by helen on July 29, 2011

Evaluation – #fail or #success?

We made it! Phew.

But I hope that this is the end of the beginning, rather than the beginning of the end…

My stated aim at the start of the challenge was to help small businesses and start-ups get a better understanding of how PR could help them grow – by getting them noticed. And that once they saw the benefit of PR, they would see the benefit of investing time and/or money in an on-going programme of activity.

In the process, I hoped to raise my profile with Yorkshire-based businesses, demonstrate my expertise and generate some interest in my services.

So has it all been worth it? Have I achieved my objectives? Have you achieved yours?


This challenge has been conducted via social media. I have not undertaken any offline promotion of the challenge – well, actually, I have. I mentioned it to people that I know, and it has been promoted via the Yorkshire Mafia Independents and Consultants Group. (And I am hugely grateful for their support :) ).

In terms of people knowing, liking and trusting me – so they are more likely to either do business with me or recommend me to others, how has the challenge helped?

More people know about me

Traffic at my blog has increased. I have more people following me on Twitter. I have more connections on Linkedin. My Klout score has gone up.

Using Google Analytics I can see that:

                                                            4-28 July                     4-28 Jun         1-Jan-31-May

Visits                                                   512                              79                    504
Pageviews                                          1,139                           174                  1,164
Pages/Visit                                          2.22                             2.20                 2.31
Visitors                                                301                              57                    318
Returning Visitors                               47.46%                        32.91%            38.49% 

I have a lot to learn about Analytics (anyone know anyone who can help me?) but even I can see that more people have been to the site. And, perhaps more importantly, the percentage of returning visitors has increased.

The 512 visits came from 119 cities – and the top 10…

Leeds                                                  174                              27                    129
London                                               55                                8                      53
Bradford                                              31                                2                      13
Doncaster                                           22                                –                       18
Pudsey                                                19                                –                       9
Sheffield                                              15                                –                       22
Wakefield                                            12                                –                       –
Kensington                                          12                                3                      –
Birmingham                                        6                                  –                       –
Glasgow                                              5                                  –                       –

Bearing in mind my target is Yorkshire businesses, I’m pretty happy with that. :)

Do more people like and trust me?

I like what Michael Hayman (md and founder of communications consultancy Seven Hills – and originally from Sheffield) has to say on the subject of PR evaluation. According to Hayman, even one of the big players in the industry says they know when PR is working because they “feel it”.

People’s reactions and comments posted during the challenge have been positive and encouraging. I have had some great feedback from people – both on and offline – and for that I am truly grateful.

The 23 challenge blog posts have so far generated 7 comments. One of these resulted in a guest post by @Leedsprinter on a related topic – and his post was extremely popular, generating a comment all of its own!

According to TweetReach, on Twitter #20dayprchallenge reached 4,000 people via 49 tweets. This was made up of 21 regular tweets, plus 28 retweets. Total exposure = 25,437 impressions (top contributors to this were @RJWHolgate, @AngeWhitlock, @dave_harrison and @ZulfiHussain. THANK YOU!)

I think this shows that people are getting to know, like and trust me. That’s what I’m feeling. Am I wrong?

What about people wanting to do business with me?

OK. Not so great in terms of direct enquiries. But PR is about the long-term. And I have some valuable information now about where traffic to my blog is coming from, the keywords that are getting visitors there, and the content that they want to read about. I consider the challenge to have been a good investment for my business.

How about you? Have you kept up or have you saved the challenge for the future?

Has the number of people who know about you increased? And if it has, what did you do to attract their attention – social media, offline media, networking? (If you haven’t started yet, make a note of the amount of Twitter followers, Linkedin connections, Facebook friends/Likes, customer/prospects email addresses, press cuttings etc you have so you can see the impact of your activities – and guess why I’m reminding you!!!)

Has the #20dayprchallenge worked for you? Do you want it to work for you?

Do you have any suggestions about what would make the challenge more user-friendly/relevant/useful/valuable?

Feedback to date (thanks @LouiseEbrey) includes a suggestion that I could create a downloadable “PR Workbook” – something to be completed by the user which then becomes a D-I-Y PR Plan. What do you think?

Is D-I-Y PR appealing – or would you prefer to pay someone (ie me hopefully!) to deliver a plan for the right price?

Let me know what you think.

I’m all ears.

Thanks for sticking with me! I hope this is the start of a mutually beneficial relationship.


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