PR and comms teams play a critical role in building brand reputation, driving awareness, and fostering positive relationships with key stakeholders. To effectively measure the impact of your campaigns, assess earned media coverage, and gain insights into content topics, you must rely on a range of PR metrics and data points.
Now, there is no standard metric for PR. But, there is a common framework that can be applied to PR measurement and planning. The International Association of Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), has a framework that encompasses all forms of integrated media e.g., Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned. If you can gain visibility of PR metrics that cover these four pillars, you’ll be set for success.
Here are 17 metrics for PR and comms teams to evaluate the success of their efforts and make informed decisions across paid, earned, shared, and owned media.
These are the total number of times a piece of content was potentially seen by your target audience. It’s an initial indicator of reach and exposure.
This is a crucial metric to assess the effectiveness of a campaign. Tracking impressions helps gauge brand exposure, audience engagement, and potential impact. It also aids in refining communication strategies by identifying target audiences so you can optimise content placement.
Also, impressions can work well alongside other metrics like website traffic to measure ROI accurately. By understanding the scope of message dissemination, comms professionals can understand whether their content resonates.
Reach refers to the estimated number of unique individuals who have been exposed to the content, indicating the size of the audience reached.
This data informs communication strategies, aids in targeting specific demographics, and gauges the effectiveness of campaigns in achieving broader brand recognition. Tracking reach also facilitates the identification of trends, helps adapt messaging for different platforms, and provides insights into audience behaviour.
Ultimately, it empowers PR professionals to optimise their efforts, enhance brand visibility, and build stronger relationships with stakeholders, contributing to overall communication success.
Engagement measures the level of audience interaction with the content, such as likes, shares, comments, and clicks. This goes beyond mere reach or impressions. Engagement metrics offers a qualitative assessment of how well a message resonates with the audience.
By analysing engagement, PR professionals gain insights into content effectiveness, audience sentiment, and the strength of their relationships with stakeholders. High engagement often signifies brand loyalty, and potential advocacy.
4.Share of Voice (SOV)
This compares the brand’s presence in the media or a specific industry in comparison to its competitors. From this you can gauge brand visibility and market dominance. This PR metric offers a competitive perspective on a brand’s presence in the media landscape and allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your efforts in relation to industry peers. It also aids in benchmarking and informs strategic adjustments to secure a larger share of the conversation.
Sentiment analysis valuates the overall views expressed towards the brand or specific campaigns. Want insight into how the audience perceives campaign messaging? This is the metric for you.
This is of paramount importance in PR and communications because it provides a nuanced understanding of how audiences understand your band and the content you create. Assessing whether public sentiment is positive, negative, or neutral, offers critical insights into reputation management and brand perception. By tracking sentiment, PR professionals can identify potential crises, assess the impact of campaigns, and tailor messaging to align with audience sentiment.
Ultimately, sentiment analysis is an invaluable tool for shaping public perception, building trust, and achieving communication goals.
This is an obvious one! Media mentions quantifies the number of times your brand or campaign has been mentioned in the media. It indicates the level of media interest and your brand visibility. By monitoring where and how often a brand or message is mentioned in the media, PR professionals gain insights into the effectiveness of their outreach efforts and the strength of their relationships with journalists.
Media mention tracking also helps identify trends and pinpoint areas for improvement. This ultimately feeds back into content creation.
This measures the potential audience size exposed to the brand through media coverage.
This data helps PR professionals gauge breadth and depth of message dissemination across various outlets. You can also identify the most influential channels and assess the geographic or demographic distribution of your audience. Media reach PR metrics assist in optimising media strategies, targeting specific markets, and evaluating campaign success. They also aid in demonstrating the value of PR efforts to stakeholders and supporting data-driven decision-making.
8.Media Outlet Quality
This metric assesses the quality and reputation of media outlets featuring your brand, helping determine the impact and credibility of media coverage. This is a great one to share with stakeholders as it can be an easy way to showcase success.
9.Social Media Reach
Social Media Reach tracks the number of followers, fans, or subscribers on social media platforms. It offers insights into the potential audience reach through social channels. You may want to track PR metrics like this if you are distributing your PR content heavily via social. It could be a great way of visualising a correlation between increased activity from your brand on social and any increase in followers.
In the time of increased consumer power, influencers make up a huge part of the advocate vs detractor dynamic. This metric evaluates the level of engagement and interaction generated by influencers. Indicating the effectiveness of influencer marketing efforts.
As organic influence has diminished as a potential marketing tool, paid influence has become a much more important channel. Capitalizing as it does on the general shift in social from community to celebrity. Seeing how influencers are engaging with your brand is essential to tracking brand reputation and identifying potential advocates and partnerships.
This measures the number of visitors to the brand’s website, providing insights into the effectiveness of PR campaigns in driving traffic.
Use analytics, simple dashboards, and reports to showcase website and social media traffic gained from your PR efforts. A valuable insight into how your media mentions are translating into business outcomes.
Conversion rates calculate the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action. This could be making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out a form. It reflects the impact of PR and marketing efforts on driving conversions and is therefore often a key KPI for comms teams.
The number of conversion rates your PR campaign and content generate is a direct link to potential revenue – a definitive proof of value.
Tracking backlinks is highly important for SEO purposes as it measures the number of external websites linking back to your brand’s website. They essentially represent a “vote of confidence” from one site to another. And, are a signal to search engines that others vouch for your content.
Not only is this good for your brand awareness efforts but is a good measurement to track and improve on to boost the level of credibility, authority, and SEO value generated.
14.Share of Search
This metric compares the brand’s search visibility to that of competitors. It reflects the level of interest and awareness generated through online search queries.
This can be a very important metric in establishing your brand awareness and where there are opportunities for growth. If you exist in a highly competitive industry, this can be a very difficult metric to improve. Finding ways to align your content to the current news agenda could be a way of linking your brand (or thought leaders within your organisation) with trending topics. PR activity like this could boost your brand awareness and your share of voice in the long-term.
This is vital for any PR teams that also publish their press releases on their website. Or, comms & marketing teams that produce their own lead generating content. Content downloads tracks the number of downloads of content assets, such as whitepapers, ebooks, or reports. It indicates the level of interest and engagement with educational and promotional materials.
You can use this measurement to assess which type of content is resonating best with your target audience. You’ll also gain insight on how to improve on future engagement. For example, if downloads are lower than expected, it’s a sign to review the not only the content itself, but how and when its distributed.
A measurement like ‘media placement’ is a direct valuation of the success of your PR efforts when it comes to sourcing earned media coverage. It evaluates the quality and relevance of media outlets where your brand is featured, which can in turn be great to share with internal stakeholders.
We all want our stories in tier 1 publications. However, this PR metric must be taken with a pinch of salt. Sometimes targeting a smaller publication with a dedicated, niche readership will better align with your intended audience. This may make it a better commercial choice. The impact of earned media coverage cannot be solely based on the size of the media outlet. But, it helps to have this measurement to hand so you can strategize where you want specific content to land.
PR metrics like topic analysis is a great way to improve the quality and relevance of your content to your stakeholders. It examines the popularity and resonance of specific content topics, helping PR teams identify relevant and engaging themes for future campaigns.
Social listening tools like Onclusive’s, can go further and identify the topics that are being most talked about by your target audience, giving you an insight into the content that will be of interest to them.
The biggest PR industry challenge is measuring the business impact of PR efforts. 72% of PR professionals face this problem (Muck Rack). By monitoring these 17 PR metrics, comms teams can make data-driven decisions, refine strategies, and optimise future efforts.
Remember, the choice of metrics should align with your goals and objectives. They should provide meaningful insights into the impact of your PR initiatives. With a comprehensive understanding of these measurements, PR professionals can demonstrate the value of their work and drive positive outcomes for their organisations or clients.