Public Relations ROI – How to Measure an Effective PR Campaign

By Mark Macias

There are several traditional ways to measure the Public Relations ROI:

  • 1) number of media placements
  • 2) demographics and reader base for those media outlets
  • 3) increased credibility, which helps close sales;
  • 4) actual sales, which can be measured through links published in the news story 5) and SEO – since search engines now use news stories and blogger comments to measure the value of a website.

I hear the “how do you measure the ROI of PR” so frequently that our team put together a short white paper that goes more in-depth on it, which you can download here.

But there is another ROI of PR that is frequently overlooked. It’s more difficult to quantify but according to researchers out of Motista – a consumer intelligence analytics firm – it’s actually more persuasive and leads to higher revenue for brands.

PR Influences Emotional Motivators

Motista researchers discovered 10 actions or urges – called “emotional motivators” that drive consumers to make a purchase. They included: a desire to stand out from the crowd (or fit in), feel secure, succeed in life, freedom and others.

You might not realize it, but “emotional motivators” are also a subconscious factor in most news stories you read and if played correctly, they can add another ROI to your media campaign.

For example, if you are a financial advisor, you need to continually find new investors. If a prominent news story articulates how your firm outperformed the markets – and grew the assets of your clients, you are achieving an “emotional motivator.” Your news story told investors  they can achieve freedom, success and feel secure by going with your firm.

If you’re a tech startup in need of credibility, a story in Techcrunch can lend credibility to potential investors who might need an “emotional motivator” to buy into your product or service. Likewise, if you’re an online retail startup, like, taking on a behemoth Amazon, your media campaign might leverage the “emotional motivator” that connects with consumers who want to be different. How so? By pushing news stories that support how the online retail experience and model is different and better than Amazon.

ROI of PR – Big Data Analysis

This ROI might sound nebulous to the analytics driven CMO, but Motista actually used big data in identifying how “emotional motivators” lead to higher revenue. It cited a credit card company that used “emotional motivators” to connect with Millennials for a new credit card launch. New card sales grew by 40 percent and usage increased by 70 percent with those consumers.

Are you feeling an emotional connection to Motista?

As the owner of the top-rated PR firm, Macias PR, I want to pick up the phone and hear more about how their data can grow my business. According to their researchers, that action would classify me as a “fully connected” consumer because it inspired me to inspire others. That’s another component of PR; it pushes your brand into the conversation.

As a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York, I suspect that story I read on Motista was placed by a publicist. If so, Motista got a high ROI from that PR campaign. It not only raised the awareness of the brand to me – but it also raised the awareness of their brand to you. That’s the direct power of PR.

The VLOG below gives a little more insight on how to value an effective PR campaign.

Macias PR was named the 2015 and 2016 top PR Firm of the Year – USA by Finance Monthly. The founder – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He is also a PR contributor with CNBC, providing media analysis, insight and crisis advice on timely business topics.