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TEMPLATE: Earned news coverage scorecard

By Katie Boyles

jonathan-francisca-1456353-unsplashDownload a scorecard template to measure the quality of your earned media coverage

Earned media coverage, such as news coverage and social influencer mentions, is a great channel to tell your company’s story. However, people often misunderstand the value of the earned media, since it’s difficult to tie value to a free news article.

While PR agents frequently measure quantity, volume metrics don’t consider the quality of the earned media coverage. For example, earning 100,000 impressions from an article isn’t beneficial if the article positions your company in a negative angle. To measure the quality of earned media, use the scorecard tool below.


Desirable criteria


Has a key message


Contains a desirable visual


Contains a quote from a spokesperson


Contains a call to action or link


Dispels a myth


The story or headline leaves a reader more likely to do business with or support the organization




Undesirable criteria


No key message


Negative message, negative myth reinforced


Contains a competitor recommendation or call to action


A story or headline that leaves the reader less likely to do business with or support the organization


Organization omitted from story that includes competitors mentioned






Source: Paine Publishing’s PRSA Measurement Matters presentation


Consider your business and communications objectives to find the criteria to include in your scorecard. Perhaps web traffic is your objective, so “includes a direct link” would be +3 points. Weigh each criterion depending on how important it is to your company and its business objectives. The media coverage quality scorecard is customizable.


Here are more options for criteria:

  • Share of voice

  • Share of spokesperson visibility

  • Prominence and placement

  • Tone and sentiment overall

  • Includes link to owned site

  • Social media likes and follows

  • Social media shares

  • Social media comments and engagement

  • Opens or views

  • Sign up or subscribe to owned media

  • E-commerce impacts

  • Google analytics traffic

  • Check out the full list: Real numbers to measure earned media coverage

If your PR agency of record isn’t able to show you the value and quality of your earned media program, it’s time to cut ties. Download Axia Public Relations’ complimentary e-book “How to Fire Your PR Firm” to end the unhealthy relationship and find a firm that includes ethical practices in its PR planning, research, campaigns, and measurement practices.

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katie-newClients love Katie’s energy and enthusiasm. She works with national clients to develop their PR program’s research, planning strategy, and measurement. Katie has worked with Axia Public Relations since September 2015. Learn more about Katie.


Featured photo by Jonathan Francisca on Unsplash

Topics: earned media

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