Cloughie’s Conundrum- How Does PR Measure Up?

In the last six years of running Derby based Poppy-PR, one of the most common questions we get asked as public relations professionals is undoubtedly- Does PR work and how can it be measured?

Sure, the benefits of PR can be less tangible than its other marketing counterparts, making them difficult to track, but despite this, the value of this ‘dark art’ is left undisputed.

PRWeek and The PRCA recently announced that the turnover of the UK PR Industry was £7.5bn, with £2bn of this amount being handed to UK PR Agencies. With over 4200 agencies listed in the UK, PR is increasingly popular demonstrating the rewards that can be reaped from such marketing activity.

Most brands want to ensure that their PR efforts are producing a good ROI, but measuring the PR effects on a business is challenging, or so it seems to the untrained eye!

Where news is published, how many people read it and, the way in which messages are perceived all have an impact on a company’s profits. Without a method for accurately collecting and analysing such data, it is difficult to measure the effectiveness and impact of your PR efforts.

Poppy-PR has devised several ways to measure the effectiveness and impact of a PR campaign, which include:

  1. Press Clippings: One of the most obvious ways of monitoring the successfulness of a PR campaign is to track the amount of press clippings that mention your company or products and services. Poppy-PR send digital and hard copy coverage clippings to all of its clients.  A great method for tracking these clippings is to set up Google Alerts in your company name!
  2. Website Traffic: By setting Google Analytics up on your company website, it allows PR professionals to measure the amount of traffic your website receives before and after launching your campaign.  This software can allow you to see where traffic is coming from too, which is particularly useful for social media campaigns.
  3. Media Impressions: Another method of assessing your PR efforts is to calculate the number of your media impressions for a given period. To get this number, you simply multiply the number of press clips by the number of total circulation for the publication in which it appeared.
  4. Social Media Buzz: A useful metric for measuring the impact of PR campaign is mentions on social media networks.  If your product is being heavily mentioned on social media as a result of a press campaign, you know that this has had the desired impact!
  5. AVE Reports: This basically involves working out what you would have paid had you have chosen to advertise in the spaces provided by your PR campaign.  PR has been shown to be more effective than advertising and therefore a multiple of the rate card is used, The PRCA recommends three times the rate card.

PR is quickly becoming the marketing tool of choice, and providing that your chose agency can monitor this effectively, you are well on your way to PR success.

To talk to Tina about PR, please email her at