On November 29, 2017, Bulldog Reporter presented a webinar by Katie Paine titled PR Measurement Pays: Connecting Media Coverage to Business ObjectivesHere is a recap of what the Measurement Queen had to teach us. 


Go to a public relations conference anywhere in the country these days, and the talk is all about measurement. 

But beneath all that talk, beneath the big posters and blaring keynote speeches, are whispers from PR pros, hushed little admissions that belie the real issue here: 

“I know measurement’s important, but I just don’t know where to start.” 

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We get it. PR measurement can be intimidating.  

From the outside it looks like an unruly beast, metrics flying around everywhere, data being spit out faster than you can analyze it. 

We get it. 

So we brought in Katie Paine. 

She started her presentation with the stat – gleaned from three decades of personal experience in the biz – that only about 5% of PR decisions are made because they’ll help the bottom line. This is a problem; if PR isn’t contributing to business goals, what are we even doing? 

So Katie laid out how the PR measurement process works. 

Step 1

Learn what the business/brand hopes to achieve this month/quarter/year. 

Step 2

Determine PR’s own objective, what PR can do to contribute to that business goal. 

Step 3

Determine how PR will achieve their own goal; what exact activity/activities does PR plan to undertake in order to reach its objective? 

Step 4

Decide which proxy metric PR is going to measure to prove it’s succeeded. 

To illustrate the process, Katie used three examples: a B2B company (that sells missile technology!), a university, and a non-profit. 

As you can imagine, all three have very different business goals, and so all three have very different everything else; PR objectives, activities, and metrics vary according to the end goal. 

Graphic showing four metrics (key message transmission, spokesperson quote, etc.) that could be used as proxies for B2B success.

The point is that no matter what industry you’re in – whether it’s tourism, government, pharmaceuticals, or anything else – you can apply this approach to demonstrate PR contribution to the overall success of the business. 

That’s why PR measurement is so critical. 

As the Measurement Queen says, “”Senior leadership does not give one hoot about what you’ve been doing; they just want to see results.” 

So give ’em to them. 

To learn more about how Agility PR Solutions can help you track these proxy metrics and demonstrate PR’s contribution to business goals, click here.

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Marcus Kaulback

Marcus Kaulback

Marcus is a content creator and marketer with a focus on branding and communications.

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