5 tips for setting media relations KPIs to support brand campaigns

by | Apr 22, 2024 | Public Relations

Media relations can play a pivotal role in shaping perceptions and driving engagement. Creating an effective media relations program requires not only strategic planning but also meticulous measurement to ensure its alignment with broader campaign goals. Key performance indicators (KPIs) serve as the compass, guiding the effectiveness of media relations efforts. Here are five insights to keep in mind when setting KPIs for media relations programs to support brand campaigns: 

1. Align KPIs with campaign objectives

Before defining KPIs, it’s crucial to align them with the overarching goals of your brand’s campaign. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, or fostering engagement on social media platforms, your KPIs should directly reflect these objectives. For instance, if the campaign aims to enhance brand visibility, KPIs could include brand mentions in news articles, audience reach, number of key message inclusions, number of social media mentions by reputable publications or influencers, the number of interviews the spokesperson will do and share of voice in relevant publications. 

2. Quality over quantity

While it’s tempting to prioritize the sheer volume of media coverage, quality reigns supreme. Syndicated stories that resonate with your target audience and align with your brand values hold more significance than mere mentions. Look beyond the number of placements and assess the relevance and credibility of each outlet. Quality coverage fosters trust and credibility, enhancing your brand’s reputation in the long run. 

3. Track media impressions

Media impressions serve as a fundamental metric for evaluating the reach and visibility of your brand campaigns. By tracking impressions across various channels—be it social media, online publications, or broadcast outlets—you can gauge its overall impact on your target audience. For instance, if your campaign includes press releases, op-eds, or sponsored content, monitor the number of impressions generated across various media outlets. Moreover, segmenting impressions based on the geographic locations of the media outlet, media type, social shares, key messages or spokesperson inclusions allows for a more nuanced understanding of your campaign’s impact and helps in refining targeting strategies for future initiatives. 

4. Monitor share of voice

Monitoring your brand’s share of voice is essential for understanding its visibility relative to competitors. Share of voice refers to the proportion of conversations or mentions your brand receives compared to others in your industry. By tracking this metric across different channels, such as social media, online forums, and news articles, you can identify emerging trends, measure brand sentiment, and benchmark your performance against competitors. For example, if your share of voice is declining, it may indicate a need to adjust your messaging or increase your presence in relevant conversations. 

5. Measure engagement and conversions

While reach and visibility are crucial, engagement and conversions provide deeper insights into the effectiveness of your brand’s campaigns. Track metrics such as likes, comments, shares, and retweets to gauge audience interaction with your content. Additionally, measure conversions, such as newsletter sign-ups, downloads, contest participations, or purchases, resulting from your media relations efforts. This data can help you understand how effectively your campaign is resonating with your audience and driving desired actions. 

Setting KPIs for media relations programs requires a strategic approach that aligns with the goals of the brand’s campaigns. By aligning KPIs with campaign objectives, prioritizing quality over quantity, tracking media impressions, monitoring share of voice, and measuring engagement and conversion, brands can effectively evaluate the success of their media relations efforts and optimize their strategies. As the media landscape continues to evolve, adapting KPIs to reflect changing dynamics will be crucial for driving sustained success in brand campaigns through media relations. 

Samiha Fariha
Samiha Fariha is a Senior Associate at Golin, where she works to help provide communications counsel to a wide variety of clients in retail, consumer food, beauty, travel and clients from many other industries. Follow Samiha on X or connect with her on LinkedIn.


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