Public Relations Dashboards

5WPR News

Dashboards have come a long way over the span of more than two centuries.

They were first used on horse-drawn carriages to prevent mud and rocks from being tossed on passers-by and valuable until cars replaced carriages and dashboards moved inside to display instruments for drivers.

Since the late 20th century, dashboards were adopted by businesses and have been popular in boardrooms ever since.

Dashboards can be utilized to track and analyze a host of different things, but it’s only been recently that the power of dashboards to help public relations professionals has been discovered.

PR professionals who craft data-driven strategies will find three dashboards helpful. Tracking trends on brands, competitors, and their industries can deliver a much deeper understanding of what’s going on.

Most PR pros likely track their brand already and compare how they’re performing against the competition. With a brand dashboard, what helps is ensuring that the metrics being tracked only address the brand’s performance.

Never mind the competition. That comes later. What’s important here is how the brand performs over time.

This is where other sources of data can be valuable. Consider sources like social influencers, publications, and mentions by location. Look at visits to the brand’s website as tracked by Google Analytics and incorporated into this dashboard.

Separate how social data and news are measured. Analyzing sentiments and mentions on their own should make it easier to recognize trends or patterns. Together, news and social data can offer a cloudy picture. Above all, be sure to check data daily and add anything new to the dashboard.

Tracking competitors is nothing new but incorporating some of the findings into the PR dashboard likely is. Here’s where the brand’s performance should be benchmarked against competitors. What should be tracked and compared daily is the brand’s coverage compared to that of competitors.

Look at the publications, influencer, and media sources the competition is mentioned in compared to the brand.

  • Is the brand missing from any? If so, how might the brand step up its presence with these target audiences?
  • How does the audience size in those areas where the competition is mentioned stack up with those where the brand has a presence?

Compare the venues and determine if a strategy and more effort are needed to reach one or more of them.

Using a dashboard to track the brand’s industry helps trace industry thought leaders and key topics.

  • Are there any new themes that might be pitched to the media or industry publications?
  • Who are the new movers and shakers and why should PR pros pay attention to them?

By more closely monitoring and reacting to important information and trends, PR pros can be a part of and even initiate new and popular conversations.

What’s important is identifying and tracking the industry’s popular social platforms and publications. Doing so helps identify who’s either making waves or leading key industry conversations.

The other thing to track for the dashboard is the amount of coverage the industry is receiving and whether there’s a trend in coverage in either direction.

Recognizing a downward trend early, for example, could position the brand to be a leader in turning things around by serving up topics that might reinspire the media to do more coverage.

Share the analytics from the dashboard with the team and identify areas in which the department can make an impact.

From there, it’s a matter of drafting and implementing a strategy as well as identifying metrics, including KPIs, that can be routinely measured to determine if the strategy is working or needs to be adjusted.

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