Can you measure PR?
Most common way to measure PR nowadays is by calculating the ROI, in other words return on investment. It is an accounting term and the formula behind it is Gain – Costs/Costs * 100. Because it is an accounting term, only people from that field should use it and calculate its value. In other words, public relations experts without necessary knowledge should not try to apply the formula by itself. However, there are other methods to determine effectiveness of the PR campaign.
For instance, you can conduct a survey. It will not put an exact money value on your public relations, but it can provide you with an important intel on effects of the campaign. Of course, this means that you have to conduct a survey before as well as after your campaign. First survey is also indicative of how well will you targeted public respond to the main PR message.
Another way of measuring PR effects is through old fashioned press clipping and media monitoring. This includes both print and new media. It is important to know how many people read the piece so you can know the reach of your PR material. Also, it is not enough just to count the news pieces that mentioned you message and number of message consumers. There should be a content analysis to estimate if the message was presented in favourable and understandable manner, not to mention whether it had a positive or a negative connotation.
New media can also be an important source of measuring public relations effectiveness. If you have a website you can track the activity of users with a little help from Google Analytics and other useful programmes. When it comes to social media, it is even easier. You can just log on Facebook account of your client and examine data on Insights. There you can find information regarding your most Clickable and engaging posts, so you know what kind of content is best received by Facebook users.