In the research and analysis phase of any public relations campaign (following the R.A.C.E. formula), it is essential to determine what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it. Therefore, it is essential to create “SMART” goals and objectives: specific, measurable, realistic, timely. For more indepth discussion, see Jim Macnamara’s article “Research in Public Relations“.
For our McMaster University social media case study, we have determined the following:
To attract young women in high school who are interested in science and math to the field of engineering using current McMaster students in our outreach tactics. To convert prospective female students to application and then enrolment in the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster through a strategic social media campaign.
These are the goals we are looking to achieve as McMaster University recruitment representatives.
1) To attract more high achieving, female applicants to McMaster’s Faculty of Engineering.
2) To increase engagement of prospective students and their influencers on social media platforms.
3) To build awareness of McMaster engineering as a great place to study and learn.
These objectives will be addressed by implementing our social media strategy.
- To increase the number of female applicants to McMaster Year 1 September 2013 intake by a minimum of 5%.
- To increase the level of social media engagement between female prospective students and the Faculty of Engineering by a minimum of 10% on the leading social media platforms (Twitter and Facebook) by September 2013.
The best evaluation occurs in an on-going fashion during a campaign. First you set the initial benchmark, then you periodically check in on your goals and objectives. “Are we reaching our target objectives?” If not, then how can we adjust our campaign to take new information into consideration and re-focus in the most effective manner. It is key to recognize how we would connect our measurement to our original goals. When we can do this, the results impact our next steps/actions required to re-frame or tune up our plan.
In order to launch and successfully maintain a viral video tactic, the University needs an existing marketing infrastructure in place to drive viewers to and capture the generated interest. This means interesting destinations on its website and in social media populated with engaging content and with well-thought-out paths for conversion. It’s also essential to prepare for a campaign with excellent tracking or ‘listening tools’ to evaluation and then take further actions based on previous results. In other words, the best conversions can occur from content-based or inbound marketing with closed loop analytics and appropriate ‘social listening’.
More than just hits need to be measured. It’s a combination of hits, likes, shares and the sentiment of interactions therefore monitoring through a service like Twilert is useful when watching tweets about our project. Google alerts and Facebook analytics will also provide detailed information on what our fans and friends of fans are engaged with.