The biggest problems brands face isn’t negative publicity, it is no publicity, which translates to complete absence from the customer’s mind. Apathy and ignorance are usually far worse than negative perception. No coverage at all says your company doesn’t matter. Your company isn’t in the game. Your company doesn’t even cross prospects’ minds.
Enter: Branded Non-Negative Search
Branded non-negative search is any search traffic your company earns from brand search terms that isn’t negative. Measuring this is the most important metric in public relations today because it tells you to what degree your company is top-of-mind—especially when compared with competitors.
Where Do You Find Branded Non-Negative Search?
Two locations. First, some SEO tools will yield a list of searches by month for your brand and many variations on it. We keep a monthly log of branded non-negative searches from SEO tools to gauge how effective we are at reaching the overall audience for our clients, whether or not they click on any search results. Second, we check website analytics for branded non-negative terms. Google Analytics is hit and miss on this. A better choice is Kissmetrics.
Public Relations is Measured Solely on Awareness
While public relations is measured entirely on awareness, other channels are measured on more tangible metrics like feet in the door or online form fills. Additionally, even if all other channels fall short, public relations should still show an uptick in branded non-negative search. All things being equal, branded non-negative search results are a far better way to determine how present our clients are in the minds of their prospects than other traditional PR metrics.
The foregoing is based on an excellent post in Public Relations Today by Shift Media’s Christopher S. Penn. The full post is available here: http://www.publicrelationstoday.com/edition/daily-branding-brand-2018-03-12?open-article-id=7953314&article-title=the-most-important-metric-in-pr-today&blog-domain=shiftcomm.com&blog-title=shift-communications