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4 Metrics for Measuring PR and Media Relations Campaign Success

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When meeting with new or potential clients, one of the most common questions asked is focused on measuring the success or failure of a PR campaign. Some clients measure PR and media relations success by sales or leads generated. Others are more interested in measuring its impact on brand awareness. Others want PR to be a little bit of both. The bottom line is that measurement matters for venture-backed startups. BAM CEO Beck Bamberger shares 4 key metrics for measuring PR and media relations campaigns for VC-backed startups.

This post was originally published on Forbes. Read the full article here


All of my company's clients are techies, nerds and hard-core tinkers. They like to measure everything, and typically they do because our agency exclusively represents venture-backed startups that live on data. Naturally, one of the first questions we get when chatting with a founder of a VC-backed startup about PR and media relations is, “So how do we measure this stuff?”

The good news is that there are handfuls of tools and methodologies that exist today to satisfy any venture-backed startup. The bad news is that some of it doesn’t matter, and some we’ll never know. Here’s a rundown of the various ways VC-backed startups can consider measuring the success of a PR and media relations campaign.

Unique Visitors per Month (UVM)

Unique visitors per month (UVM) is a standard but “vain” metric that most startups, in my opinion, do not need to leverage in measuring their PR results. UVM has long been used by websites that like to tout their traffic. The problem with UVM is that your 17,803,309 “impressions” from your startup’s product announcement in a few media outlets don’t translate to visitors to your website, new leads, inbound emails, or anything else tangible. For the most part, we ignore UVM but include it for the marketing heads who still like to see these numbers.

Domain Authority (DA)

Domain authority (DA) is a more sophisticated qualifier of media coverage’s impact and ranges from zero to 100. DA predicts how well a website ranks in search engine result pages (SERPs) which is why a New York Times article (DA of 95) is often considered far more valuable than a blogger’s post somewhere on the internet. I also like DA because various third-party sites allow anyone to find DA. For many of my clients, I aim for media outlets that have a certain DA, typically above 50 or 60, which is considered a “good” range. In terms of measuring a PR campaign’s success, my team works with clients to determine a feasible number of articles that are published on DAs above, for example, 60, over a period of time, such as 12 months.

Share of Voice (SoV)

Share of voice (SoV) comparisons are also a great tool to measure a PR campaign’s success over time. SoV is dynamic because it showcases a startup’s percentage of the total “pie” of media mentions relative to competitors. Thus, if a particular industry is a trending hot topic in the media—such as AI and sustainability in the venture capital market right now—a startup’s SoV might not budge much if its competitors are also getting media mentions at the same clip. The good news is that SoV can be easily modified as the landscape of competitors changes. All startups have competitors, too, so there is never an incidence where SoV is entirely owned by one brand. My company always does SoVs for clients and monitors the changes quarterly unless a more timely event occurs, such as a new regulation in the marketplace or a major acquisition that stirs up a media moment.

Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)

As much as we like to instill that PR is NOT a sales department, it is still a part of the marketing mix that VC-backed startups deploy. Marketing qualified leads (MQLs) require savvy enough marketing tools and funnels to capture such leads before they become sales qualified leads (SQLs), which eventually turn into customers. In order to use MQLs in PR campaigns, you need to work closely with the marketing team as MQLs occur within the startup, such as on blogs, landing pages, and so on. Often, we’ll get access to our client's Google Analytics to further understand how an impactful piece of media coverage leads to spikes in content downloads or webinar sign-ups, for instance.


PR is no longer as mysterious and unmeasurable as it used to be 10 or more years ago. There are now various ways to measure the quality and quantity of media coverage’s impact. A PR or marketing agency worth its salt should always discuss the range of tools available today and craft a package of measurements that help support the entire VC-backed startup, from the board members to the marketing team.


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