GROW! Marketing and Public Relations Tips

New Public Relation Metric for the Garden Industry: Conversion Rates

Posted by Dan Ream on Mon, Aug 4, 2014 @ 9:00 AM

Garden businesses want clearly defined numbers when it comes to ROI.

While public relations departments and firms can collect all kinds of information, it's extremely difficult to produce a singular monetary representation of PR results. 

However, that game may be changing.

Adopting the sales metric of conversion rate can end some of the uncertainty surrounding PR measurement.

Can conversion rate change the public relations measurement game? Keep reading to learn more!

The Pros of Conversion Rate

conversion rates

Until now, the search for a unifying, standard measurement for PR return has been elusive at best. Instead, each firm does it a bit differently.

Conversion rate could be the metric that changes all that. 

What is it?

Conversion rate is a ratio or percentage of how often a goal (ideally, a sale activity) is reached out of the number of attempts made at hitting that goal.

Conversion rates of marketing emails, for example, are usually low, typically falling between 2 and 4 percent. This means that only a small percentage of readers will actually open the email, click the link and then either buy a product or engage in a sales action, such as filling out an informational form linked to the email. 

So why is conversion rate so special, and how can it measure PR performance?

One major advantage of conversation rate is that it puts into perspective your ratio of successes and attempts. If your garden business' conversion rate is low, you might want to re-evaluate your PR strategy to gauge its effectiveness. If your rate is good, however, you can calculate the value of your PR strategy in dollars and cents!

Simply put, conversion rate as a primary metric can serve as the most effective way to measure ROI.

The Drawback of Conversion Rate Measurement

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Despite the merits of conversion rate as an ROI metric, not everyone within the profession is optimistic about it as a universal answer to the PR measurement problem.

Why not? The short answer is that it cannot account for the value of specific outlets.

Suppose your garden business reaches out to 50 media outlets and 5 write about your brand. In this situation, your conversion rate would be 10% - a slightly above-average return.  

But what if the 5 outlets you reached weren't very influential - or what if they were?

Conversion rate cannot answer these questions because it doesn't account for influence or quality of media. Quality sources need to be valued and weighed against the quantity of sources. 

Measuring PR success requires an evaluation of many different factors, and while it would be great to have a unifying metric to measure ROI, conversion rate doesn't accurately represent the results of PR efforts at large. 

Conversion rate is a valuable metric that should be used to evaluate PR performance - it just isn't the only thing you should be measuring.  

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Topics: PR Measurement, PR Strategy, marketing communications, garden business, garden industry public relations, key influencers, inbound marketing

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