PR Reporting: what do you measure?
I have surpassed the one-year mark here at Full Circle PR, and it’s been great! I’ve learned a lot in the past year and have enjoyed continuing to grow in my role as Account Manager and generate success for my clients. At FCPR we are constantly challenging ourselves to seek knowledge in order to grow professionally and provide the best service to our clients.
Looking back, one area of improvement that stands out to me is my measurement reporting. I’ve created, reviewed and evolved my measurement reports multiple times this year in order to track and provide the most relevant information to my clients. I’ve researched best practices and called on my previous experiences from working on the receiving end of PR reports.
PR measurement often seems tricky, as there’s no standardized measurement guide, and all agencies approach measurement differently – we even received a note earlier this year showing some agencies are still counting AVEs (advertising value equivalents). I thought that practice was ushered out years ago!
As I have evaluated and updated my reporting structure, I’ve landed on four stats that have been the most relevant and beneficial for my clients. I’ve listed them below and shared how to best use the data:
- Earned Mentions – the number of times a brand is mentioned in media outlets each month. This gives an overview of coverage received and provides a general comparison for year over year coverage. While this is not the only measurement tool, it is the simplest way to showcase PR efforts to clients as an overview.
- Message – what is communicated in the earned mention. We document whether the message matches up with pre-defined key messages, or if it communicates multiple key messages. By tracking the messages communicated in each mention, we are able to review and gauge what key messages gain the most exposure. This allows us to identify and emphasize important messages lost in previous communication moving forward.
- Type of Coverage – the specific platform used to share the key messages (e.g. product review, feature story, interview source, product mention, gift guide, etc.). By tracking the types of coverage, it allows us to understand how the key messages are communicated and the detail included in each mention.
- Audience – what audiences receive the message and do they match up with the target audience(s). Large earned mention numbers can make clients happy, but if the right audience isn’t seeing the message, the coverage isn’t valuable. By monitoring this statistic, we are able to understand how frequently each target audience is reached and identify areas of opportunity.
These are just a few of the analytics I monitor in order to provide an overview of PR efforts for our clients and to evaluate my efforts to ensure continued growth. What key points do you measure and how does it help you continue to improve your public relations efforts?