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13th August 2019
Signal Editors

Essential PR Metrics

We’ve already discussed how PR is a crucial resource for your company and that an effective media monitoring solution is necessary to prove the value of your PR work. However, access to the insights of a media monitoring platform is just the start. You need to know what metrics to focus on and prioritise.

To help you get started, here are the six essential PR metrics you need to measure.

1. Brand impact

First things first. You absolutely need to measure the impact of your public relations campaigns. Campaigns can impact both brand awareness and brand reputation, so their outcome is a vital metric to track. Great PR can help you spread the word about your company and what it is you do. Ultimately helping you deliver your brand’s key messages.

Your brand’s reputation – how the public views your brand – is one of your most important assets. If your publics (PR audience) view your brand negatively, it can have long-term implications for the business. It will be harder to convince prospects to consider your business offering.

For both brand awareness and reputation, manual social media tracking, clippings services, or media monitoring platforms are essential. In-house social media tracking and web analytics are relatively easy endeavours. Most social networks provide metrics for business pages and free tools, such as Google Analytics, are readily available.

Talking of Google, SEO (search engine optimisation) can be used to improve organic search and traffic to your website. This allows you to draw more organic traffic through the intelligent use of relevant keywords to your business or brand.

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2. Media coverage

Second only to tracking the performance of your campaigns, is the measurement of media coverage. These PR metrics will encapsulate data about PR campaigns, but will be more focused on where your campaign performed well.

Evaluating where your business has been featured in the media is paramount. And attributing coverage to earned media, PR outreach, or paid editorial opportunities, will inform and improve your PR strategy. Tracking media facing opportunities is a great way to assess the value of your PR team and your messaging.

Remember that if you’re established in your industry, your media outreach can be selective. Being featured on a small internet publication may not have the impact you need or want from your PR strategy. Instead, target highly respected and high rewarding media engagements. One interview or feature in the Financial Times can be worth more than numerous smaller industry publications or local news.

However, every mention and piece of media coverage is a drop in the water that is your brand awareness. So don’t spurn smaller publications until you have done your due diligence. If it’s a small industry publication that speaks directly to your target audience, coverage can have the most significant impact.

Building a comprehensive PR outreach strategy and list of publications to target will enable efficient outreach. The ease of this process will be reflected in your PR measurement.

3. Media reach

PR campaigns without an audience are a good way to waste your company’s time. Pulitzer prize-worthy press releases are worthless if nobody reads them. And paying out for your PR to only be seen and heard by your own staff is a travesty.

So an important PR metric you can measure is the reach of specific publications. By measuring reach, when your brand is featured or mentioned, you’ll be able to assess the possible impact that coverage may have. It will also inform public relations teams decisions to target publications and be able to prove their value.

Calculating the potential readers of a publication or audience of a radio broadcast can help quantify your PR. Using a media monitoring platform to assess these metrics allows you to make better decisions for your company. Ultimately narrowing down where you want to spend your time and energy.

4. Share of Voice

Share of Voice (SoV) is a PR metric that measures your brand’s mentions in the media versus the mentions of your competition. In highly competitive industries, understanding the percentage of industry media that mentions your brand is a great way to measure your authority in your field.

Image of a megaphone to display Share of Voice

SoV can be calculated by taking an important metric, such as mentions in industry publications, and dividing your brand’s metric by the mentions of all brands in your industry. Then multiplying by 100. If your brand had 450 mentions in industry publications and the total number of mentions for all brands (including your own) was 1975, your equation would look like this:

450/1975 x 100 = 22.78

That would mean your media share of voice in the industry would be 22.78%.

This is a great PR metric to have available as it allows you to benchmark your PR team’s success. This can be compared against your competitors. In addition, anomalies in SoV can tip you off to increased mentions of you or your competition or enable you to improve in areas where you lag behind.

5. Sentiment analysis

Want to keep your finger on the pulse of public perception? Need to evaluate how a recent decision has affected the public’s judgement of your brand? A media monitoring platform that provides PR metrics, insights and analysis is a must-have for any brand looking to truly understand where they’ve been winning and losing in their PR efforts.

Being able to draw an overview of sentiment makes it easier than ever to show your PR victories. Especially if you can show an increase in positive sentiment when recovering from a crisis or PR mishap. This can help you prove the absolute value of your public relations team. It also enables you to draw insights from past mistakes with clear visualisation of where things went wrong.

6. Crisis communications

When crisis strikes it’s too late to check the metrics and see how things are going. But, with intelligent media monitoring strategies and routine PR metrics reports, you can catch a crisis before it strikes. This will allow you to shore up your defences against the oncoming negative press – proactive rather than just reactive.

Your brand’s reputation is one of its most valuable resources. It is of utmost importance that you stay on top of any potential crises before they have the time to destroy it. When worst comes to worst, monitoring these PR metrics means being able to pull valuable insights to help you understand what caused the crisis. This is vital to help you avoid the same mistakes in future.

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These are the six most important public relations metrics you can measure. But there are many more metrics you can pull from a media monitoring platform. However, not all media monitoring platforms are equally functional.

You need to find the best possible platform for you, with a wide range of features. These should enable you to search without limit and access real-time insights, so you’re always in the know when it comes to your brand.

For more PR tips and tricks, try our article on “How to get the best media coverage” or these 8 tips on how to manage a crisis.