PR Hacks

How to Measure PR Campaign Success Like a Boss

Bryce North
6 minutes
June 22, 2024

Measuring and tracking all the data seems like it’s gonna be the biggest bore. Still, it helps you avoid looking like a complete fuckwit. You don’t want to go off in some random direction when you don’t know where your audience is.

So, we’re going to break down the basics so that you don’t need to bore yourself with the details you don’t need. Continue reading to discover how to measure PR campaign success and avoid useless data collection. By the end, you should also be able to choose metrics that will impact your business so you can brag about them later, too.

Why the Hell Would You Want to Measure PR?

The phrase, “If we build it, they will come”, is the sign of someone who needs to take their head out of their ass. 

Knowing how to measure public relations success means learning how the perception of your brand helps or hurts the bottom line. It can give you the information you need to choose where to put your time and effort to avoid wasting both.

After you learn this information, you can then use PR measurement to optimize how you are working. This can both ensure and prove that you achieve every one of your goals. Then, you can go from strength to strength a lot easier.

Which PR Metrics Aren't a Waste of Time?

You want metrics internally to continuously improve. On top of that, you want to compare yourself to competitors to find out where you are in the market. There may be some nuance to this, depending on your specific niche, but broadly, the following are some of the best indicators of PR success:

Conversion rates. Learning how much the use of specific marketing campaigns has moved the needle. Have more people visited your site since you started a campaign, and how much did it impact onboarding?

Stats to track include:

  • The cost per visitor
  • Customer conversion
  • Outreach ROI

Media coverage. How many times has your brand identity appeared on high-profile external sites? Are publications talking about you and what do they say when they do?

This could include:

Brand sentiment. What do people on social media share about you? Do they describe your brand in positive or negative terms and are there specific things you can do to improve that?

Metrics in this area may include:

  • Mentions
  • Sentiment
  • Influencer mentions
  • Social media engagement

You do not need to track all these at once. Ensure you choose those that will offer you the best information in the simplest way, or get someone else to do all this for you.

If in doubt, a good benchmark for is whether a metric measures engagement, conversion, or positive awareness.

What Are Vanity Metrics and Why Do They Even Exist?

While these sound good, they don’t have any bearing on your actual success. Some will waste your time and resources, others will mean you ignore more meaningful data, and yet more will reduce public trust in your business.

Savvy shareholders will also be able to spot these and call you out on them, embarrassing you and lowering your kudos.

Some of these metrics include:

Number of press releases you send. While often impressive, it does not measure the returns you receive from communication. More press releases can also often mean more spammy content.

Social media followers. Having a large number of followers does not mean anything if they are not engaging with your brand.

Email opens. This is irrelevant if they do not convert into customers.

Website traffic. While useful, on its own does not mean anything. You want to track the number of people who make it through every step of your conversion funnel so that you can know where to focus your efforts.

Ensure that you know what you are getting out of these things to avoid getting mocked by your peers. Alternatively, get an expert to choose the metrics for you and you’ll be in safe hands.

How to Measure PR With Online Tools

You need to identify which would be the best tools for measuring your PR success once you work out what the metrics you need to track are. The following are a few of the most popular ones people leverage:

Hootsuite. This social media manager tool allows you to not only set up social media posts but also track their success in real-time.

Google Analytics. By tracking who comes to your website and why, as well as their journey through, you can start to figure out where your bottlenecks are.

SEMrush, Ahrefs, or similar tools. These can inform you of what people are saying online to find you in search engines like Google. They can also give you insights on competitors and other data that can help you grow.

What About For an Edgier Brand?

For edgy brands, there are a few unique things you might need to do. These include measuring:

Memability. You can track this via how many user-generated memes or videos people make related to you and how fast they spread. 

Virality. Track the engagement rate, likes, and so on, learning how fast your own posts reach a target number of impressions.

Social referral traffic. Once you have the above two, you will want to measure how much they cause a boost in both your traffic and conversions. 

Getting Someone Else to Do it All For You

Knowing how to measure PR ensures that you can tell if you are moving in the right direction. You can then be able to build a campaign report that clarifies how to get more people talking about you. If the above is too much, though, you might need a professional.

Here at Don’t Be a Little Pitch, we help businesses like yours smash through every hesitation they have to give them the best PR possible. So, throw us a message and learn how we can help you reach your next breakthrough.

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