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How do you measure Digital PR ROI and prove it to the board?

By David Beesley

There is a long debate of how to measure PR ROI and how to prove value to your immediate manager or the board of Directors.

Thankfully – Digital PR measurement has evolved massively over the past 10 years or so, to the point where data-driven campaigns that use hard metrics have replaced nonsense metrics like AVEs.

“How do I measure Digital PR ROI that I can show to my boss?” is still one of the most common questions we get asked in the early stages of engagement.

For many agencies the answer equals an antiquated internal formula when “ROI” is based on a combination of placement on the site or publication, whether it was a full article or a comment and the estimated online readership of the website.

But does it provide a quantifiable return on investment? No.

To get pounds and pence value, you must be able to measure Digital PR ROI that has an impact on creating new business opportunities. This is where the use and understanding of analytics comes into its own and where PR crosses the chasm into lead generation.


Agree your goals and track them over time

A good Digital PR campaign will drive more traffic to your website, so before hitting ‘go live’ on a campaign make sure you draw a line in the sand and set your starting point.

Our 'The Ultimate Guide to B2B Digital PR' eBook can guide you on what you need  to get started in B2B Digital PR.

Set your goals – a rise in new website sessions, referral traffic from targeted websites, increased social traffic, contacts generated – and then stick to them. Too often the goals are moved as the business’ priorities shift.

I’m all for being flexible in a campaign, but impact does take time, so let the campaign run for 90 days, assess, then make informed decisions as to where improvements and changes can be made.

Creating and executing effective Digital PR campaigns has meant that the role of PR professionals has had to adapt and become more analytical. While some agencies have analysts on hand to walk you through a Google Analytics dashboard, you should really be able to do this yourself.


Where to start?

Choosing your website analytics software provider is entirely down to your own preference – we use Google (of course) and then couple that with HubSpot and Brightedge to measure the impact of our own campaigns. Regardless of which analytics platform you use, here is a recommendation of what you should monitor to measure Digital PR ROI and prove the true value of your PR campaign. In no particular order…

  • Number of articles generated and the domain authority of targeted publications (this one goes without saying)
  • The number of inbound links generated
  • Referrals from social and organic traffic
  • Number of website sessions
  • Number of new website sessions
  • Social media interactions / conversions
  • Landing page performance – views and engagement

If you’re getting to grips with measuring Digital PR, then we go into more detail on how to measure PR ROI here, or you can book a free consultation with a member of our team by clicking the button below.

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Tags: Digital PR