Session 5B: Using Analytics to Achieve Communications Goals

By Laura Kern, APR

After their general session at lunch, a smaller group was able to get a little more time with two of the speakers, Deirdre Breakenridge, CEO and Director of Communications at Pure Performance Communications and Adam Singer, an Analytics Advocate with Google Analytics. The information-packed session left many of us wondering where to start. The consensus was to visit the MOOC (Google’s free, on-demand analytics academy):

Understanding your website visitors is an ever-increasingly important roll of the PR practitioner and Google Analytics (GA) is the tool of the trade. Deirdre started the session with reminding us of the top six best practices in measuring data:

1. Know what you’re trying to accomplish with data.

2. Do your homework and research the right tools – What do you want your data to tell you and make sure the tools you use can do that.

3. Understand data is useless without the proper filtering – Learn filtering techniques to answer the questions you have.

4. Set up an organized measurement and reporting system.

5. Get creative with data and let it guide communications.

6. Avoid tackling too much data, it can be paralyzing – Start small.

First time diving into data analytics? Determine what you are trying to achieve. Is your communications goal exposure, engagement, preference, impact (which is CEOs’ favorite) or advocacy? Now you can begin selecting what you should be measuring based on these goals. And at the end of your data journey, your executives and stakeholders will want to see the results and findings in a report; however which piece of the pie you share in a report depends on who is reading it. Here are Deirdre’s recommendations:

• Executives want business metrics such as sales, revenue, reputation and customer satisfaction. Show them the tie between what you’re doing to impact these metrics.

• Company stakeholders want social media analytics such as word-of-mouth (WOM), daily volume, share of voice (SOV), customer support, insights, etc.

• Agencies & community managers want engagement data such as followers/fans, views, RTs, etc.

Adam touched on all the possibilities of how Google Analytics (GA) can track and analyze your data. Here are some of the top takeaways that he recommended we all learn more about:

• Track your on-site actions

• Use GA’s Goal Setting tool and reports

• Google tag manager

• Adjusted bounce rates

• Mobile reports to understand your site’s iOS and Android users

• Multi-channel funnel

• Campaign reports

• Loyalty reports

• Real-time reports

• Google alerts (inside GA)

• UTM tagging

• Trackback reports

If that’s not enough to keep even the most tech-savvy PR pro busy for the next quarter, I don’t know what is. Adam offered the following references to help guide us through these (mostly) new waters:

• MOOC classes:

• Dashboards / custom reports / advanced segments:

• Official GA blog:

• Adam’s blog:

• Email Adam with your question, he promised to get back to us (and you can ask him for the full slide deck to this talk he wasn’t able to touch on half of it):


Adam Singer is analytics advocate at Google, a marketing, media and PR industry
speaker, startup adviser and blogger. He was previously digital director for a 300+ person global consulting team, and over the course of his career has provided online marketing strategy for B2B & B2C brands in a variety of industries including marketing technology, healthcare, manufacturing, advertising/subscription-based web startups and much in between. Singer and his campaigns have been cited by top media outlets such as TechCrunch, AdWeek, NY Times and more for creative use of digital marketing and PR. Singer blogs atThe Future Buzz – an award-winning blog with more than 25,000 subscribers and a frequently referenced source of what’s new in digital marketing.


Deirdre Breakenridge is chief executive officer at Pure Performance Communications. A veteran in PR and marketing, Breakenridge has counseled senior-level executives at companies including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Empire Today, Hershey’s, JVC, Kraft and the World Bank. She’s also the author of five Financial Times books. Her most recent book, “Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional,” was published in May 2012 and is available in print and all digital formats. Her other books include, “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations,” “PR 2.0, New Media, New Tools, New Audiences,” “The New PR Toolkit” and “Cyberbranding: Brand Building in the Digital Economy.” Breakenridge blogs about PR 2.0 strategies and is the co-founder of #PRStudChat, a dynamic Twitter discussion scheduled monthly for PR
students, educators and PR pros.

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