05/02/2013 10:04 am ET

How Can a Brand Measure PR ROI?

Agencies and marketers have been developing methodologies for measuring the return on investment for their public relations campaigns for years leveraging a variety of tactics from DIY to professional media analytic software. For most marketers, PR is an anomaly and not quite as simple as measuring ROI for traditional advertising and marketing tactics. Similar to social media, PR can't be solely valued based upon immediate ROI. Effective PR builds on itself and drives longer-term impact. However, from a marketing bottom line, below are some methods a brand can employ to measure the value of their marketing spend on PR:

  • Measure your campaign's performance by analyzing your media coverage (e.g., how many follow up inquiries and mentions does the campaign generate)
  • Compare press coverage to advertising rates by researching media outlets' pricing for comparable ad time (e.g.,a 2min on-air interview vs the cost of four 30-sec commercial spots during the same air-time)
The DIY Method:
  • Download the media outlet's where you or your brand is featured online media kit. This will generally have pricing for their traditional advertising rates.
  • Compare size of article to similar advertisement size whether it's print, online, TV, or radio. Whatever the ad cost is, that's the minimum value of your PR placement. Editorial has a much higher value than traditional advertising since it is not paid for but actually selected by media to be reported on, as well as it engages a more targeted audience for your product... Employ professional services of media analytics firms, such as Cision and be able to gain insights beyond just ad values, such as channel performance
  • Press hits increase eyeballs and audience by driving traffic to your website, Facebook, or Social Media Channels
  • Great articles inspire other great articles. The more press you achieve the more writers want to report on your brand
  • Savvy articles capture the attention of decision-makers at similar brands, inspiring strategic partnerships, brand development, and new business endeavors