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Quantity vs. Quality: Measuring Your PR Success

Published: July 10, 2018       Updated: May 13, 2024

3 min read

It’s no secret that clients want to see results when those end-of-month and end-of-quarter reports come around, and, in return, agencies want to prove themselves as a valuable investment to client executives.

But measuring public relations efforts isn’t as cut and dry as marketing or advertising can be. While having quantity-based measurements like reach, views, likes, retweets, etc. are important, these numbers may not convey your public relations success as well as you’d like. Public relations has been slow to adopt a measurement standardization for the industry, but measuring media coverage with quality-based metrics, not just quantity, is expected to provide a more accurate picture of your public relations success.

Idea Grove recently created a new, customizable reporting system based off of qualitative measurements for one of our clients to test this theory. The scoring methodology for their media coverage consisted of three key parts:

  1.    The tone—How was the client perceived in the article? Was it positive or neutral? In a competitive industry where reporters compare companies and products, positive coverage is key to helping B2B technology companies stand out in a saturated field. If you notice you have too many neutral mentions, your client might not be getting enough feature coverage. Monitoring the tone of articles is a great way to be aware of this in order to shift strategies if necessary and to measure the overall quality of coverage.
  2.    The key messages shared—Did the article share messages the client wanted to share? It’s important to establish key messages with clients when pitching or prepping for an interview in order to communicate their company story effectively. These messages could include ones that were identified in advance or customized around specific announcements. Furthermore, did your pitch or interview result in a feature, brief or just a mention? This not only helps identify the impact of the article for clients, but it also provides another way for public relations professionals to analyze their pitches and adjust for future opportunities.
  3.    The importance of the publication for the client—Smaller publications that yield a high-quality audience often get lost when reporting on pure audience numbers. Dividing publications into tiers based off of your client’s goals is a great way to focus on targeting publications that capture key audiences. When it comes to generating new leads and customers, the number of people you reach won’t amount to much if they aren’t the right people. Measuring your audience’s quality as well as quantity can help you pitch more effectively and yield a higher number of potential customers for your clients.

Based off of this new reporting, The client showed a 7.1 percent increase in positive coverage featuring key messages in priority publications from quarters one and two of 2017 to quarters one and two of 2018. When it comes down to reporting, evaluate what information is most used and most valuable for your client. Used correctly, both quantitative and qualitative data can be an important part of measuring your public relations programs.

How do you measure your public relations success? Learn more about Idea Grove’s innovative PR & Digital Marketing services here.

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