Look under the hood at how PR Conversations "performed" in 2013

PR Conversations is read in 197 countries worldwideWhat, not another “year in review” post?! So you may be groaning and thinking, and I’m sympathetic with your reluctance to get dished yet again reheated bits of the recent past….

But please bear with me: This is intended to be more of an introspection than a retrospective. As the resident Techster, I’m inviting you faithful readers, to share a look with me under the hood of PR Conversations.

As I’m not a number-crunching geek I will keep analytical data at a minimum. Still, you may find it interesting – especially if you run your own blog or website – to get some quantitative data to compare with your own.

In 2013 the core members of PR Conversations (i.e., co-content editors and contributors Judy Gombita and Heather Yaxley) and a growing number of contributors added 34 thoughtful, in-depth articles on public relations-oriented topics, bringing the total number of posts on PR Conversations Redux to 533 (i.e., the ones that continue to be available for all visitors in Public view).

These are the 10 new entries that attracted the most readers in 2013:

  1. An idiot’s guide to PR – lessons for SEO and digital marketing (Heather Yaxley)
  2. Goodbye brand journalism and content marketing…hello DIY corporate media! (Judy Gombita)
  3. Making sense of the impact of social media on crisis communication (Tegan Ford)
  4. Crisis, what social PR and communication crisis? A rationale (Judy Gombita)
  5. Challenges and risk mitigation for PR when the crisis root is social (Judy Gombita)
  6. The Melbourne Mandate: A professional beacon for PR (Jean Valin, APR, FCPRS and Daniel Tisch, APRS, FCPRS)
  7. Dissent and protest – new directions for public relations (Heather Yaxley)
  8. Generic principles and specific applications in public relations (Toni Muzi Falconi)
  9. Paull Young at heart: Having a positive impact on the world, one charity: water at a time (Katie Sheppet)
  10. The Art and the science of leaving one’s mark: A requiem for Arthur Yann (Judy Gombita)

The new contributions in 2013 accounted for almost 10 per cent of the 121,000 visits that our analytics tools registered for the year in review. However, the snapshot changes if we include the more vintage 500 posts:

Using Twitter for PR events, published in 2011 (and co-written by all three principals), easily defended its Number 1 spot with an astounding 80,450 views, making it the most successful PR Conversations post ever.

It is followed by two posts about the King II and King III Reports respectively (contributed by Benita Steyn), which continue to attract a substantial number of visits, primarily from (South) Africa, and “An international view of crisis management of the Chile mine disaster” (co-authored by Heather Yaxley and Judy Gombita in 2010).

The “most-read“ post of 2013 (Heather Yaxley’s “An Idiot’s Guide”) ranks as 5th, by way of comparison.

We are thrilled by the increase of visits: 121,000 / + 53 per cent

and unique visitors: 107,000 / + 63 per cent

…but we are even happier about those visitors who directly engage with PR Conversations by commenting. The overall comments/post ratio of 7.8 has dropped to 3.1 in 2013, but this is mainly due to the fact that with the intensified use of social media channels the debate has partly switched to twitter, LinkedIn and elsewhere.

Still, more than 4,180 comments looks like an impressive number to me. And, of course, there are posts that spark debate like no other, e.g. Terry Flynn’s 2011 post A defining moment for public relations, which attracted 106 meaty comments!

The geographical origin of visitors is not much of a surprise: The top five countries – USA, UK, Canada, South Africa and Germany – account for approximately 50 per cent of all readers, but the fact that our posts are read in 197 different countries underlines the truly global nature of PR Conversations.

It’s a great thing when your aspirational vision actually translates to reality, as it has in the six years of this blog’s existence.

And we look forward to even more “global discussions about public relations” with our guest contributors, commenters, active post “sharers” and even the lurker readers, in 2014.

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5 Replies to “Look under the hood at how PR Conversations "performed" in 2013

  1. Thanks Markus. Agree that spam is increasingly annoying and also more sophisticated (if that’s the right word). Sometimes you look at quite respectable blog sites (including run by mainstream media) and the comments are obviously full of nonsense spam links. So annoying and waste of everyone’s time. Sigh!!

  2. Sometimes it is really difficult to find a possible explanation why some posts sky-rocket and others behave like lame ducks. In the case of the Grunig posts (which are neither rockets nor lame ducks, by the way) one reason could be that there is an overwhelming amount of texts by and about the Grunigs, so our related posts may be just drops in the ocean. (I will do some more diving ;-))

    What I didn’t mention in the post above is: spam, which is becoming increasingly annoying. In 2013 Akismet, our prefered anti-spam tool, has detected and erased 323,000 spam comments, this is the second highest number (only 2009 has been worse with 376,000 spams). Since 2008 Akismet has caught more than 1,1 million of those unwanted “contributions”.

    Maybe that’s the price you have to pay for being recognised globally.

  3. Markus – thank you for this post and presenting the analytics. It shows much the same kind of mix of interest in new and vintage posts that I’ve noted for my Greenbanana blog (http://www.greenbanana.wordpress.com) – albeit on a larger scale.

    It is a little surprising that some of our classic Grunig posts are not in the top listings of vintage hits. I often come back to them as a really useful resource, especially: http://www.prconversations.com/index.php/2012/05/grunig-masterclass-insight-into-diversity-and-excellence/ and http://www.prconversations.com/index.php/2009/09/what-comes-after-grunig-take-a-look-at-these-two-documents-before-you-reply/

    As well as highlighting these, I have just taken a look through our Seasoned Posts which include many fascinating insights, including some we carried over to this Redux version of PR Conversations. There’s definitely merit in going back and revisiting some of these in 2014 I think.

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