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8 Key Performance Indicators for PR — What Really Matters? – Entrepreneur

Summary

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While PR is not, and will likely never be, an exact science, there are certain metrics commonly used in measuring its results. These key performance indicators (KPIs) are vitally important, and should also reflect the brand’s business and marketing goals. For example, is the brand aiming to be known …….

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You’re reading Entrepreneur United States, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

While PR is not, and will likely never be, an exact science, there are certain metrics commonly used in measuring its results. These key performance indicators (KPIs) are vitally important, and should also reflect the brand’s business and marketing goals. For example, is the brand aiming to be known for a specific value proposition or offering? If so, this differentiator needs to be in every PR-fueled or generated article. Perhaps a brand is overcoming some less-than-ideal press, and so needs to push those stories down? If that’s the case, getting positive placements in media outlets that rank higher than any negative search results (followed by measuring the SEO impact) might be the number one goal. 

While there is no cookie-cutter approach to perfectly measuring PR success, there are proven ways to evaluate various impacts.

1. Media impressions

This term — a calculation of total audience reached — is a classic PR metric, and a reliable indicator of roughly how many people saw placements your brand achieved throughout a campaign. In practice, a PR team might set a benchmark for the total number of impressions sought, then strive to meet or surpass that mark.

Pros: An outlet’s UVPM (unique visitors per month), aka its monthly viewership or readership, can determine a media placement’s potential reach and help brands evaluate how many people likely saw it.

Cons: While easily accessible, the reach of an outlet doesn’t translate into a literal number of viewers. It’s unlikely one specific article or segment was viewed by every potential audience member of an outlet.

While media impressions can be valuable in motivating PR teams to prioritize high-circulation publications, this KPI can be a fickle indicator of actual campaign performance, especially if used alone rather than in combination with additional KPIs (outlined below).

2. Key message inclusion

Key messages focus on the content of a placement rather than the tier of the outlet it appears in. A car brand, for example, might want to be mentioned in articles discussing efficient mileage, or ensure that any media placement it secures includes that message. This metric is especially useful when a key message is central to the brand’s value proposition or points of differentiation.

Pros: Measuring the number of key messages included in media placements, or the percentage of articles that include these key messages, works well as an indicator of whether these differentiators and value propositions are being consistently touted.

Cons: As a standalone metric, without considering the placement’s overall sentiment and content, this KPI is unreliable. For example, a brand and its key messaging could be highlighted in an article about a less-than-ideal topic, or that brand and its key messaging might be contained within a larger profile about a competitor, yet that mention would still …….

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/382309