Is ROI the Best Metric to Measure PR Success?

Can You Accurately Calculate the ROI for PR or Marketing?

PR and marketing agencies and in-house corporate PR frequently toss around phrases like “maximizing ROI” or “ROI-driven campaigns.” They may appear business savvy. But many may not know how to accurately calculate ROI or sometimes even to define it.

ROI Doesn’t Scale

Photo Credit: spinsucks.com

Lack of Qualitative Insights

Those who focus strictly on ROI numbers can overlook qualitative insights. Achieving the full benefit from PR measurement requires both quantitative and qualitative measurement. Not every aspect of communications can be measured by numbers. How, for instance, does one effectively calculate the financial return on effective crisis management communications? One guess is as good as another, maybe.

Is Computing ROI of PR Possible — or Desirable?

“ROI is a wonderful thing. But it’s not always possible to track every single effort down to a dollars-and-cents return,” states Altimeter Group analyst Rebecca Lieb in an iMediaConnection article. “Often, it’s not possible — or even the most desirable outcome.”

Other Valuable PR Metrics

PR teams can measure earned media activities through other PR metrics such as share of voice, message pull through and brand sentiment. Measurement experts recommend against putting much stock in impressions and urge PR to abandon advertising value equivalence (AVE).

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