Sunday, March 6, 2011

Is PR worth it? Yes, yes and yes.

In the wake of recent economic uncertainty and on-going tightening of public spending, marketeers and PR professionals are squarely facing the perennial question: Is PR worth it? Or, more succinctly, how can we prove the value of PR?

Fisheye can help.

No, we can't claim to have identified the universal value of public relations. But as our raison d'etre is to help marketeers and the communications industry make sense out of the global conversation, we've come up with a fast way for you to gauge the immediate success of your press releases. 

The PR Sensor is a free resource which, when you paste in the text of your recently dispatched press release, returns the results of that release in terms of the number of online news articles worldwide that clearly lifted content from it. Its a direct measure of how well-written/pertinent/interesting/well-distributed your dispatch was and, because Fisheye compares your release against millions of articles from over 275,000 international sources, it puts an end to your niggling suspicions that you may not have seen all the coverage out there.

If that doesn't quash Aaron Perlut's flagrant assertion that the press release is dead, then this feature of the PR Sensor will. For each and every article that is found to be based on your press release, Fisheye's social impact checker will investigate its digital footprint to see how it has spread virally around the internet via channels like Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Reddit and Google Buzz.

This means that, in minutes, you get basic feedback - how many journalists/online news publications carried your story - and seriously deep insight: which of those articles were really getting buzz on the net, how much buzz they got and exactly which social sharing channels were being used to share them. This way you learn where the community that finds your news relevant resides and you can focus your attention on those channels.

To complete the picture, Editorial Marketing Value and Reach are calculated for every article. Without having to find out ad rates or circulation numbers, you get a great ballpark monetary value and readership of your coverage right there and then. 

So if you have any doubt as to the worth of public relations and of the much-maligned (but still relied on and supported!) press release, this should put those worries to bed. Below is a screenshot of what an email report looks like using Facebook's January 21st 1.5bn valuation announcement.

How it works is that once you register your press release, the PR Sensor returns the results to you via email for the first 4 days from your date of registration and then sends a final summary on Day 10. Have a go with your own release. It was designed for you. And its free.

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