How to measure public relations activities

9 February 2024
Reading time 3 minuty

If we look at the range of services that PR agencies offer, we find that they are diverging from PR in the traditional sense for many subjects. Public relations agencies are beginning to offer, among other things, social media activities, content marketing, digital or media buying. The scope of PR activities includes or intersects with an increasing number of disciplines, hence the number of performance indicators is constantly changing and growing.


Any good PR strategy, before it is measured, should always be supported by a thorough analytical stage. In it, the baseline is determined, the position of the company in the market, the image of the company, the challenges it faces. On such a basis, communication with stakeholders can be strategically planned, activities implemented and properly measured. There is no one universal method of measuring the effects of PR activities. Wanting to measure them, we have to choose different methods each time, depending on the communication activities undertaken and the campaign plan. If possible, at the evaluation stage, it is worth checking whether the campaign has achieved cognitive and behavioral effects on specific stakeholders, and not just image or media coverage. The model is to show the state, based on research, as it was before the implementation of the activities, then present the results of how the communication campaign carried out affected the brand. It is worth entrusting such a study to an independent institute.

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This is an activity to check the image that is presented about our brand in the media. According to pre-established criteria, you need to watch, read or listen to media materials and describe them. At least a dozen different criteria are taken into account. First, it is checked how often our brand is presented, in what type of media. We can still analyse individual publications in terms of:

  • Dates when the material was released;
  • Medium (title, reach, specialization, circulation, listenership, type of medium);
  • The author of the text (name, position, specialty);
  • Criterion of overtones (positive, neutral, negative reaction).

It is recommended not to use automated solutions, which are often unable to determine the context well;

  • Was the material accompanied by a photo of the product?
  • What area of the press material was devoted to our company, or whether it constituted, for example, 20-50% of the area of a given article;
  • The context in which the company is quoted;
  • Is a statement by a company representative (expert, CEO) included?
  • Does it contain the key messages we are positioning about the brand?


Other popular media indicators to use are:

Reach Combined circulation data for titles (e.g., number of copies instead of number of readers) in which clippings appeared, multiplied by the number of articles from each title
Impressions Combined circulation of each title in which the clippings appeared, multiplied by the number of articles from each title
Readership The total number of people – the estimated readers
OTS (opportunity to see) Combination of the number of readerships/viewership’s in which the clipping appeared multiplied by the number of articles/clippings in each title
Quantity and quality Media quality analysis
Media exposure Earn publication tone: negative, neutral, positive
Value Media values based on media monitoring reports and SoMe (based on objective monitoring tools


If our goal of customer action is to change attitudes among specific stakeholders (not just the end customer), various types of research are used for this, such as surveys and qualitative research, CAWI, CATI, FGI, or IDI, for example. Others used:

  • Awareness indicators (awareness, top of mind, spontaneous, etc.)
  • Image indicators (associations, values, purchase intention, etc.)


You can also use several other indicators in media analysis. For such measurement it is worth using external tools such as Sentione, brand24, IMM, NewsPoint, social bakers;

  • Parametric: reach, impression;
  • Paid reach vs. organic in SM;
  • Engagement (shares, likes, views, etc.);
  • Number of overall results (in all sources);
  • Criterion of overtones: positive, negative;
  • The most interactive posts on social media channels;
  • The most active sites on which the brand appears and many others.

SALES FIGURES – Sales metrics internal client data showing how a particular campaign affected sales, such as a year-to-year snapshot.

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