A lot! When I started we posted a story with a black and white picture to a few magazines and hoped the phone would ring 4 months later – there was a 3 month editorial cycle. Then journals introduced colour and “bingo cards” so now we could see where enquiries came from. Then the internet arrived and we sent material to online sites and after a year or so clients told us they were getting more leads from the internet than from printed media. However, now no-one could tell what lead came from where since the enquiry did not necessarily come on a “bingo” card. Now they came by phone and e-mail as well, with no particular provenance.
At last, after a few more years we can at least get referral stats, viewing stats, website traffic and even discern client listings for important keywords – plus we can tie up the whole lot with a client blog and links from newsletters etc. Where we once had huge annual directories we now have huge web directories updated daily. We have many years worth of searchable archived journals and whole spectrum of editorial content styles.
We no longer use the post for anything and at least on the internet the publishing cycle time is almost zero – but we still have to hope the phone will ring – or the e-mail will arrive.