Our meerkat ears pricked up this week, when the national newspaper industry launched a review into current metrics for audience measurement.

Newsworks – the marketing body for national newspapers – has promised a robust system that tracks readership across different digital platforms, and given the changing nature of how readers consume news and media, it’s about time.

Rethinking how brands assess their reach is long overdue, and although we might have to wait quite a while longer for it – they’ve warned it’s going to be a lengthy process – it’ll be worth it in the long term, and should help us elbow our way into the marketing core even more.

But there’s much more to do than just calculating how many people have seen our content. What have they actually done with it? That’s the holy grail where we’re concerned. We investigate patterns that drive action and look at what messaging is really working; we show how our activity has driven a spike in visits to the client’s website, more social media mentions, increased footfall or even sales. Brand awareness and getting good content in front of loads of people is all well and good, but when we can show real engagement and commercial impact on our clients’ businesses, that’s what really gets us going.

A few examples are:

– We managed to secure a trackable hyperlink in our online product coverage for a fashion client – it meant that every time a reader clicked through to the client’s website from that article, we could see how many converted to sales

– Post-event consumer research showed that nearly two thirds of people understood that Leeds Food Festival was now a two-week programme of events, rather than just a weekend – that was one of our key communications objectives during the campaign

– We made the phone ring off the hook when we launched a new boutique bowling alley, with people wanting to book

– We increased website traffic by 2,500% for the world’s first internet enabled TV

– A worried parent wrote into a magazine after seeing a national TV feature during Bone Cancer Awareness Week, calling for faster X-ray referrals

– Sales were up 20% for makeup company Badgequo, solely as a result of the PR campaign

– PR launch activity for Poundland’s £1 Chit Chat range (the only marketing conducted) generated a sales uplift of 30%

– Closer to home, when we issued a press release announcing that our agency Content Soup had launched, within days of the articles appearing we had secured five new business meetings. Not bad going.

To find out more about what PR can do for your business, give us a call.