The days of questioning Public Relations’ (PR) return on investment (ROI) have been long gone thanks to new advancements in media monitoring and reporting. In addition, the evolution of PR tactics, predominately in the digital and influencer spaces, has also fostered new definitions of what PR is and how it can be measured.
There are a number of ways to measure the success of a PR campaign but selecting the right measurement tool depends on your campaign goals. At FAULHABER, understanding that success can mean many things to different clients, and as a result we determine customized Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and reporting methods to ensure we are meeting and exceeding your goals.
Utilizing the best in the business measurement tools, we provide as-it-happens, weekly and monthly reporting based on combination of the following metrics:
Earned Media Placements
This refers to the number of times your brand, product or service is mentioned in the media. The media itself can include all forms such as print, broadcast, websites and social media platforms. Historically, earned media placements were categorized as traditional media outlets but now has come to include social media influencer accounts, podcasts and even audio community apps Clubhouse.
In some cases, referred to as “potential reach” or “viewership”, impressions is the total viewership for the media in which your brand, product or service is placed. This is typically measured by referencing the media kit of any given media publication or by using a measurement and analysis tool. Media Rating Points (MRP) provides a standardized way to measure earned media impressions and is typically the standardized tool used by most PR professionals in Canada given its association with Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS).
Share of Voice
Taking earned media placements and impressions metrics a step further, there are tools to calculate your brand’s share of voice across your priority media and compare that to your competitors. These reports can compare the evolution of your share of voice during certain time periods. For example, marketers can measure their share of voice before and after a PR campaign to evaluate if the conversation about their brand has increased, decreased or remained flat. Share of voice can be measured by the number of impressions (the total audience reached) or number of earned media placements (the number of times mentioned in the media).
Estimated Advertising Value (EAV)
By gathering the total number of impressions, a formula can be applied to estimate the approximate value of what the cost would be to directly advertise to the amount of viewership acquired through a PR campaign. The formula can fluctuate depending on the types of media that are in highest demand however the current industry standard is 0.1235 x the total number of impressions. Marketers can then measure the EAV against the total PR campaign budget to showcase the value in media dollars acquired versus the actual dollars spent.
PR can have a significant impact on a website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ranking since websites like Google favour third-party link placements. The more earned media placements that feature a link to your brand’s website, the more chances it will appear on the first page of a consumer’s search engine.
Earned Website Traffic
This includes the number of visitors that came to your website from earned media placements. This is typically measured using an Urchin Tracking Modules (UTM) link provided to the said media source. Marketers can also create UTMs for specifical PR campaigns and media sources such as influencers to track audience interest in their product or service. Depending on your analytics capabilities, you can also measure the amount of sales generated from any given UTM.