PR professionals are relying on a greater number of metrics than ever to measure their success, according to a new study from Muck Rack.
“The State of PR Measurement 2022,” which surveyed more than 800 PR pros, found that the average number of statistical yardsticks used to gauge a PR department’s success rose from 5.2 in 2021 to 5.7 this year.
Not surprisingly, the number of stories placed is far and away the top metric, cited by 96 percent of the respondents. Audience reach came in a distant second (56 percent), followed by social media shares/mentions (52 percent), social media engagement (51 percent) and website traffic (48 percent).
While keeping track of message pull-through was only listed by 24 percent of respondents, that metric looks to be gaining in popularity, with the number who say they plan to use it in 2023 rising 10 percent. Other metrics that an increasing number of PR pros say they plan to use include social shares/mentions, share of voice and pitches sent (all up seven percent).
When it comes to distributing the information they gather from those metrics, 87 percent of respondents say they make use of email, with 51 percent saying that they incorporate such platforms as Slack and Microsoft Teams, and 50 percent including live meetings in the mix.
Respondents noted several challenges that they face. Two-thirds (67 percent) said that “connecting PR metrics to business outcomes” is a hurdle, while 59 percent cited “proving the value of your metrics” as a challenge and 41 percent noted “measuring results accurately.”
The power of digital communications also made itself strongly felt in the report, with almost three quarters (73 print) saying that digital is the top priority in their communications. Only 12 percent indicated a preference for print and eight percent said they prioritize broadcast/TV.
Most of the respondents also seemed to think they’re doing a pretty good job. A majority (56 percent) said their PR metrics for 2022 will be up from last year. About a fifth (19 percent) said they expected to match last year’s performance. Slightly more (22 percent) said they were “not sure,” but just three percent said they expected to “underperform” for 2022.
Muck Rack’s study, which included pros at PR and marketing/advertsing firms as well in such sectors as techs, nonprofits and education, was conducted between Oct. 11 and 22.