PR Measurement 101: Advancement

Effectively measuring public relations programs is still considered a challenge by many PR practitioners. In order to overcome this challenge, we have decided to write a three-part blog series (Principles, Essentials, Advancement) that outlines key measurement areas that can help every PR practitioner institute and practice a PR measurement program for any type of client.    

This third and final blog post in the series will review more advanced metrics that should be applied to large scale PR measurement programs of established brands. Many of these metrics require hand-scoring by individuals and therefore are much more time intensive (but equally valuable). Below is a list of advanced PR measurement metrics in order to effectively measure the success of your PR program:

Coverage Quality Metrics

The following metrics are very important to measure when it comes to evaluating PR programs but they traditionally require reading and hand-scoring each article individually. The metrics chosen are dependent upon the objectives of the PR and communications program.

Mention Prominence

Headline-lead paragraph mention vs. Body mention. A mention is more likely to be seen if it occurs in the headline or lead paragraph of an article versus in the lower body.

Mention Depth

Feature mention vs. Passing mention. A mention is more likely to be seen if it is a feature article versus only a passing mention, as in a round-up.

Article Type

Financial/Stock, Executive News, Product Story, Product Announcement, Industry, Customer Story, Partnership/Acquisition, Award/Honors, Events, Legal News, Corporate Story, etc. This allows brands to assess what storylines are working and redirect media efforts accordingly.

Publication Type

Business Press, Vertical (or Trade), Technology (or IT) Value: This assesses what type of publications a brand’s coverage is most often shown in. This allows brands to pitch different publications, or redirect media efforts if necessary.


Positive, Neutral, Negative. This allows an assessment of how a brand is perceived in coverage.

Article Origin

PR vs. Organic: This allows brands to assess who is responsible for their mention/coverage.

Publication Tier

Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3. This assesses the importance of the publication a brand’s mention was included in. Tier 1 publications are primary targets, Tier 2 are secondary and Tier 3 are of tertiary importance.

Executive Mention

This allows brands to track when and where executives are mentioned and tracks the success of a Thought Leadership program.

Customer Quote

This allows brands to track when and where customers are quoted and tracks the success of a Customer Advocacy program.

Business Impact

Many brands and clients are requesting that PR teams show the impact of public relations programs on their business (and we can thank the adtech market for that). Depending on the business type of the brand / client, business impact could include website referral traffic, whitepaper downloads, e-commerce sales, form fills, new customers, or app downloads. Luckily, all of these impact metrics are tracked with Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Kissmetrics, and Mixpanel (just to name a few BI platforms). Using a brand’s / client’s BI platform, PR practitioners are able to provide a correlative analysis on the impact of placed earned media articles. And if there are backlinks in these articles, it is much easier to directly show the business impact. We highly recommend for PR practitioners to take a basic Google Analytics course to learn the fundamentals of digital marketing.  

Do you have any advanced PR metrics that you track for your brand/client? Any questions? Please tweet us at @Sparkpr.

About the Author


Alex Romero-Wilson is head of Digital Marketing and Analytics at SparkPR, a full-service integrated marketing agency that focuses on Consumer, B2B, and Blockchain. Alex’s experience of working in startup-size analytical and integrated marketing departments has led to his current passion for building such departments. Alex takes a funnel-centric and data-first approach to his marketing strategies because proving business impact is of utmost importance.