We used to measure PR coverage by a unit called AVE. AVE meant “advertising value equivalent”. We simply measured the size of the article and looked to see what it would cost to buy an advertisement of the same size. It was very simple.
This was OK up to a point, but it didn’t measure how helpful an article was. If an article is negative, it can be exactly the opposite of helpful!
So there was always debate about the value of PR. Some people felt it could not be measured. It was difficult to know whether an investment in PR had been worthwhile.
Also, all publications were treated the same – there was no comparison of their credibility.
This has completely changed. The latest digital reporting tools for PR are amazing. You can create reports that show exactly what has appeared and where. You can see an influencer score for each publication. You can also see how many readers it has, and the number of people it reached. The number reached will often be higher than the number of subscribers.
You can also see how many links have been added, from the articles to your own website. The links are important for two reasons. First, they can bring traffic to your website, as referrals. Second, they indicate that your website is an important site on the internet. This makes the links valuable in marketing – they help to bring a website to a higher position in search engines.
Reporting on a PR Campaign
I am using a very effective PR reporting tool. From this, I can see that the campaign I worked on during January and February created very close to 100 articles. They reached around 300,000 people in the specialist electronics design markets. The campaign added 43 new back links to the company’s website. We can see pictures of the articles, showing the individual sites where each item appeared, and we can rank them in terms of their credibility within their industry.