PR is one of the few departments that still have a tough time quantifying results.…
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are used for measuring unquantifiable goals by making them more tangible. Additionally, they encourage participants to aim for greater heights.
The job of PR professionals is to get the company’s message out and promote their brand.
How do they determine if their media relations plan is working or not? This is where public relations KPIs come into play.
What’s The Significance Of PR KPIs?
A KPI is a value or figure that businesses use to identify what’s working for them and what’s not. Public relations agencies are no exception.
By doing so, they can adjust their media relations strategy to continue progressing in the right direction.
PR professionals promote people and corporations with the help of ‘free media’. That includes articles and editorial coverage in magazines and newspapers as one of the objectives of PR agencies.
They also keep tabs on public behavior and its impact on the clients’ actions. Besides, they take care of their clients’ responsibilities towards the public.
How does one measure the success of these objectives? The answer is by understanding public relations KPIs.
The following are 5 indispensable public relations metrics needed to measure the success of PR campaigns.
1. Media Mentions
It’s the most fundamental public relations KPI and a crucial one that connects the rest.
A media mention is any instance where a brand’s message, name, or campaign is discussed on television or popular online platforms.
Generally, social mentions are not accounted for in media mentions. The latter carries more weight since it’s the reputed publications, sources, and highly trusted channels that are talking of the brand.
However, PR professionals may include social mentions while analyzing the performance of their campaign since the audience may or may not follow their official channels.
There are plenty of tools to measure this PR KPI such as Reddit Keyword Monitor and HootSuite.
It’s the percentage of coverage achieved for high-profile executives, products, or brands compared to competitors.
Share of voice is related to the previously discussed KPI.
This public relation KPI is suitable for comparing media outreach and coverage with that of several rivals.
PR professionals can uncover key differentiators by setting the ‘share of voice’ as an important benchmark.
It can be tracked with the help of reach and volume. For instance, a competitor may have more mentions but whether or not the mentions are in higher-reach publications, sets them apart from the rest.
In other words, the strength of those mentions determines the share of voice.
Impressions do not act as a standalone public relations KPI. They work in conjunction with reach, which is covered in the subsequent section.
The number of times the content is displayed determines the impressions regardless of whether it was clicked.
Besides, people don’t have to engage with a piece of content for that to be considered as an impression.
For instance, if someone saw a post in their Facebook feed and then again when shared by a friend, the total number of impressions will be two.
Before online marketing existed, reach was about content distribution through newspapers, magazines, and other periodicals.
This public relation KPI now encompasses social media, websites, and other online platforms. The number of people who viewed the content via organic or paid media defines a company’s reach.
- Paid reach: It’s the number of potential customers/audience reached through ads. Such paid posts are promoted strictly via ads.
- Organic reach: It’s the number of users reached with the help of unpaid content distribution. This includes both page views and profile views.
The combination of paid and organic reach makes up the total reach, and both are crucial for a company’s PR plan.
In the digital age, engagement is associated with social media most of the time. However, its roots can be traced back to radio, print, and TV.
It’s all about getting the audience to take action after they view the content. The action could be something as simple as a retweet or a re-post.
Besides the conventional press releases, PR professionals now use videos and infographics to boost engagement.
In other words, they don’t just rely on text-based content to drive the social engagement of the audience online.
Therefore, it is a valuable digital PR KPI used to fine-tune the online campaigns of companies.
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Public relations KPIs are instrumental when it comes to analyzing the success of a business campaign.
Every company, big or small, should consider leveraging the above-mentioned marketing metrics to achieve highly sought-after outcomes. Apart from that, these metrics should also be measured against the competitors to see where the performance could be lacking. This way, public relations can truly become an asset for companies irrespective of their size or product.
Want to learn more tips, tricks, and best practices regarding public relations? Our Essential Guide to Public Relations dives into why PR matters, the 7 types of PR, how to create an effective strategy, and much more.
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