Public Relations ROI (How To Measure ROI In Public Relations)

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, so does the way PRs measure their success. Let's explore how to measure ROI in public relations.

Learning how to measure ROI in public relations is an ever-changing process. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, so does the way PRs measure their success. While many PR metrics are embraced by agencies and in-house teams through reporting, some PRs have struggled to keep up with the breakneck speed at which PR reporting evolves.

With the freedom to create custom PR KPIs using coverage reporting tools like Releasd, agencies and in-house teams are utilising a wider range of performance metrics to communicate PR success than ever before. We are in a fortunate and unique position to see how these professionals are choosing to measure and report on their PR successes.

While many industry analysts use anecdotal evidence to explain how public relations teams are measuring success, we’ve got the cold, hard data. Tons of it. In fact, over the last six years, more than 400,000 individual KPIs have been used on our PR reporting platform. We are well-positioned to share insights on how PRs use specific metrics to measure ROI.

Public Relations ROI – Why Does It Matter?

ROI makes the PR world go around. A campaign’s ROI is mapped directly to the KPIs and objectives of any given campaign. With this in mind, the ‘ROI of a campaign’ can mean many different things. For instance, while one client may measure their ROI in purely monetary terms, another might play a longer-term game and have less interest in immediate monetary gain.

As an example, a PR campaign to drive brand awareness could get measured through social media interactions. It isn’t possible to attach a monetary value to these interactions – but they still hold value and present a clear ROI. When a brand awareness campaign results in new followers, these could potentially hold some monetary value further down the line.

The absence of a clear public relations ROI can make it difficult to justify a campaign spend. To keep clients coming back for more, PRs must demonstrate an ability to produce results. From the outset, it’s important to set and manage expectations. PRs do this by outlining how they will measure success and ensuring their clients are on the same page.

When everyone knows what success looks like, this can help in managing expectations as the campaign progresses. Aimlessly running a campaign without any sense of direction is not a smart strategy. PRs need to know what they are aiming for and how their work will get judged by clients. This means establishing which KPIs will get used for measuring PR success.

How To Measure ROI In Public Relations

Understanding how to measure ROI in public relations is critical to client retention and, for in-house teams, crucial in order to demonstrate value to budget holders. PRs need a broad range of metrics at their disposal to highlight the strengths of their campaigns. As you would expect, campaigns will excel in different areas. Taking a one-size-fits-all approach to reporting isn’t an effective way to communicate campaign performance and results.

The truth is, nobody really knows how PR teams are measuring success behind closed doors. Well, except us. Agencies and in-house teams are using our PR coverage tool to create custom KPIs to measure their work. With unique insights into how teams are framing success and using metrics to evaluate performance, we have an understanding of existing and emerging trends.

Rather than trying to offer a watered-down version of our findings, check out our comprehensive industry report on the most popular KPIs in PR. This contains everything a PR professional could wish to know about the current state of PR measurement. Not everything is as it seems. There are a few surprises. The picture many industry analysts paint is not entirely accurate.

These are just a few of the questions we’ve covered in the report:

  • How are PRs choosing to evaluate their work?
  • Which PR KPIs are becoming more popular?
  • Do these KPIs align with industry best practices?
  • Is AVE still in use?

Six years of PR agencies and in-house teams using Releasd as their go-to PR coverage tool has yielded 400,000 individual KPIs from more than 100,000 reports. That’s a pretty large pool of data. There were 1.5 million pieces of PR content inside those reports. In terms of establishing industry trends, we had no shortage of data to work with. Go and check out the report now.

How To Measure PR In An Evolving Digital Landscape

Just because we’ve published our report doesn’t mean we don’t have fresh data rolling in daily. PRs are constantly adapting how they measure performance to align with the ever-evolving digital landscape. Data from the past six years is evidence of this. In those years, we saw trends come and go. When changes emerge, a new report will be just around the corner.

ROI Public Relations Reporting (Communicating Success)

Many PRs do not leverage the tools needed to successfully communicate success with their clients. This can lead to underwhelming reporting and low client retention. PR professionals use Releasd to seamlessly create interactive client reports. They have the freedom and flexibility to create custom performance metrics to build a narrative around campaign performance.

Book a 15-minute demo with our team today.