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Measuring PR impact – it’s easy when the phone rings

By Danny Sullivan
Often, the hardest thing to measure in PR is that ultimate metric of success for a client: impact. What real effect has media coverage had on helping a company achieve its business goals?
The truth is that in many cases it can be hard to discover exactly what marketing tactic brought the customers to the door, but it is usually accepted that PR plays its role at some point in the process. The clear challenge in measuring the true value of media coverage makes it all the sweeter for us when a company experiences a positive business impact that can be directly attributed to PR.

When CRM software company, Sword Ciboodle, recently engaged in a round of media activity targeted towards the insurance sector, the results spoke for themselves. Coverage, both feature and news-focused, was forthcoming in a range of insurance trade publications but, more importantly, that very same month the phone began to ring.

Sword Ciboodle sales director, Murray Farquharson, was immediately aware of the very real impact that PR had delivered.

“Within a month of the media activity, we had three good insurance leads come in the door, all of which can be directly linked back to the coverage,” he said.

Getting this sort of impact for our clients is what we continually strive for and reaffirms our faith that PR is a vital component of the marketing mix of activities. And it’s even better when the client realizes a deeper value behind the results.

“The remarkable thing is that the leads came from a level of seniority within those insurance firms that it would probably have taken us more than a year to get to under normal circumstances,” said Farquharson.

Now we’re really talking impact.

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