
Only the other day a client (for whom we are generating a host of very measureable impacts) sent through a link to this article “The Silent Benefits of PR”, which extols the many softer (or harder to measure) benefits of PR, and it struck a chord. As we strive as a profession to demonstrate the impact of our services in this data obsessed world, we must not lose sight of the bigger picture.