From marketing managers to sales teams, including C-suite, many stakeholders see the benefits of successful PR campaigns and use the metrics that measure success to tailor business strategies or make more data-driven decisions.

However, nearly half of B2B marketers say determining the actual levels of business contribution from PR agencies is a difficult task, a recent study IBA Primary Research Study find.

For some PR agencies, a high volume of “media engagement” is the most important consideration in measuring PR success, although others, such as SEO benefits, coverage failures, and dissemination. messages, be more effective.

Media engagements simply involve a conversation or email with a reporter, and they don’t make it easy to measure PR performance or spend for marketing managers or the C suite.


In fact, 41% of marketers said they found their PR agency too focused on delivering media engagements rather than securing quantifiable content placements, the IBA study found.

When it comes to getting actual coverage, many PR agencies are too reliant on familiar media contacts for their placements, the study also found: More than a third of marketers have coverage in the same small selection of media.


Much more can be done to measure the success of media campaigns, and the following three metrics can help organizations successfully measure their PR output.

1. Perform a breakdown of coverage: collect, record and evaluate data

Quarterly or semi-annual reports should provide agencies and their marketers with a large sample to work with to analyze campaign performance, speed and momentum, i.e. show which content formats performed well and or.

The value of the information depends on careful data collection. Data entry should ensure coverage is properly recorded and coded and note the type of deliverable, release, positioning article, thought leadership, case study, story, interview, etc. it has been published (online platform, digital issue, hard copy or newsletter, for example).

Observe trends

Once the numbers are collected, the trends should become apparent through analysis of the data.

For a campaign with a division of articles, press releases, and interviews, organizations can look at the results and determine if the coverage formats match the activity levels.

For example, a high volume of media coverage compared to signed placements may indicate that an organization has not achieved “thought leadership status” within its target industries. On the other hand, a lack of media coverage may indicate that the company needs to rethink its press release strategy.

Refresh your target media list

Reaching multiple posts with a PR campaign is paramount as this will ensure wide coverage. As previously reported, 34% of marketers say their PR agency is ineffective due to repetitive placements in the same small selection of media.

A review of target media should be a priority, and it should be continually updated.

Master the UVPM

For businesses that use Monthly Unique Visitors (UVPMs) to determine campaign reach, an analysis of overall news coverage will show impressions of the campaign.

However, companies should chase high numbers from the UPVM with caution, not at the cost of targeted campaigns. They are chasing B2B decision makers and potential buyers, not a large consumer audience.

Discover the flaws of the newswires

If you are use press wires, a data-driven approach can distinguish between wired syndications and the quality coverage that has been picked up, read and posted by a physical reporter.

The ability to assess excess wire feed spending also opens up the possibility for businesses to cut back on service and focus on the pitch.

2. Dig deeper: perform regional and message analysis

The previous section covers analysis by format and origin of assets, but this section goes a little deeper into how marketers can better understand how their campaigns and messages resonate externally.

All coverage should be coded by message and, for international campaigns, by geographic area. After 6 to 12 months, PR coverage can give B2B marketing departments an accurate reflection of which campaigns and messages are performing well and, more importantly, where.

These metrics can be used to define strategies, ensuring that the topics of most interest to the media match the marketing messages of the B2B company. These messages may need to be prioritized, modernized or revisited.

Coverage reports can show that certain topics are more developed in particular geographies or even industries, and marketing strategies can be easily tailored to ensure that the most relevant messages are delivered to the most receptive audiences.

3. Increase traffic and lead generation for inbound benefits

Outside of the marketing department, business leaders will want to know how much value they get from their public relations investment and how the inbound public relations benefits can be measured.

Media is gradually moving online, paving the way for B2B organizations to increase their digital lead generation. These outlets have websites with extremely high ranking domains, both in UVPM and in search results. Therefore, a targeted PR campaign that generates high volumes of coverage in influential media will ensure that a B2B organization, its messaging and keywords feature prominently in authoritative third-party domains.

Ultimately, potential customers looking for software or specific solutions to industry problems are more likely to find a B2B organization with a cohesive and active media strategy.

Get mileage from your backlinks

At a direct level, by writing the content they submit to influential media, B2B marketers have substantial control over the backlinks they include.

Press releases can contain links to relevant product pages, and signed content can incorporate links to specific areas of the company’s website (research, white papers, blogs, etc.). Clicks can be tracked through marketing platforms or simply through UTM codes and Google Analytics.

Measuring public relations metrics has an impact!

Good PR performance gives B2B organizations a head start in measuring insightful PR metrics. It is therefore essential to ensure continuous and widespread coverage in a variety of media publications, as this allows PR to showcase their progress and demonstrate their impact on the sales and marketing of the company.

More resources on measuring public relations campaigns

PR measurement is about outputs, levies and outcomes: Shonali Burke on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]

Seven questions to ask when hiring a public relations agency

How to get PR to boost SEO

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