PR Clippings: What They Are and How To Implement Them

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published September 15, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Public relations is a field that encompasses a wide variety of marketing, advertising and media relations strategies with the goal of promoting a brand or organization effectively. PR clipping is one tool that can equip PR professionals to assess the success of their media campaigns. If you're a marketing or public relations professional, consider implementing PR clippings into your strategy for a wide variety of potential benefits. In this article, we define PR clippings, discuss their importance, list who uses them and explain how to implement them for your company or client.

Related: Everything You Need To Know About Working in PR

What is a PR clipping?

A PR clipping is a marketing tool that measures the number of times an organization, brand or product is mentioned in the media. It gathers each of these mentions into a report that concisely records discussions on a variety of platforms. For example, a PR clipping may contain media mentions on social media, in an online magazine or in a newspaper.

This concept originated when companies would review newspapers to learn how reporters portrayed them, clipping any mention of their business. Since then, these PR tools have adapted and become a way of source media mentions in print and digital publications.

Related: Marketing vs. Public Relations: What's the Difference?

Why is PR clipping important?

PR clipping helps marketing professionals maintain an up-to-date understanding of their client's presence and reputation in the media. However, there are other important benefits that contribute to the usefulness of PR clipping, including:

Measuring the effectiveness of a campaign

A PR firm that partners with several clients may use PR clipping to measure the effectiveness of a particular campaign. For example, if a PR team creates a promotion for a new menu item at their client's restaurant, they might use a PR clipping tool to identify how often the media mentioned the promotion's slogan. Then the team could use that data to determine how successful the promotion was in generating conversations and consumer interest.

Assessing brand awareness

A company may also use PR clipping to measure the level of brand awareness that exists in the media. For example, a brand that discovers a high amount of mentions in the media may determine that its brand awareness is high. This information may encourage the PR team to focus future campaigns on specific products or services rather than on the general name or logo of the brand. High brand awareness can allow companies to specify their marketing in later campaigns.

Improving public relations strategies

If the PR team uses reliable data from PR clipping to inform their new campaigns, they may improve their strategies. Since they're implementing feedback and data directly from potential consumers, they can target specific audiences. Additionally, data from the PR clipping may highlight areas of improvement. This can motivate PR teams to make tangible advancements in their overall strategy.

Related: Essential Public Relations Skills and How To Improve Them

Understanding the customer's perspective

By gathering every mention of the brand or company into a condensed report, a PR team can clearly see how potential customers talk about their products. Additionally, they can see how other media outlets, such as a popular newspaper, refer to their company. This may help PR professionals understand how the media presents the brand to the public. Knowing the company's current public reputation may provide evidence that the PR team's current strategy is effective or motivate them to develop a new strategy to change the perception of their brand.

Aligning with the company's goals

It's common for marketing teams to develop clear goals that align with the company's overall vision. PR clippings can help marketers measure how successful campaigns have been at meeting those specific goals. Clippings can also provide objective feedback that marketers can show to the company's executives. This may also help them create future marketing campaigns that more closely align with the company's mission.

Who uses PR clipping?

Public relations specialists, publicists and marketing professionals might all implement data from PR clipping. Additionally, there are certain types of businesses or brands that may particularly benefit from this tool. These businesses include:

  • Corporations with a large customer base

  • Startups

  • Nonprofits

  • Public organizations

  • Public relations agencies

  • Government organizations or agencies

Related: How To Become a Public Relations Specialist

How to implement PR clippings

If you're a marketing or public relations professional seeking to enhance your marketing strategy, you can follow the steps below to implement a PR clipping:

1. Select a service

Since there are many forms of media, such as print and digital, it's best to select a service that's designed to gather information automatically. These clipping services scan a variety of platforms and compile mentions of specific keywords or phrases. Then the service may input this data into accessible databases that are easy to read and interpret. Consider conducting research about the various PR clipping services available and select one that best meets the needs of your organization or brand.

2. Begin monitoring the media

After you've selected a service, begin gathering data about a specific word or phrase. For example, if your company recently ran a promotion, create a project that searches for mentions of the promotional slogan. The project can update over time, which provides you with current, applicable data. Some PR clipping services may allow you to run multiple projects at once. Multiple streams of data may increase the effectiveness of PR clipping for your marketing team.

3. View the results

After a fixed period, consider viewing the results with your team. You can analyze the results for patterns or trends that might affect your future strategies. Try to determine if the results reflect high levels of brand awareness, campaign effectiveness or adherence to your original goals. Assessing the data may help your team find ways to improve.

4. Create a report

One way to use the data for improvement is by creating a report. You might present your findings to marketing executives to keep them updated or keep the data for your team's records. These reports can provide your team with explanations for the success of a certain campaign. By providing an evaluation and assessment of the marketing team's progress, PR clippings can provide you with helpful feedback. After consistently using PR clippings, a PR team may have several reports to reference as a way to measure ongoing or long-term success.

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