One of the questions I often get asked by my clients at MEDIA CONNECT (http://www.media-connect.com/) is: How do you measure results?

When it comes to promoting a book there is the obvious metric of sales.  But what’s not obvious is how many book sales the PR campaign generated.  Did the story in the Wall Street Journal move books or was it something else?  Often there is a delay in gathering complete sales numbers so it’s hard to tell cause and effect.  Further, if one were to build their brand with a PR campaign, long-term residuals are likely even though they don’t appear in the immediate balance sheet. 

For instance:  If you are booked on 40 or 50 radio shows, as some of our clients are, aside from the number of book sales produced there are residual benefits, including:

·         Getting a positive message out there that may influence the lives of others.

·         Building your media resume adds credibility and enables you to leverage it to get more media

·         Media exposure gets people to your Web site and blog where you can monetize the hits though advertising as well as through selling their books, products and services. 

·         Lots of solid media hits positions you well to get more speaking engagements and entitles you to demand higher fees.

·         Quotes from reviews and interviews can act as testimonials and should be placed on your site and in your marketing materials.

A good PR campaign also makes you feel great because as it validates your book has value.  It’s always fun to send a friend, colleague or relative a link to a site or a newspaper clipping that shows you as the star.

Before you can measure sales or the extra benefits, both near and long-term, you need to first measure what was delivered.  Ask yourself:

·         How did I sound in the interview?

·         Did my Web site and book title get mentioned?

·         Was my elevator speech effective?

·         Did I highlight enough seductive points to make people want to take the action step of buying the book or going to my site?

Look at the media you received.  Ask yourself:

·         What was promised or estimated to take place? Did I get that?

·         Was I pitched properly to the media in a way that was representative of my message?

·         Was the media outreach comprehensive but targeted to the type of media and media outlets that have viewers, listeners and readers with a demographic that is similar to that of my anticipated reader?

·         Did I get a certain level of quality media outlets as well as a certain quantity?

·         How long were the articles or interviews?

·         What’s the total number of impressions received (the cumulative number of people exposed to my message)?

So many things factor into the media coverage you get, including:

·         If your book is great, decent or crappy.

·         If your background is very relevant to what you write on.

·         How you come across in interviews.

·         If your publicist contacted the right places and the right people at those places.

·         If the pitch sent to the media was targeted and captivating.

·         Timing.

·         Luck.

·         Other competing voices for the media’s attention.

I would conclude that most authors, if they can afford to, should utilize the services of a quality book publicity firm.  They should also be prepared to invest their time into supporting their book by doing all that is in their power to speak, social media market, and exploit existing relationships.  It is a collaborative process to promote and market a book.

Rather than ask how results can be measured, ask yourself: What can I do to contribute to getting results?

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s leading book publicity firm. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person