PR Evaluation: Understanding the Techniques & Metrics

11 min read

As businesses become increasingly focused on outcomes, understanding the metrics of a successful PR campaign is becoming evermore important. This article examines PR evaluation techniques and metrics, detailing how to evaluate a PR campaign’s success from multiple angles.

From analyzing available data to calculating Return on Investment (ROI) to looking at qualitative factors such as brand perception and messaging impact, this article offers a comprehensive guide to better understanding the nuances of effective PR campaigns.

Order below; the topics covered are, Overview of PR Evaluation; Evaluation Benefits; PR Evaluation Process & Metrics; PR Evaluation Techniques; Calculating Return on Investment (ROI); Summary & FAQ.

  1. What is PR evaluation?
  2. Why do I need to evaluate the effectiveness of PR?
  3. What benefits will my business see from PR evaluation?
  4. Evaluation phases
  5. Evaluation techniques used in PR
  6. Measuring key results areas
  7. So, where’s Brand24 in that equation?
  8. Summary
  9. FAQ

What is PR evaluation?

PR evaluation involves collecting data to measure how well it has achieved its objectives and goals. Surveys, media content analysis, and online metrics are all used to evaluate a PR campaign’s performance – surveys provide feedback from target audiences and stakeholders; media content analysis assesses the amount and quality of coverage generated, while online metrics measure activity on digital platforms.

Evaluating a PR campaign offers businesses invaluable insights into their efforts’ effectiveness and an objective basis for measuring impact. This helps them identify areas where they can improve and allocate resources more effectively – ensuring their campaigns reach maximum potential!

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Why do I need to evaluate the effectiveness of PR?

Evaluating the success of a PR campaign is essential for businesses – but why? It allows them to measure their progress toward their goals, understand how their targeted audience’s messages are received, and make adjustments as needed. But what else can evaluation do?

Through evaluation, businesses can assess the effectiveness of their message, the reach of their campaign, and its overall impact on brand perception. They gain valuable insights into their target audience, which helps refine strategies and better align with business goals. The evaluation also tracks progress over time and measures success in terms of reach, engagement, and public perception more brand awareness – helping identify areas for improvement.

In short: evaluating a PR campaign is critical for businesses to measure progress towards goals; understand how messages are received; assess effectiveness; track progress over time; gain insights into the target audience; refine strategies to align media impressions with business goals better.

What benefits will my business see from PR evaluation?

Public relations (PR) is a powerful weapon for business growth, helping to build brand recognition, and trustworthiness and generate leads. Teams can use their PR initiatives to reach their target audiences, create a positive public image, and form relationships with customers, partners, and influencers. PR evaluation is essential to measure the success of PR campaigns and assess their impact on organizational objectives.

PR evaluation offers numerous advantages to businesses; for example, it helps decision-makers identify the most effective strategies and tactics for their campaigns – ensuring resources are used in the best way possible – as well as measuring campaigns against competitors so they can understand how they’re positioned in the market.

Additionally, businesses can track changes in customer behavior by assessing key results areas such as media coverage, website visits, or engagement with content; this data allows them to modify marketing strategies accordingly or optimize existing campaigns for maximum efficiency.

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Evaluation phases

Evaluation is a critical part of any public relations project, as it helps to measure the success of the campaign and understand how the messages are being received by the target audience.

There are four assumptions associated with effective evaluations: that the decision-making process is the same across all entities/businesses; that set goals are realistic, measurable, and achievable; that evaluation is an ongoing process of continual refinement; and that the evaluation process is knowledge-based and behavior-driven.

Evaluation can be done using formal methods, such as scientific and quantitative processes, or informal procedures, such as humanistic or qualitative approaches. There are two phases of evaluation: developmental and refinement.

Developmental phase methodology

The developmental phase of evaluation is the first step in assessing the public relations campaign to ensure that it is effective in meeting the business and/or client’s goals. During this stage, historical or secondary research is typically used to gather data and develop an understanding of the target brand’s reputation and audience.

Establishing the evaluation metrics should be part of the pre-project development phase. The metrics should be based on the campaign’s goals. This will help to ensure that the evaluation is tailored to the specific needs of the business or client.

Refinement phase methodology

The refinement phase is the second step in evaluating the public relations campaign. During this stage, various evaluation techniques and tools can be used to assess the campaign’s success and measure its impact on the target audience. Methods such as surveys, social media channels, content analysis, and online metrics can be used to gain insight into how the message was received.

The refinement phase of evaluation helps to refine and improve the metrics established in the developmental phase, allowing for a more accurate and comprehensive evaluation of the campaign’s success.

Evaluation techniques used in PR

Public Relations (PR) evaluation is the process of measuring the effectiveness of a PR campaign in terms of its impact on the target audience, business goals, and objectives. Evaluation techniques are used to assess the success of a PR campaign, measure the impact of the strategy, and identify areas for improvement. Several evaluation techniques are used in PR to measure the success of a PR campaign, including surveys, media content analysis, and online metrics.

The triangulated research approach uses multiple research methods to evaluate the public relations objectives. This approach involves using qualitative and quantitative methods to obtain recent information. Qualitative methods include focus groups, selected interviews, and content analysis, while quantitative methods include surveys and website analytics. This approach helps to ensure reliable and valid information.

An in-depth understanding of what strategies and tactics will produce desired results can be gathered through a viable team task-managing approach. This approach involves monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of each activity individually. This allows for a better understanding of evaluation by company executives and can help them make decisions regarding the success of the campaign.

It is also important to evaluate objectively rather than instinctively or ambiguously. This helps to provide more reliable and accurate data. Evaluating objectively involves assessing the impact of campaigns and strategies based on metrics such as web traffic, press coverage, and increased brand awareness. Objective evaluation can provide insight as to why something may or may not work and help identify repeating patterns or trends in comments, leading to improvements or new products/services.


Surveys are one of the most common methods used to evaluate a PR campaign – but why? Surveys provide an effective way to measure customer satisfaction, brand awareness, and loyalty. They’re cost-effective, offer a large sample size, and are easy to analyze. Plus, they give you immediate feedback from your target audience! But there’s a downside, too: surveys can be time-consuming and hard to interpret. And if the questions aren’t formulated correctly, results may be biased. So why use surveys for measuring success?

Media content analysis

Media content analysis – have you heard of it? It’s a method used to evaluate the success of PR campaigns and involves analyzing press clippings, articles, social media posts, and other forms of media coverage. In short, it helps measure how well the message was communicated to the target audience.

But that’s not all! Media content analysis can also be used to assess brand awareness or create positive messages about a company. Plus, it can identify gaps in project knowledge and provide insights into what strategies may work better next time around.

In conclusion: media content analysis is an invaluable tool for measuring the success of PR campaigns by assessing how effectively they communicate their message to their target audience.

Online metrics

Online metrics are a great way to evaluate a successful campaign. They include website traffic, click-through rates, and social media engagement – all of which can help you understand how successful your PR efforts have been in terms of generating more website visits, sales, or brand awareness. Plus, online metrics can also be used to assess the effectiveness of specific strategies within your campaign.

Using online metrics has several advantages: they’re immediate and cost-effective; plus, they provide an insight into the entire customer journey from initial contact with your company right through to decision-making. But there’s one downside – it can be tricky to accurately track and measure the success of a PR campaign using these metrics. So is it worth taking this risk?

Measuring key results areas

When evaluating the success of a PR campaign, it is important to measure key result areas. By understanding how to measure the effectiveness of a PR campaign, businesses can track and quantify the results of their PR efforts and understand their ROI.

To measure the effectiveness of a PR campaign, businesses should evaluate the reach of their message and its impact on the target audience. This can be done by evaluating the media outlets carrying the message and the number of viewers or readers of the PR activities.

Additionally, businesses should assess how many key messages purposely incorporated into the PR program or activities made it into the press coverage.

Determining if the PR message reached its target audience and influenced them is important to evaluate success.

It is also essential to measure return on investment (ROI) when evaluating and tracking the success of a PR campaign. Businesses use the equation Total Spend on PR/ Total Revenue x 100 = % Return On Investment (ROI) to calculate PR ROI. This allows companies to understand if their PR efforts are cost-effective and if they are providing a positive return on investment.

Getting massive coverage in well-known media publications can be beneficial in widening the brand’s reach to a broader audience.

However, businesses should also consider how their PR and advertising efforts impact sales. Brands can track how targeted PR campaigns convert to customers and use tools such as Ahrefs and Google Analytics to track website traffic. Additionally, businesses can ask new customers how they found out about the service or product to understand if PR efforts are increasing sales.

So, where’s Brand24 in that equation?

When it comes to measuring the success of your PR campaign, you’ll want to analyze many data to see how you’re doing.

You can use a PR report to help make sense of all this data. This report is like a summary of all the essential information you need to know about your campaign. It can show you how often your brand has been mentioned online, how people feel about your brand, and how much your media coverage would be worth in dollars.

And Brand24 is the perfect tool for that.

One crucial metric Brand24 has is the Presence Score. This is a measure of how many times your brand has been mentioned in the media, including social media. It’s like a way of measuring how “present” your brand is in people’s minds.

Another metric is the Reputation Score, which measures the overall sentiment of the media mentions your brand has received. This can help you understand whether people are talking about you in a positive, negative, or neutral way.

Sentiment analysis is a tool used to help determine the emotional tone of mentions of your brand. It can tell if people are generally happy, sad, angry, or some other emotion when talking about your brand.

Social reach measures how many people have been exposed to your brand’s message through social media. This can be an essential metric for businesses that are trying to reach a wider audience.

Finally, Brand24 has a way of calculating the monetary value of the media coverage you’ve received (AVE). It could help you understand how much you would have had to pay for the same amount of media exposure if you had used paid advertising instead of PR.

Overall, when evaluating the success of a PR campaign, it is important to measure key result areas, understand how to measure the effectiveness of a PR campaign, and track and quantify the results of PR efforts, as well as measure return on investment (ROI) and assess the benefits of getting massive coverage in well-known media publications. By understanding these metrics, businesses can gain valuable insights and make more informed decisions about their own PR investments and campaigns.

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Overall, evaluating the success of a PR campaign is an important step for businesses to undertake in order to identify what strategies and tactics will help them achieve their desired objectives. Different evaluation techniques such as surveys, social media mentions, content analysis, and online metrics can be used to measure the success of a PR campaign, giving a business an understanding of how its audience responded to it and providing valuable insights into its progress towards its goals.

As such, PR evaluation is a key element in evaluating the PR of any PR initiative, enabling businesses to accurately assess their returns on investment and make informed decisions about their campaigns.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is PR evaluation important?

PR evaluation is important as it allows you to determine whether your initiatives are successful, identify areas that require improvement, and ensure that the resources deployed have been maximized. Evaluation will also provide valuable feedback, which can be used to inform future marketing strategies.

What are the five levels of evaluation of any PR plan?

When evaluating a PR plan, it is important to consider all five evaluation levels, which include Output, Outreach, Outcome, Outgrowth, and Outperform. Each level provides insight into the effectiveness of the public relations activities and strategies used, enabling organizations to ensure they are meeting their campaign objectives.

What do you mean by PR?

Public relations is an important strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their public. By establishing trust, credibility, and understanding between the two, PR specialists work to ensure that organizations maintain a positive image, reputation, and rapport with their stakeholders.

What does evaluation mean in public relations?

Evaluation in Public Relations is the process of assessing the success of a PR team, campaigns, and initiatives to strategize for the future effectively. It involves measuring the effectiveness of campaigns and using data to determine whether an approach needs to be adjusted or changed entirely. Through evaluation, PR professionals can ensure that their strategies are always on target with goals and objectives.

What are the elements of evaluation in public relations?

Evaluating public relations initiatives’ success involves combining multiple qualitative and quantitative methods, such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, systematic observation, participant observation, case studies, market surveys, website analytics, and media analysis.

A thorough assessment of the effectiveness of earned media enables an organization to make data-driven decisions on its PR strategy.

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