PR Numbers—Grounded or Out of This World?

by Clem Boyd | Jul 21, 2023 | Public Relations

Public relations is a world of words orbited by numbers. But which numbers give your PR endeavors gravity?

One important measurement is related to your pitches. How many media outlets did you send that press release or alert to? How many of them opened your email? What was your bounce rate? How many interviews did your pitch generate and how many of those resulted in one or multiple placements?

These are all important numbers to consider and should be included in your evaluation of PR efforts.

Is there an uptick in the number of visitors to your organization’s website after a press release or PR campaign? That can be a helpful measure, so you ought to check that, but different factors can affect website traffic, including other marketing efforts.

Has your fundraising experienced a recent bump? PR is an essential element to fundraising as it makes potential supporters aware of who you are and what you do. But it stands above the funnel creating favorable connections that will hopefully lead to a long-term donor relationship. Drawing a line between more donor dollars and PR is usually not advised.

One of the most important numbers of all has to do with the dollar value of stories, or what is known as AVE—advertising value equivalency. AVE answers the question, “How much would that earned media have cost had we bought it ourselves?”

Or if we had purchased a digital ad on the media organization’s website and paid for the impressions our article received?

Or—and I know this is old school—how much would that article we just placed in the hard copy newspaper or magazine have cost us if we had purchased that space for an equivalent sized ad?

AVE is an important way to evaluate your public relations trajectory.

And while it’s not rocket science, finding reliable AVE numbers can be a challenge. All public relations software platforms offer AVE as part of their metrics. Those figures can be helpful in showing the monetary value of PR endeavors. But even the best platforms do not capture every earned media opportunity.

Does your organization have a media department? If so, one of their functions should be collecting rate sheets from media who you regularly interact with. Hopefully, this will give you a ready supply of information on cost per thousand (CPM) impressions, and 30-second and 60-second radio airtime for various times of the day, the week, and the year.

If you do not have that information, it is time to contact the sales department at the media that you pitch. Naturally, sales reps are interested in selling you digital or real ad space and airtime, so the best route for obtaining those advertising costs would be through your staff who are responsible for making media purchases.

You may be helped in determining AVE by knowing the website traffic for media who have run your stories. There are several websites now that offer that information for free, and you will have a starting place for determining the cost per thousand impressions for your story.

If you make an effort to gain the best information possible to guide your AVE estimates, you will discover that both you and those depending on your PR efforts are grounded in solid information that will send your PR activities to new heights.

Infinity Concepts can help you launch PR efforts that will send your organization into new orbits of recognition.

CLICK HERE or call us today at 724-733-1200.

Clem Boyd
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