Popular KPIs to measure PR

Popular KPIs to measure PR

Public Relations is notoriously tricky to measure but it’s not impossible.  For decades the sector has relied upon a single metric to demonstrate its worth – AVEs – but we’re not here to dwell on past approaches. Thanks to digital advancements and a raft of measurement solutions, the industry can jump on powerful KPIs to help demonstrate the ROI.

Take the SMART approach

Objectives are the key to building measurement into your campaign.  They must be defined right at the beginning, before the PR effort begins.

The SMART acronym is a framework designed to help organisations and individuals set objectives in an effective and productive manner.  Specific and measurable objectives define the success of a campaign.  Achievable and Relevant objectives engage and motivate individuals.  Time-aligned objectives ensure that all stakeholders agree to time scales for the achievement of objectives.

Specific – outline a clear statement of what’s required

Measurable – include a method of measurement to enable the monitoring of progress

Achievable – be realistic, ensure that failure is not built into the objective

Relevant – focus on the outcomes rather than the means of achieving them

Timely – agree a date by which the outcome must be achieved

Create a PR metric funnel

A metric funnel helps identify the best KPIs at each stage of the campaign: Awareness, Interest, Consideration, Intent.  Align with AMECs framework to source KPIs suited to the outputs, out-takes, and outcomes of the campaign.

Output metrics

Outputs directly connect to your activities.  For example:

Earned media

Media coverage

Owned media

White papers

Paid media

Shared media
Influencer marketing

The metrics to consider include (amongst others):

Media metrics – Reach and audience stats
Key messages
Event attendance

Out-take metrics

Out-take metrics relate to the target audiences’ responses and reactions to the activities.

The metrics to consider include:

Social engagement – shares and interactions
Registrations / Subscriptions
Testimonials / Reviews

Tracking your KPIs

Outputs & Out-takes

Ace Media has developed useful reporting software to help PR and Marcomms practitioners track output and out-take metrics.  The tool automates over 40 metrics across offline, online and social channels, whilst supporting bespoke metrics for specific requirements.


Google Analytics is a great starting point for monitoring and sourcing data. 

There are also other features that Google offer to enhance GA:

Google goals – Allows you to track specific pages or screens your user visits, how long they stay and the events they trigger.  Goals can have a monetary value, so you can view how much that conversion is worth.

Google URL builder – The URL builder allows you to track a specific link separately in Google Analytics so you can see precisely which campaign drove the most sales, subscribers and leads.

Google trends – Search campaign keywords, timescales and countries to see trending correlations with your campaign actions

Google search console – Search console tools and reports help you measure a website’s search traffic and performance. 

We’d love to hear about the KPIs you value most. Let us know by leaving a comment.

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