PR metrics: from basic to advanced

LOOQME CEO Oksana Kononova held a webinar for the European communication experts community, in which she spoke about the measurement of PR, in particular the AMEC approach. LOOQME customer reviews and a MuckRack report prove that measuring PR remains a challenging task even with considerable progress in marketing approaches.

Quickly, briefly, specificly: LOOQME dashboard opportunities

Why it happens

  • Part of the problem is that evaluation and measurement are not part of corporate culture - a culture that embraces failure, demonstrates transparency, and exchanges ideas and projects. There are usually no problems with measuring results when the team has a clear goal-setting process with all the departments involved.

  • Evaluation lies in setting goals that meet business objectives. It works just like any other business function in PR. However, PR is often kept in the dark when it comes to business goals and therefore has an insufficient understanding of the overall strategy.

A study shows that communications specialists often do not even know the company's turnover, let alone specific business goals.We understand that business goals are all about making a profit. Communication must raise awareness, build trust, and change behavior to support business objectives. It is difficult to work towards achieving the goals you are not aware of existing.

Approaches to measuring communication

Effectiveness goals are gaining increasing popularity. Technically, they are part of the recognition and trust goals, but because of their specifics, we will look at them separately.The overall logic of any measurement of communications is that we have two components:

  • what we do (first we form a general level of awareness or knowledge about our product, then add specific knowledge, work on trust or reputation with our stakeholders, and also build brand loyalty)
  • what our stakeholders do and how they respond to each of our efforts

The measurement system must include both components.We can see this approach in modern customer roadmaps and within AMEC (International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication). AMEC is the first entity to incorporate planning and measurement of both our actions and stakeholder responses into a single system.We need to set goals to measure effectiveness. The purposes of communications are to:

● Increase awareness

● Build trust

● Change behavior

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Awareness is what we can influence the most. Building confidence and changing behavior involve many emotional factors, experiences, and outcomes of working with awareness. It is obvious that awareness is the most common purpose of communication and we can measure it in many ways.

Awareness: We want as many target customers as possible to learn about our offer.We use:

  • media
  • SM-campaigns
  • TV/press
  • major events
  • other

We measure:- Simple approach:coverage/viewsmentions/appealsSoV- Integrated approach:speed of awarenessfocus groupsmessage frequencyquantitative analysis- The best approachSoV + reactions + awareness rate (if available)We get:

  • comments
  • filled forms
  • views/visits
  • SEO results
  • referrals

How AMEC works

AMEC approach in measuring PR effectiveness includes:

  • Outputs: what we do

The outputs include:- Relevant advertising data- Advertising information- Websites, blogs, partnerships, or own media- Social networks- Conducted events- Launching of sponsorship- Direct mailing, e-mail, e-marketing, etc.

  • Outtakes: response and reaction of your target audiences

This is the initial reaction of the audience to your communications. These may be just some of the steps towards your goals, not necessarily their immediate achievement.

The outtakes include:

  • Audience attention (unique visitors, views, clicks)
  • Awareness (mentions)
  • Understanding (comments, post-campaign survey data)
  • Interest and sympathy (likes, subscriptions, shares, etc.)
  • Involvement (repeat visits, subscriptions, positive comments)
  • Acknowledgement (comments, subscriptions, registrations, etc.)

  • Impact/outcomes  

The impact of your communications on the target audience that meets your goals.

The outcomes include:

  • Increased understanding/knowledge (e.g. through survey or interview data, quizzes, tests)
  • Trust (e.g. increased trust ratings in surveys)
  • Preference (e.g. the stated preference in surveys, comments on social networks)
  • Intention (e.g. by queries, registration, testing, survey data)
  • Change in attitudes (e.g. through survey data or interviews)
  • Relevant behavior (e.g. sales, voting, etc.)
  • Advocacy (e.g. approval in comments)

Metrics: what, how, and why

The selected metrics determine the ways to achieve the desired performance. Therefore, it is necessary to determine them at the planning stage.Example:When we want to get relevant potential customers, we need to integrate the mechanism of accomplishing our objective in the whole strategy. It will ultimately affect which channels, messages, and tools we will use.

Let us take a more detailed look at the metrics.

SOV, Reach, Sentiment These are the most popular and straightforward metrics. Their careful use leads to better allocation of resources and budget savings.

Important: Establish how you can meet your audience’s expectations with what you want to say.

Share of voice:

  • a simple indicator
  • easy to use and compare
  • reflects market share
  • flexible
  • more useful than mentions


  • increases CRI
  • can be misleading
  • useful for paid information campaigns
  • prioritizes the main known media, regardless of the purpose of communication


  • negative mentions are ok - cannot be a separate CRI
  • requires measurement of non-positive/irrelevant share of results
  • the obtained data should be assessed in terms of relevance if our objective is attention

With an understanding of metrics, we move on to discerning the components for achieving communication goals.

Target Awareness: We want a specific target audience to know about our particular offers/benefits or/and be motivated to act.

We use:

  • niche media
  • opinion leaders
  • CEO promo
  • HR branding- SMM
  • product marketing-customer service
  • interaction with government (Government relations (GR))We measure:

The same as for awareness + concrete actions:

  • clicks / opening frequency
  • backlinks- own media reach
  • leads/registrations
  • penetration of key messages
  • discussion of attributes

Insight: You should try out and determine the best channels and messages to work with.

Trust, reputation: we want a specific target audience to choose us from among competitors.

We use:

  • the main known media
  • opinion leaders
  • CEO promo
  • environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG)
  • SMM-customer service
  • GRWe measure/apply:
  • surveys
  • focus groups + interviews
  • regular sales
  • positive involvement and reach
  • speed and quality of involvement
  • quality and quantity of media presence: both social and regular media

LOOQME uses the R-index — a combined metric supplemented by sociological research to assess the level of trust. It helps to understand the impact of media activity on changing people's consciousness, shows the quality of the media field, and the real level of trust/recognition.Insight: Trust equals reputation and cannot exist without awareness. It is built long-term based on experience.

Brand loyalty, behavior change, activity: we want a specific target audience to become our ambassadors.We use:- personalized approach- email marketing/messengers- microbloggers- community management- internal PR- referral programs

We measure/apply:

  • focus groups + interviews
  • regular sales + potential customers
  • positive interaction + involvement in discussions
  • CAC ratio (Customer Acquisition cost - the amount of money spent on attracting one client)
  • concrete actions

Insight: Just like reputation, you cannot achieve loyalty, behavior change, and activity through PR alone. They depend heavily on corporate values, team culture, and the product itself.

Objectives: usually involve lead generation.

We use:

  • e-mail marketing
  • mostly paid communication channels
  • SEO
  • ratings
  • events

We measure:

Classic sales funnel with conversions from coverage to leads by channels/campaigns.

Insight: You should not measure the results based on concluded agreements.

Measuring the effectiveness of PR is a multi-component activity. It is necessary to approach it comprehensively and program the result before beginning the work. You do not need all the available metrics. Identify the ones that truly reflect the effectiveness of your actions. Make measurement a part of your organization's culture, and remember: not only PR is responsible for the overall success or failure.

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