Published On: Sat, Feb 23rd, 2013

Digital PR Campaign Tracking

Whatever happened to that old box we used to add to our inbound responses to marketing campaigns; the one which said; ‘and where did you hear about us?’  Possibly that one died out as a result of some pre-historic meteor hit or some such extinction event, or perhaps the Internet killed it.

Whether you’re a start up trying to track the success of your marketing campaigns, or a PR freelancer looking for tools to achieve the same end, the Internet and its wealth of tracking tools for the PR and marketing industries removes the need to hope that at least some clients might bother to fill that box in.  Here are some of the best in order to start tracking PR efforts:

Advertising Giants
Love or hate the advertising giant that is Google, you have to admit that they know what they’re doing.  Google Analytics is one of the best established and most popular online tools particularly with start-ups and freelancers working in PR and SEO.  It offers simple, extremely easy to understand and user-proof tools to manage campaigns and, more importantly, to establish their effectiveness.  In addition to offering a full set of tools to gauge your sites performance there are additional resources that allow you to monitor referral traffic – a good indicator when you’re running a specific PR campaign.  Tools for monitoring organic search results also help to keep tabs on your SEO efforts.

Campaign Specifics
For freelancers in the PR and SEO industry, an additional functionality with Google analytics is the URL builder tool, allowing you to attach analytics measurements to PR documents and advertising.  This is invaluable in gauging the effectiveness of specific copy or content and examining what’s working and what’s not.  The tool is particularly useful for PR professionals, but is simple enough to pick up for start-up owners and adds a significant weapon in your PR armoury.  There may be no such thing as bad press, but we all like to know what’s sending the traffic in our direction.

Reputation, Reputation, Reputation
Reputations can take years to establish and can be lost in moments as many major brands have discovered.  Reputation management is a fine art but has been made radically simpler by online management tools which allow you to track mentions across a massive selection of platforms. Brandseye is a great example which keeps a very close eye on mentions across the web.  This is particularly important when you’re actively managing a PR campaign, as mentions may not be limited to Twitter and Facebook.  Using this type of reputation management tool allows you to monitor what’s working and respond rapidly if things go wrong.

Share Tracking
No, not some complex financial system but simply a nice, clean, easy way to track mentions, shares, pins and the like across the web.  Free (although you can donate) and possibly one of the simplest tools on the web its ease of use makes it a perfect way to quickly grab a snapshot of the amount of interest your piece is generating across a range of social networking tools.  Add a URL and submit and a basic report is produced within seconds that can be exported to a CSV if necessary.  There’s even a simple to use multi-URL dashboard should you need it.

Back Link Building and Monitoring
Finally, shining a light on the opaque world of back links, again for free, is a simple enough task with Open Site Explorer.  The free version misses off the shares, likes, tweets and any mentions on the late lamented Google plus (it is dead isn’t it?), but as you can get all that for free with share tracking, that’s no real problem.  The free section offers you a simple snapshot of back links to the site with a range of tools and reports that again help to identify the effectiveness or otherwise, of on-going campaigns and as back links can have a big impact on organic search it’s a great way to keep ahead of the game.

Carlo Pandian is an online PR executive for Media Recruitment and blogs about public relations in the social web era. He has previously written for several PR blogs such as Strategic PR, Publicity Hounds and Spin Sucks. When he’s not online, Carlo loves playing table tennis and wine tastings.

About the Author

- Marketing Manager with a passion for inbound at HubSpot, Founder of Growth Hack Talks, Blogger at and Chief Quaffer at .

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