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100K PR Reports. 400K Individual KPIs. We Uncovered The Most Popular PR KPIs

what are the most popular KPIs in PR?

Have you ever wondered how your peers are measuring their PR campaigns when nobody but their clients or executives are watching? 

The team behind Releasd, a tool for creating visual PR reports, can finally shed light on this very topic. 

A new report entitled ‘What are the most popular KPIs in PR?’ reveals a wealth of insights about how agencies, in-house teams and freelancers worldwide are choosing to evaluate their work behind closed doors. 

Interestingly, the vast majority of coverage reports created by Releasd users last year included KPIs relating to activities beyond media relations. 

But what is the scope of modern PR measurement and what are PR professionals doing more or less of? Has the pandemic impacted the type of work we are now doing? And what will PR measurement look like in the future?

The report reveals developing trends in measurement and gives an insight into how closely PR professionals are aligning their work with the best practices recommended by AMEC’s Integrated Evaluation Framework. 

Download the free report from Releasd here: What are the most popular KPIs in PR

What is Releasd?

Releasd is a tool that enables agencies, in-house teams and freelancers to create fully customised, visual reports that showcase coverage, plus the full breadth of modern PR activities. Crucially for this research, users can create their own custom KPIs too.

How was the Popular KPIs report created?

The team at Releasd analysed over 100,000 global PR reports with 400,000 KPIs between 2015 and 2021 revealing historic and future trends in PR activity. 

Further analysis compared customised metrics added by Releasd customers with the recommendations laid out in AMEC’s Integrated EvaluationFramework in order to explore how well the PR industry is measuring up against best practices.

Key take-aways

  • Measurement of non-media relations activities (organising events, creating content, booking guest posts etc) saw the biggest jump. 77% of reports created in 2021 included Activity-based metrics compared to just 19% in 2015

  • AVE reporting is still alive, but only just! Usage has decreased year on year with only 6% of reports including this metric in 2021, compared to 18% in 2015. Of the reports that did share AVE measurement, two thirds were produced by in-house teams

Graph chart showing AVE use in 2015 versus 2021

  • Out-take metrics remain extremely popular. 92% of Releasd reports in 2021 featured cutting edge PR Out-take measurement such as coverage views, live coverage shares and dark social media analysis

  • There’s still much to do in terms of Outcome and Impact evaluation; reports shared with SMEs were most likely to include at least one Outcome or Impact based KPI, but even in this category only 16% of reports included such a metric

Why have Activity-related KPIs become so popular?

AMEC warns that “PR professionals can’t afford to run the risk of being seen as activity-based ‘busy fools’”, but we think the data simply shows that the industry has diversified and strengthened its offering. There’s every reason to believe that this is a trend that is likely to continue, almost guaranteeing the long term health of PR after a period of unprecedented turbulence.

What’s going on with AVE?

Based on conversations with customers, it seems that most PR professionals are aware of the major issues with AVE. They talk about it in apologetic terms. Often it’s the non PR-savvy clients or executives, especially in larger companies, who insist on some kind of monetary value being placed on PR, and no amount of push-back and reasoning is able to change this.

What are the trends in Out-take based KPIs?

Although Out-take KPIs, which measure how content is being engaged with, have always been popular, the trend here is towards far greater sophistication due to major advances in measurement technology and techniques. Another attraction of Out-takes is the sense that they are as close as most PRs are able to get to measuring Outcomes and Impacts.

Are we making progress in terms of measuring the stuff that matters?

According to our data and conversations with clients, many PR professionals are still finding it challenging to effectively measure the Outcomes and Impacts of their hard work. The main causes are a lack of understanding of what PR can do, and challenges in terms of access to the right people and right tools.

Where can I download the full report?

Download the full, free report from Releasd here: What are the most popular KPIs in PR