Posts Tagged ‘impressions’

Measuring the Success of Your PR Campaign

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Tape measure bar chart“We don’t all measure the same things, measure the same ways, or use the same tools or terminology,” wrote Jack Felton in the forward to the 2002 edition of the Dictionary of Public Relations Measurement and Research. The dictionary unifies the nomenclature of PR and media measurement, but once you know the vocabulary, it’s time for the down-and-dirty work of actually measuring.

David Rockland, partner and managing director of global research at Ketchum, said of the principles of PR measurement, that “Public relations has evolved at an extremely rapid pace of the past decade, and with that evolution must come a comprehensive and effective way of measuring its value.” Within are some of the most effective measurement tips to assess the progress of your PR campaign.

Establish Goals

Every successful PR campaign starts from clearly-defined, measurable goals. Is your aim to create brand awareness, to generate leads, to increase sales, or to position your organization as an industry leader? The scope of your organization’s goals affects methods of measurement and definitions of success.

Set Benchmarks

Establish your benchmarks based on what enables you to clearly, quantitatively, or qualitatively determine success. Most PR campaigns utilize media outreach, so it’s imperative to track tone, prominence, share of voice, and page visits. These are central to tracking how your key messaging plays in the media.

For goals that influence target groups, include metrics like brand awareness, recognition, credibility, and image. Business-oriented goals like increasing revenue, brand value, or market share are best measured through market analytics and sales tracking.


The quality of media coverage your PR campaign receives is just as – if not more – important than the quantity of coverage it receives. Don’t focus solely on circulation or media value; qualitative measures like tone, prominence, and share of voice are indicators of campaign success.

The Right Quantity

Though Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE) has proved a popular PR yardstick, there are more revealing quantitative measures to use. These quantitative measures don’t need to be confined within narrow parameters, and the most effective quantitative measures distinguish placement and publication prominence and message variety.

Social Media

Now that social media is an inherent component to most PR campaigns, it must also be measured, and there are plenty of social media tools to help. When monitoring social media platforms, look out for discussions relevant to your organizations and become an active participant. Approach social media with an analytical eye and identify patterns, trends, and opinions.

Quantify the results of your social media efforts by shares, recommendations, retweets, followers, reach, and tone, as well as social media measurement standards such as impact and value, influence, relevance, reach, impressions, and sentiment.

Remember to identify who your most active users are. Active users can not only help spread your social media messages, they may also be prime candidates for becoming brand evangelists.

Best Practices for Measurement

Choose measurement benchmarks that can consistently track progress over extended periods of time. Keep your analysis on a manageable scale; limit your analysis to a few select publications or competitors, or keep the tracking within a shorter amount of time.

Finally, make use of experts. This could mean enlisting internal experts on tracking and coding, or it could mean hiring a third-party expert to provide a comprehensive, robust measurement report.  Make sure that any expert fully understands your goals and objectives, and be sure to ask plenty of questions so you know exactly how things are measured and the depth of analysis your campaign requires.

How do you track your PR progress? Which metrics do you find most revealing?

PR News Measurement Pre-Conference Q&A

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

PRNews Measurement Conference 2010


by Carol Holden*

In a recent PR News Q&A with Tim Marklein of Weber Shandwick, leading up to the Measurement Conference in D.C., a number of points resonated with me – particularly those relevant to our media measurement work.

Some of the highlights were:

  • The more you can frame metrics in the context of your own organization, the more they’ll matter.
  • Bridge the gap between PR language and the broader language of the business when presenting media metrics and when attempting to convey the value of your efforts to the C-suite.
  • Think of a good measurement structure and process before looking at measurement tools and cost.
  • Define clear, crisp, desired outcomes for your communications objectives; get more specific about your target audiences and clearly define each one.
  • Some long-held measurement assumptions — one is impressions – are being called into question. So carefully consider the types of metrics you are using.

The last two points, in particular, struck a cord when reflecting on own my experiences with our clients:

First, as we design custom measurement programs with clients, many clients struggle to be able to define clear target audiences for us. In providing quality rating scores (QRS) for stories, we marry the story content score with the media importance score, so the clients’ ability to provide their targeted tiers of media by importance is crucial, but often difficult for them to do. 

Secondly when we do provide impressions or “opportunities to see,” we judge these by favorability and we always encourage clients to present all media metrics in the context of favorability.

This Q&A served its purpose in whetting my appetite for the actual live discussions that will be presented by my BurrellesLuce colleague Johna Burke and the other presenters at the PR News’ Measurement Conference. I am particularly curious to learn more about the measurement challenges PR and marketing professionals face in the ever-expanding world of media.

What areas of measurement do you struggle with? What areas have proved successful for you, your company, brand, or client? Will you be attending the measurement conference? If so, what are you hoping to take away from the experience? I look forward to continuing the discussion here on the Fresh Ideas blog. 

Bio: I’ve been in the media business all of my adult life, first in newspapers before going full circle and joining BurrellesLuce, where I now direct the Media Measurement department. I’ve always enjoyed meeting and especially listening to the needs of our customers and others in the public relations and communications fields; I welcome sharing ideas through the Fresh Ideas blog. One of my professional passions is providing the type of service to a client that makes them respond, “atta girl” – inspiring our entire team to keep striving to be the best. Although I have been lucky enough to travel through much of Asia and most major U.S. cities for business or pleasure, my free time is now spent with my daughter, visiting family/friends, and of course the Jersey shore. Twitter: @domeasurement LinkedIn: Carol Holden Facebook: BurrellesLuce

A Holistic Media Measurement Program Can Secure Your PR Position

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Why are Arizona legislators investigating a new tripod based photo radar camera? Supporters of the program will tell you it’s because these cameras help enforce the law and make our streets safer. Skeptics will tell you it’s all about the financial gains, an estimated $165 million for 2008, generated by the statewide system. I believe it’s a combination of both. Let’s face it, states just like many businesses are struggling in this economy and it’s good business to look for revenue opportunities. There are many facets to this story, but one particular quote from Arizona Attorney General, Terry Goddard’s struck me: “Public safety and common sense require that reckless speeders be held accountable before a criminal judge and not be allowed to turn our highways into ‘pay to race’ mayhem scenes.” After hearing about the growing number of citations issued for drivers exceeding 100 mph my support of the program is growing. I myself occasionally feel the “need for speed”, but I fight that urge to avoid unnecessary risk to myself or my fellow Arizonans. Truth: the growing camera population influences my decision as well.

A holistic media measurement program can help you avoid a PR highway of mayhem. If you implement your own “photo radar” system of your department to evaluate your spokesperson effectiveness, key message saturation and prominence you can leverage your measurement efforts for other business purposes. The reality is if you don’t police your efforts you are subject to the parameters set upon you by others (impressions and AVE) versus metrics you can influence with your PR skills. Whether you are starting a program or supplementing a current quantitative program with qualitative metrics you need to self-police your initiatives now more than ever.

The photo radar system has reduced fatalities by 50 percent in Arizona. Comprehensive strategic measurement efforts have the potential to save you and fellow practitioners in the event that lay-off talks occur in your department.

No matter what your source for media monitoring (i.e. BurrellesLuce, Google or Yahoo) you must develop a plan to apply measurement to your coverage. Just as only having one approach to law enforcement will not catch all traffic violators – no one approach to media measurement will provide a comprehensive view of the effectiveness of your efforts.