Latest > How to measure the success of a PR campaign

15th Feb 2024

4 min read

How to measure the success of a PR campaign

Ever been asked whether PR works? Measuring the success of PR can be tricky, but it’s vital to know how results can be measured to determine its worth and develop plans moving forward based on progress so far. Shockingly, around 82% of PR professionals have no idea how to measure and evaluate their campaign’s ROI, according to Buffer. In this blog, we’ll share everything you need to know to ensure your campaigns are measured successfully.   

But, before we delve into how to measure the success of a PR campaign, let’s start with the ‘why’…

When a company is looking to invest in PR, they’ll likely be curious as to how this will translate into business results, and whether it’s worth the time and money. Those who have been in the PR game for a while will know that assessing the value of coverage from traditional media used to be much simpler, working with solely press cuttings. Fast forward to the digital world we live in now, and social media and online advertising have changed the way we measure and track PR results. 

How to measure PR campaigns?  

First of all, you’ll need a media monitoring tool. There is a lot on the market to choose from, such as Onclusive, but essentially, they all let you follow KPIs and assess the impact of the PR.  Without this, you’ll find tracking your campaigns to be a very time-consuming task.  

However, you can’t rely solely on the monitoring tool to do all the work for you. The first step you should be taking before beginning any PR activity is clearly outlining what you want to achieve. This is the planning stage and where you will define measurable goals which will enable you to assess the success against.   

As part of your strategy planning, you may ask yourself the following questions:  

– Do I want to raise brand awareness?  

– Do I want the audience to take a specific action?  

– Do I want to showcase new products or services?  

Now you know the goal of your PR, you can look at what specific metrics you’ll need in order to measure your success.   

Reach   

Reach is a key metric that allows you to measure how many people have potentially seen your PR materials, both online and on social media. The higher the reach number the higher the potential your PR has been exposed to more people, which is the key to a successful campaign, particularly if you’re looking to build brand awareness. This is a metric which most monitoring tools will collect, as well as social platforms.  

Website traffic  

Looking at the traffic driven to your website from your PR campaigns is a key part of measuring outreach. Using specific UTM tracked links within your PR materials means you can then go into Google Analytics and monitor how many people have been driven to your website. You can then understand which source drives more, or less, traffic for each campaign and draw measurable insights. By looking at qualified leads you can look at the unique visitors who looked you up in search engines, and from there, found your website. 

Domain authority   

One metric to consider when assessing the impact of a campaign is the domain authority of the media outlets where coverage was secured. Domain authority is the measure of a website’s quality and its ability to rank in search. This means, that when a media outlet with a high domain authority includes a backlink to your company, your website is then rewarded by pulling it up the ranks. Avoid getting sucked into high volume, and instead narrow in your measures by looking at the quality of the sources. 

Advertising value equivalency (AVE)   

AVE is a metric that has been around for a long time, first used in the 1940s. It was originally used by measuring the size of the media coverage (a lot easier when everything was in print!) and then calculating the advertising rate for a similar ad. This would then show clients the benefits of earned media, as if they wanted to pay for similar space in a publication, it would cost a considerable amount more. Now with the rise of digital PR and marketing, there are more accurate measures of PR available, but it can still provide valuable insights.  

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Written by

Lydia Skerritt

Lydia has a keen eye for a news-worthy hook, backed by her natural writing style and ability to switch across a diverse range of sectors. Regularly secures stand-out TV & radio coverage for clients. With coaching skills under her belt and a strong team spirit, Lydia is a pro at cementing client relationships while hitting the headlines.

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