Return on investment (ROI) informs every business decision. It’s important to periodically evaluate investments in products or services to ensure they are providing their intended value. This starts with ensuring key performance indicators (KPIs) are defined with goals and metrics in mind. PR programs are no different. While many benefits of PR can be seen through credibility, brand awareness, third-party validation and anecdotal evidence, tools like Cision, Apollo, Google Analytics and Sprout Social offer insights to data describing the effectiveness of campaigns using KPIs such as share of voice, website visits and social media engagement. Data from these tools helps demonstrate the value of specific initiatives.
It’s always important to have a baseline understanding of where your metrics stand prior to starting new initiatives so they can be analyzed incrementally. At any stage of maturity you can compare your share of voice against your competitors. It’s exciting then to see, after running your PR campaigns, where you find yourself stacking up monthly, quarterly and even annually. Ultimately, KPIs used to determine ROI vary by specific industry, business goals and initiatives.
This quantitative data can be used to measure ROI and assess the effectiveness of your efforts — qualitative data including the media and public’s knowledge and opinion of your brand and thought leadership are also critical factors.