Public relations is not an exact science. While we can effectively outline anticipated results for an announcement or proactive campaign, there is no guaranteed outcome. So how can we establish meaningful KPIs with our clients that are achievable, measurable and define success?

Of course, there are a range of quantitative results that can be tracked, such as number of articles secured or growth of coverage quarter by quarter. But there is value beyond just the quantitative results. When establishing KPIs with a client, consider outlining several less traditional metrics that will clearly indicate the value and impact of your work.  

Message Pull Through

At the beginning of each year or client relationship, we craft a story arc that outlines key messages and themes that we want target audiences to hear and understand. These messages serve as the foundation of the work we execute and influence the ideas and campaigns we pursue. So, while securing coverage is exciting, it’s more important that the coverage we secure has the right impact.

In addition to outlining the anticipated volume of coverage, consider adding a KPI that outlines how many articles will include at least one key message. For example, over the course of the engagement, 80% of articles will include at least one key message or theme. This will demonstrate that the coverage is effective and that the key messages are reaching target audiences.

Inbound Requests

When we kick off a client engagement, it’s not uncommon that the organizations have done no formal public relations activity and are therefore are relatively unknown. It takes time to introduce a company to the media, build general awareness, create relationships with the right reporters and establish executive as thought leaders.

More often than not, we are presenting reporters with story ideas and company announcements, proactively contacting them with stories we believe they’ll find interesting. But, once we’ve effectively established a relationship and positioned a company’s spokesperson as a valuable subject matter expert, journalists will start reaching out to us for comments. This can be a slow and steady process but is often a great indication that public relations activity has established the spokesperson as a thought leader and made a lasting impression on the reporter.

Opportunities Secured

Proactive pitches are one of the most common strategies we implement on behalf of our clients. By leveraging trends and industry news, we present spokespeople as industry experts who can comment on these ongoing developments. These pitches can lead to interviews or contributed content, but many factors can impact the success of a pitch and the number of opportunities secured.

As we become more ingrained in a specific industry and build relationships with relevant reporters, often our pitches become more effective. So, one potential measurement to track over the course of an engagement is the average opportunities secured per pitch. If we can increase the average number of opportunities from two to four, our pitches are becoming more effective at reaching the right audiences and leading to valuable opportunities.

Measuring results is a critical part of any successful engagement. While there are a range of KPIs to consider, the more important part of establishing metrics is understanding what success looks like for the client.

The post Measuring Meaningful Results first appeared on Communiqué PR.