It’s the fall – which means back to school, back to work and pretty soon planning for 2016. Both in-house and agency marketing teams will be defending the year’s work, planning for 2016 and securing (or hopefully expanding!) budgets. Realistic goals and metrics are at the center of that effort. How can you showcase your current work in the best light and set the stage for an even more successful 2016?

Unfortunately there is no silver bullet measurement tool. That does not mean we are left without resources to help define PR success and set the agenda for an even more data-driven PR program in the New Year.

First let’s review what you can and should be doing today.

Tracking Key Indicators

Beyond number of clips or UVMs – what did all your hard work translate to regarding:

  • Number of new followers – expanded audience means you’re growing the top of the funnel
  • Coverage traffic – shows earned media’s impact on awareness and helps refine influencer targeting
  • Engagement metrics – what content made the most impact? How did it affect social traffic and SEO?

Many of these metrics are easily found via tools in the Moz suite, through the native social platform dashboard and through Google Analytics. If you don’t have Google Analytics access already, make the case for getting it setup now for 2016 benchmarking!

You have gathered the data to defend your program, you’ve run data-driven analysis and you’re ready to create an even better PR plan for 2016. How do you make the most of that data? How should you change/augment your plan to make it even more impactful?

Include Amplification

Earned media’s value is still unquestioned, however it’s harder and harder to get those messages in front of your right audience. Propose syndication for that great business hit. Pilot the A/B testing of remarketing coverage and content on multiple platforms. Figure out where your audience is and don’t be afraid to remind them with targeted advertising.

Think about the content/funnel relationship.

Not all content is made for the sake of awareness, but that doesn’t mean PR shouldn’t leverage it appropriately. Have a great but technical white paper? Maybe it’s not a great piece to pitch as is, but you can break it up into blogs for top of the funnel awareness, and leverage other means (syndication, targeted social advertising) to drive middle of the funnel consideration.

Get granular with tracking

Put UTM tracking on everything that moves. This helps you measure how a campaign or individual piece of content performs. Cross reference same subject content in different formats to see how to design your outreach and content for deeper engagement.

Creating your PR plan in this way helps your client (either agency contact or internal CMO) start to draw a much cleaner line to your work and how it is impacting the business.