Skip to content

How do I measure PR success?

I wish there was an accepted industry standard for measuring the success of PR.

Over the years, we’ve tested many tools which claim to assess the value of a PR campaign, but none of them have proven particularly insightful.

Perhaps the most famous (or notorious) measure is the Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE) of earned press coverage, which does what it says on the tin: it calculates how much it would cost to purchase the same media. In our view, this measurement is completely unscientific and very unhelpful, because it necessarily makes so many assumptions about the coverage.

The truth is that PR success looks different to different startups. For some, the objective is to raise their profile amongst the VC community. For others, it’s all about user acquisition. For most, there’s a general brand awareness raising objective to their PR efforts.

With this in mind, we typically agree with clients at the outset of any campaign what represents a success. There are a range of KPIs we can set – from a simple number of coverage hits, to social media engagement levels, to a comparison of the client’s ‘share of voice’ versus their main competitors.

There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ way to measure PR, so work with your PR resource (whether it’s internal or external) to clearly set expectations and define what success looks like.