In a world where numbers are gods, PR pros struggle to find metrics to match the toolkit of their marketing cousins. Measuring PR success just isn’t as straightforward as tracking leads created, website traffic, or interactions on social media. Still, there are ways to measure PR success in a way that not only shows your progress but also makes it easier to show return on investment to upper management. Here are three ways to measure PR success.
Strategically track website traffic
Yes, this sounds like a marketing metric, but it’s slightly different. When we help our clients execute PR campaigns, we always include links to websites, reports, or other key assets, which makes it easier for people who have read the final article to get to your website. It’s also a natural next step when reading about an interesting, new company to want to check it out in more detail.
Measuring PR success by the number of media articles achieved is pretty old-fashioned. Still, the number of hits combined with the average Domain Authority (DA) gives a good indication of how far you have reached. Domain Authority checkers score websites between 1-100, measuring total traffic, number of backlinks, and more. Anything above 50 is good, and for very niche industry media, even 40 is a good indication of broad reach within a specific target group.
Measuring the debate through social media shares
Another marketing metric with a slightly different angle works well for PR. Tracking the number of times an article about your company is shared on social media tells you something about the engagement you are creating. Don’t focus on your own shares; focus on those outside your organization and the interactions with those posts. That way, instead of tracking internal sharing, you’re focusing on how your PR efforts are sparking debate online, whether LinkedIn or Twitter/X.