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“I hate math” doesn’t cut it anymore in PR and marketing

By Elizabeth Grich

PR is a measurement sport, and you must embrace numbers to prove your success and be competitive.


A calculator.Many people think of public relations as just crisis management and a simplified form of marketing. For decades, people with an interest in marketing went into PR because they didn’t like math and didn’t want to talk about numbers. This is a common misconception about PR and what PR professionals actually do. PR has many aspects – a main one being that we want to increase visibility and awareness of your company and brand. This can persuade consumers to purchase your product or service and spread your company’s name.


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Let’s take keyword awareness. PR aims to increase awareness. How do you measure awareness, though? Through numbers! The measurement of awareness with numbers provides proof that PR is successful and worth your company’s time and money. There are many different measurement tools to use for PR that professionals should take into consideration.


A great place to start measuring performance is through SOV, or share of voice. SOV is a measurement model in advertising that measures the percentage of media spending by a company compared to the total media expenditure in the market. To put it simply, it measures your brand visibility and how much you dominate the market.


KPIs, or key performance indicators, are another great way to measure your PR’s success. KPI is a broad term – KPIs measure many different things and should be used for different purposes. A few worth measuring include:

  • Number of impressions
  • Website traffic and referrals
  • Social media engagement
  • Sentiment analysis

You should also include some metrics that are PR-specific. The Public Relations Society of America lists five metrics you should track for online PR effectiveness:

  • Reach
  • Impressions
  • Item
  • Mentions
  • Engagement

There are endless lists of different KPIs to measure and ways to track PR success, and at the end of the day, it boils down to numbers. Numbers and measurement are essential in PR today to set a company apart from the competition. Proving success proves the need for PR. To learn more, check out this blog post on the biggest mistakes made in PR measurement, and read our e-book “Measurement Matters: How to Measure PR the Right Way.”


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Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Topics: measurement

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