In today’s busy 24-hour news cycle, it’s essential to have a media presence and ensure that your coverage is high-quality. In other words, are your brand messages represented in your earned coverage and by outlets that reach your target audience?

But knowing which campaigns successfully generated high-quality coverage can feel like it’s up to chance. That’s why it’s important to measure the impact of your campaigns using message pull-through, so you can determine the effectiveness of your PR work and identify the communications methods that successfully cut through the noise.

What Is Message Pull-Through?

Message pull-through is when your PR campaign key messages appear in your earned coverage, indicating that it successfully resonated with the media. For example, if you are consistently promoting the sustainability of your brand and an article uses your language or touches on the same key points to describe your company, you’ve achieved message pull-through. In short, it is the through-line that shows the effectiveness of a PR and communications team via earned media coverage.

Why Is Message Pull-Through Important?

Message pull-through is important because it is a measure of your PR team’s effectiveness in promoting the values and messages your brand wants to be known for. It also means your messages are more likely to reach your target audience and boost brand awareness. Measuring the impact of your campaigns is also necessary to demonstrate a return on investment to company executives. Not only can this metric demonstrate your campaign’s effectiveness, but it can also inform your strategy for future campaigns based on what worked and what didn’t.

How to Measure Message Pull-Through

According to Invoca, message pull-through is fundamental to understanding your brand awareness and sentiment. This is because it showcases the volume with which your company is mentioned using your preferred language as well as the quality of the outlets discussing you.

To measure message pull-through, you must analyze your earned media coverage in relation to your campaign. Essential metrics include the media’s use of your brand’s language, outlet audience and reach, and the sentiment expressed when discussing your brand.

Here are the core steps for measuring your message pull-through:

Identify Your Key Messages

You must first identify your key messages, which are the main points you want your target audience to remember about your brand. For communications teams, key messages go beyond the  “what” and the “how” of what you do and include your company’s values, desired reputation, and the other elements that make you different from competitors. According to Forbes, you should pick three messages per campaign and track coverage for adherence to the key points and tone. They can be concrete or conceptual, which is why human analysis is crucial to effective media measurement of your message penetration.

Implement a Media Measurement Program

Once your key messages are established, you must set up the proper tools to measure their pull-through. With comprehensive media analytics, you can measure how an outlet discusses your brand and if it is in language that aligns with the message your team put out, as well as the tone of that coverage. Start measuring your media coverage before you launch your campaign to gather benchmark data. This allows you to compare the quality of your coverage before and after the campaign to demonstrate its impact.

Launch Your Messaging Campaign

Create your campaign, publish a press release, and reach out to your media contacts. Once your campaign is launched, your team can begin to measure its performance and analyze your coverage. When assessing press pick-up of your campaign, consider any commentary, opinions, or third-party perspectives journalists add to their coverage of your brand. It’s also important to note outlet reach and the article’s social media sharing, as this clues your team into how many people are receiving and engaging with your messaging.

Analyze Your Results

At the end of your campaign period, assess your media coverage by examining the volume of content for each key message, its sentiment, and social sharing by tone.

Be sure to dive into the authors and outlets that covered your key messages, with insights on the tone, outlet reach, and social engagement. Next, compare your results with the benchmark data collected before you launched your campaign.

In addition to determining whether your messages successfully penetrated your media coverage, these insights can also highlight opportunities for influencer partnerships with journalists that favorably covered your brand and accurately interpreted your key messages.

Increase Your Message Pull-Through

Effectively communicating your company’s brand messages is essential to reputation management and promoting brand awareness. Message pull-through is an often overlooked but important tool for analyzing the success of your PR team’s campaigns in breaking through earned media coverage with your messages.

At PublicRelay, we use human-augmented technology to accurately measure your earned media coverage for the metrics that demonstrate the impact and value of your communications.

Click here to learn more!

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