How to measure success in PR

Demonstrating the value of PR can be a headache for those being challenged by their senior team for evidence of return on investment. It’s only right that businesses should be questioning the value a PR strategy can bring. The good news is – it is possible to measure PR effectively to show business benefits.

At CWA, we use the most relevant metrics from the PR evaluation toolkit and tailor evaluation for the need of our clients. Here are the things you should consider when gauging the success of your PR strategy.

Segment your audiences

Good PR is built on strong long-lasting and trusted relationships with influencers, journalists and stakeholders. You may be securing an impressive number of stories within the media, but are your customers reading these or are you just talking to your competitors?

Top tip: Avoid vanity coverage by tailoring your stories to sector-specific publications or niche outlets to reach the people who really matter.

Always look at the bigger picture

Globally, digital consumers are now spending an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes per day on social networks and messaging apps. It’s highly likely that your staff and suppliers are using these channels.

If they’re positively engaged, the leverage they can give your brand online can be a game-changer as they share with their professional networks. If they’re not… it’s a missed opportunity and potentially a risk.

Top tip: Make sure your external PR activity is closely aligned with your internal communications strategy and provide social media training and a protocol for staff.

Less is more

A lot of big brands want to see the brand name featured in as many publications as possible. But sometimes less is more, because what use is volume if the sentiment is negative? It’s so important to analyse the content; what is it saying about the brand? How does the headline impact perception? This is even more important in a digital age where readers are commenting on stories online.

Top tip: Add sentiment to your reporting process to monitor trends over time.

Enhancing your digital presence

If your audiences are online (let’s be honest – most are) then you should be considering how earned media online can influence your SEO strategy and provide high-quality backlinks to your website. Measure the domain authority of websites mentioning your brand, whether they include a link back to your company website and if it is a follow or no follow link.

Top tip: Section all target media into gold, silver and bronze lists based on domain authority, readership and social following. Target the gold titles with exclusives to generate better results.

Want to know more about evaluation tool, tricks and metrics?

Say, or speak to our in-house expert, Kevin Cooke on

Written by
Kevin Cooke
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