Key performance indicators (KPIs) are a great way of benchmarking your work and quantifying the impact of PR.
But KPIs for your PR activity will differ to other businesses. It’s not always about the amount of media coverage that you generate. It could be an increase in web traffic, building brand awareness, increased social engagement, lead generation, improved leads to sales conversion or greater customer advocacy.
HOW TO SET KPIs FOR YOUR PR ACTIVITY
When setting KPIs for your PR activity, start by defining goals and understanding what the client wants to achieve through PR before committing to a set of KPIs. Using the SMART approach is a great way of determining how those KPIs should look and what actions stem from there.
For years, the use of advertising value equivalent (AVE) was ‘the’ method of choice to evaluate PR, however an AVE never captured the essence of PR. How many people read the article? What type of person read the article? What was the sentiment of the article, was it positive or negative?
Thankfully, the way we measure PR as an industry has moved on and we now tailor KPIs to each client that provides evidence to the real power of PR.
EXAMPLE KPIs FOR YOUR PR ACTIVITY
- Active coverage – are you targeting top-tier publications and titles for your industry and audience?
- Quality of coverage – where was your brand mentioned in the piece?
- Potential reach – how many people read and engage with the publications and titles you’re targeting?
- Sentiment – is the coverage positive, negative or neutral?
- Key messages – does the coverage include your key messaging?
- Earned traffic – have you increased website traffic through earned PR coverage and link placement?
- Domain authority – what impact has link placement had on your website’s domain authority?
- Social engagement – how has your coverage performed on social media?
When it comes to setting KPIs we sit down with clients to understand what it is they want to achieve from PR – ask yourself which of the above are relevant to you and which will have a positive effect on your business.
Identifying the right KPIs can determine the true success of PR and determines the value of PR.