Using Analytics to Achieve Communications Goals

By Laura Kern, APR for the FPRA Annual Conference Blog

Google AnalyticsAfter their general luncheon session at Florida Public Relations Association‘s Annual Conference, a smaller group was able to get a little more time with two of the speakers, Deirdre Breakenridge, CEO and Director of Communications at Pure Performance Communications and Adam Singer an Analytics Advocate with Google Analytics. The information-packed session left many of us wondering where to start.

The consensus was to visit the MOOC (Google’s free, on-demand analytics academy).

Understanding your website visitors is an ever-increasingly important roll of the PR practitioner and Google Analytics (GA) is the tool of the trade.

Deirdre started the session with reminding us of the top six best practices in measuring data:

  • Know what you’re trying to accomplish with data
  • Do your homework and research the right tools – What do you want your data to tell you and make sure the tools you use can do that.
  • Understand data is useless without the proper filtering – Learn filtering techniques to answer the questions you have.
  • Set up an organized measurement and reporting system
  • Get creative with data and let it guide communications
  • Avoid tackling too much data, it can be paralyzing – Start small.

First time diving into data analytics? Determine what you are trying to achieve. Is your communications goal exposure, engagement, preference, impact (which is CEOs favorite)or advocacy? Now you can begin selecting what you should be measuring based on these goals. And at the end of your data journey, your executives and stakeholders will want to see the results and findings in a report, however which piece of the pie you share in a report depends on who is reading it. Here are Dierdre’s recommendations:

  • Executives want business metrics such as sales, revenue, reputation and customer satisfaction. Show them the tie between what you’re doing to impact these metrics.
  • Company stakeholders want social media analytics such as WOM, daily volume, SOV, customer support, insights, etc.
  • Agencies & community managers want engagement data such as followers/fans, views, RTs, etc.

Adam touched on all the possibilities of how GA can track and analyze your data. Here are some of the top take-a-ways that he recommended we all learn more about:

  • Track your on-site actions
  • Use GA’s Goal Setting tool and reports
  • Google tag manager
  • Adjusted bounce rates
  • Mobile reports to understand your site’s iOS and Android users
  • Multi-channel funnel
  • Campaign reports
  • Loyalty reports
  • Real-time reports
  • Google alerts (inside GA)
  • UTM tagging
  • Trackback reports

If that’s not enough to keep even the most tech-savvy PR pro busy for the next quarter, I don’t know what is. Adam offered the following references to help guide us through these (mostly) new waters: