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Measuring the value of pR

Posted 22nd April 2021
Google Core Update


Decades ago, the way B2B tech firms measured the value of a piece of coverage in a newspaper or magazine was by working out the cost in column inches of running an advert in that space. 

Advertising Value Equivalency – an Outdated Metric?

In today’s world, AVE (Advertising Value Equivalency) is no longer relevant. Times have changed and thankfully B2B tech firms are embracing new measurement opportunities afforded by technology. Not only has the internet changed our perceptions of the value of PR. Many online platforms can help to establish its true impact.

One of the key arguments against AVE has always been that PR is not advertising and as such should not be directly compared with it. AVE does not care about tone, audience, reach, quality or lasting effects for example. What’s more, how would you even begin measuring the AVE of any impact you have via social media?

The Value of PR Coverage

So what can we do? Well, with PR the ‘value’ of coverage can mean many different things. At Essential we have discovered several ways to better understand and report the coverage we achieve than simply working out the AVE.

For starters, we share our coverage visually with clients. We give them meaningful data on estimated reach, circulation and social shares. This is updated in real time as well which means clients can see their social engagement growing.

Tracking Website Traffic

In addition to monitoring social sharing and mentions, we track website traffic generated by press coverage and social media. This signals interest from the target audience, eager to delve deeper into the initial piece. We also believe securing coverage in the most relevant media or with specific journalists or bloggers holds greater value for clients, particularly when the outlet rarely covers their B2B tech niche.

Media Relations

We place great importance on our relationships with media outlets and their journalists. Sending them personalised emails with pertinent stories instead of spamming. We promptly respond to their requests for comment or assistance, recognising their tight deadlines. Additionally, we vigilantly monitor key journalists’ requests on social media and other platforms, replying directly whenever possible.

Sometimes the value of our PR work lies in capturing the attention of a key reporter, who to date, hasn’t covered the client. We know that a simple mention in one article can open up the door to an interview or feature piece via that same journalist in the future. In the case of freelance journalists, we may be opening many doors as they often write for several titles.

Measuring PR Value is a Complex Task

It should be clear that measuring value is a complex task, and measurement can be tailored to reflect what the client is seeking to achieve. In a digital world, these new methods can give a clear view of the impact of PR work. Not only that, but they provide clients with a better understanding of how to develop and refine their messaging to ensure future success. 

If you feel like you’re not achieving value from your PR efforts. Or, if your agency is not focused on the right metrics, then please get in touch.

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