I was in a meeting recently and the client asked me how to measure the results of their PR campaign. It sounds tough, but it’s not really. CPM means “cost per thousand” in the advertising world. It is the cost per thousand impressions, derived by taking the cost of the ad, and dividing by the number of impressions. In PR, we can do the same thing. Simply count up the number of impressions, or mentions, you’ve gotten in the past period. (That can be a month, but I usually use three months) You find those numbers on impressions from the media kits of the publications or outlets you’ve been mentioned or appeared in. Don’t get too bent out of shape figuring out exact numbers for TV; just use the same calculation each time. Then divide those impressions by what it cost you for your public relations work. Your CPM for PR should, in the long run, be lower than for advertising. What’s the magic number? That’s the million dollar question. But you should see your PR impressions going up, and your CPM going down, the further along you go. If you want more in-depth information on how to do this, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PR can also be measured quantitatively – increased traffic to a website or to a retail location, for example. Or it can be measured by doing more complicated evaluation methods. Here’s a link to the Sugarcrest Report if you really want to get into more on this topic. Or visit KDPaine’s blog she’s an expert on the topic!