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How to analyze your PR performance using Prowly

Dive into data and find insights on your PR campaigns, pitches and press releases

Struggling with measuring your PR campaigns? You’re not alone. According to Buffer, 82% of PR practitioners don’t know how to evaluate the ROI of their PR campaigns. With the right PR tools, however, you can tap into relevant data and analyze the results of your PR efforts. 

In this article, you’ll learn how to: 

Measure the effectiveness of your email pitches

After you’ve sent your email pitches through Prowly, you can start tracking results—including open rates, click rates, and bounced messages. Just click on your mailing headline from the mailings list: 

Opens

Opens are pretty straightforward - they show you how many recipients opened your email pitch. Open rate, on the other hand, is the percentage of recipients who open the email pitch out of the recipients who got your message. 

Both Opens and Open Rates give you a good sense of the overall engagement with a specific email pitch and show you whether your subject lines are encouraging enough for the recipients to click on them. This brings us to the next point…    

Clicks

While Opens help you measure how many recipients opened your email pitch and at least looked at it, Total clicks measure how many people clicked on a link within your email pitch. Click Rate is the percentage of people who clicked on the link in your email out of the people who received your email pitch. 

Clicks are quite important because they help you measure how effective your email pitches are when it comes to convincing the email recipients to take action (i.e. see a specific press release or visit a newsroom).  

If you notice lots of Opens but not as many Clicks, you might want to experiment with email content, formatting, and your call-to-action.   

Bounces

An email bounces when your message is rejected by the recipient’s email server and gets bounced back to your server. When that happens, you receive an error email indicating that your message failed to deliver to your intended recipient.

Even though bounced emails are annoying, they are also quite frequent. A bounce rate (meaning the percentage of your emails that get bounced back to you) of less than 2% is still acceptable, but anything above that should raise your suspicion. In fact, the higher the bounce rate, the more damage it can do to your reputation as a sender.

Emails sent - Bounced emails = Delivered emails

By measuring the deliverability of your email pitches, you can keep an eye on the quality of your media list and your reputation as a sender, which ultimately affects your media pitching efforts. 

What else should you know about email pitch analytics? 

  1. Depending on the email service provider, you might have access to different metrics. Keep in mind that not every provider calculates all these metrics the same way!  
  2. Some email pitches will perform better than others. Depending on your relationship with the recipients and their areas of interest, you will most likely see different results from different email pitches. That’s precisely why you should segment your media list and tailor email pitches to specific recipients. 
  3. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Average open and click rates will vary from one PR outreach campaign to another, and some of them will be satisfactory even if they don’t seem like it at first. According to industry leaders, the open rate of email sendouts is around 20%

Take into account that assessing the effectiveness of your PR efforts based on the results of one mailing is practically impossible. Use the insights found in Prowly to optimize your email pitches and plan your PR outreach accordingly.

Track engagement of your contacts

With Prowly, you can also check which contacts from your list are the most engaged, judging by clicks and opens of the pitches you send. Simply navigate to Analytics under the Home tab. 

In the chart, you can see the exact number of contacts and the respective click rate (or open rate, if you choose Opens instead). Below you see up to 3 top contacts with the highest click (or open) rates within the chosen time frame.

If you rather see the best emails in terms of clicks and opens, check out Top emails. This is where you’ll find the overall amount of clicks/opens in comparison with the analogical previous period of time, along with your best-performing emails in terms of click and open rates. 

Check how your newsroom is performing 

Apart from tracking your email pitches, you can also check how your newsroom is performing in Analytics, under the Home tab:

Here’s what data you can access: 

  • Content traffic report
  • Traffic sources
  • Top referring websites
  • Top press releases 

Before we go through each of them, keep in mind that all the data will refer to a chosen scope and specific time frame. You can determine the scope and time-frame by choosing options from the drop-down menu:

Traffic to your newsroom

This chart shows you the number of visits to your newsroom, views, pages per visits,  unique visits (%), and audience clicks - all at the given time:

Here’s more about these indicators: 

  • Visits - each time your newsroom is visited from an external source, it is counted as a separate visit
  • Unique visits - visits of one particular media contact; i.e. if a specific journalist visits your newsroom 3 times over the last 30 days, that counts as 3 visits but 1 unique visit
  • View - each time a part of your newsroom is viewed (single press releases, press kit, etc.)

You can also check traffic sources, which tells you where your newsroom's visitors get redirected from. Remember that statistics of traffic sources (such as Facebook, Direct, Google) and referring websites count only unique visits. 

 

Top press releases

Here you can see your best press releases in terms of visits and clicks. Beneath the pie chart, you can find your top 3 stories (with their number of visits or clicks) and top 3 stories from the previous time period. 

Integrate your newsroom with Google Analytics

To track even more data, you can also integrate your newsroom with Google Analytics:

  1. Go to the Newsroom and Settings tab:

2. Scroll down your Newsroom's settings to the field called Google Analytics Tracking ID 

3. Go to Google Analytics and find the unique ID of your account

4. Copy-paste the ID to the Google Analytics Tracking ID and save changes

Analyze your overall PR performance

With all the indicators listed above, you should have a good grasp of your PR performance by now. How about using data found in Prowly to enhance your standard PR reports? 

 Here’s a useful PR report template for you to leverage

 

The template comes in an Excel file and contains tabs that represent months and the main tab (M2M Summary), which automatically pulls the general activity stats from individual months, broken down by:

  • Unique visits (to all your content pages within your online newsroom)
  • Visits by your Audience (unique visits of all your contacts stored in the My contacts module)
  • Press releases created (the number of stories created and published on your newsroom)
  • Mailings sent (the number of mailings sent via Prowly)
  • Average open rate (for your mailings)
  • Average click rate (for your mailings)
  • Emails sent (the number of contacts to whom mailings were sent)
  • Emails opened (the number of contacts who opened your emails)
  • Emails clicked (the number of contacts who clicked on the links attached to your press materials)
  • Coverage (the number of publications in the media)
  • Story of the month (the title of the story which was the most popular in terms of publication)

You will find the above statistics from the first spreadsheet of the discussed document in the form of charts, which will allow you to examine the effects of your activities over time (which is 12 months in this case).

The tabs for reporting activities in specific months can be used to store more detailed statistics (Detailed report section), which will be automatically summed up and included in your general statistics (General report section). Completing the Top media contacts section, on the other hand, will allow you to keep an eye on the contacts who have interacted with you the most in a given month.