PR Measurement 101: Essentials

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 this PR Measurement 101 three-part blog series (Principles, Essentials, Advancement) that outlines key measurement areas that can help every PR practitioner institute and practice a measurement program for any type of client.    

This second blog post in the series will lay out a number of essential metrics that should be applied to every PR measurement program. Below is a list of essential PR measurement metrics in order to effectively measure the success of your PR program:

PR Activities

It is very important to quantify and trend your accounts’ activities month-over-month for both internal and external reporting reasons. Internally, your PR team needs to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t and course-correct when necessary. Externally, your client wants to see how you are spending their money to achieve key objectives. Quantifiable activity metrics can include: Number of pitches, Number of press releases, Number of bylines pitched, Number of bylines placed, and Number of interviews.

Share of Voice

Typically presented in a pie chart, SOV is the number of earned mentions a brand and its competitors gain from news, blog, and/or social media sources. Share of voice is a good temperature check to see how loud a brand is shouting into their megaphone and how engaged their audience is. SOV should not be a measure of performance because it does not take into account how large competitors’ marketing budgets are and it is not a controlled metric.

Total Number of Mentions

The total number of earned mentions for your brand / client over a given period of time, typically trended month-over-month (MoM). The total number of mentions is a better gauge of PR performance than SOV because the analysis controls only for your brand / client. Track the percent change MoM to benchmark number of mentions against key PR activities.

Unique Month Visitors (UMVs)

The number of visitors per month to a specific publication. This is absolutely a vanity metric but it can give your PR team and brand / client a sense of the reach each placed article is receiving.


The number of times your placed article is displayed or “impressed” upon a screen. Like UMVs, this is a vanity metric, but impressions will give your PR team and brand / client a sense of the number of eyeballs each article could potentially receive.

Article Shares

This is the number of social shares and engagements that each placed media article receives. Tools such as Coveragebook and BuzzSumo provide this highly requested and valuable metric that show the virality of outlets and articles.

Do you have any essential PR metrics that you track for your brand/client? Any questions? Please Tweet us at @sparkpr!

About the Author


Alexander Romero-Wilson is head of Digital Marketing and Analytics at SparkPR, a full-service integrated marketing agency that focuses on Consumer technology, B2B markets, 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.