How To Measure Digital PR

In partnership with CARMA, the 2021 PRCA Measurement Conference came around once again to deliver the latest trends, insights and opportunities that are due to affect digital PR measurement in 2022 and beyond.

Our three-part series has endeavoured to cover all the hot topics that were discussed at the remote conference – a recording of which can be accessed for free via this link – 2021 PRCA Measurement Conference. Our previous two blog posts have covered How To Develop a PR Measurement Framework and How to Build Your PR Tech Stack.

Now, in our final instalment, we’ll be reviewing digital PR measurement, and how PR agency, Rise at Seven, apply these measurement techniques to their cross-channel campaigns.

Without further ado, here are our key takeaways:

This information was presented by Will Hobson (PR + London Director at Rise at Seven) as part of the PRCA Measurement Conference.

What is digital PR?

Digital PR means creating stories or content that journalists and users naturally want to talk about and link to because of its resourcefulness or uniqueness. It’s about building a strong backlink profile for a website, but it’s also about creating great stories that are impactful.

Some digital PR strategies include:

  • Product PR – this strategy works perfectly for fashion + lifestyle brands, but can be utilised across other industries too.
  • Reactive PR – reactive PR is jumping on trends from popular culture etc. and making it relevant for your brand.
  • Data-led digital PR purposing – this means utilising data to create an interesting story for press pick up. Imagery and graphics usually accompany these types of campaigns. 
  • Newsjacking (or as we at Nellie PR like to call it ‘piggybacking’) – jumping on current news events and offering commentary from expert spokespeople. 
  • Creative/Unicorn campaigns – this is a term coined by Rise at Seven. These campaigns usually involve a larger creative execution and interactivity. They can be anything ranging from an interactive map to a calculator. 

How do you measure digital PR?

Well, by putting in a measurement process. In the conference, Rise at Seven talked about their measurement strategy that inspects their digital PR on multiple levels. Their strategy looks into the following five things:

  • Awareness – How aware are people of your brand? How does this compare to competitors?
  • Influence – How much traffic is reaching the site? Through which channels and devices? 
  • Action – How do users engage with content? What action do users take to show intrigue in products/ services?
  • Results – How are users converting from prospects to customers? What is the final goal?
  • Value – How much value do conversions bring? What drives the most revenue?

What are cross-channel campaigns?

As Will Hobson describes, cross-channel campaigns are there for PR purposes, to build media coverage, to link back from a search point of view, but with cross-channel amplification at the core. This might be micro-content across social media, Reddit threads, tick-tock, or gifs. 

When evaluating cross-channel campaigns, the things Rise at Seven recommend you look at include:

  • Links/media coverage – How many publications have covered and linked back to your account?
  • Traffic – How much traffic has been driven back to the site from your digital PR campaigns, and what source has it come from?
  • Assisted conversations – If you have access to your brand’s Google Analytics, you will be able to track based on your campaign activity if people have touched on your campaign, and then gone on to buy something from the site. 
  • Social shares – How much has the campaign been shared on social, but also the shares of articles you’ve had covered.
  • Brand Health – If you’re able to track brand health, has there been any movements around your campaign launches?

When producing content, you want to be linking everything back to your brand, and this will help to develop brand authority and awareness. You can do this by creating links and backlinks to your products and website that drive action (so they actually get clicked on). Also, check out and track which publications drive the most traffic. 

Here are some tools that you can use to evaluate campaigns onsite

  • BuzzSumo – Gathers social shares, and also tracks what content has performed the best for overall shares.
  • Ahrefs – Competitor and content research, everything from backlinks to keywords.
  • Google Analytics – Great for assessing the impact of your campaigns on search.

There are also some things you should be considering when driving business impact and revenue:

  • Email sign-ups – Has your campaign hit another business goal such as email or app sign-ups?
  • Sales – Can you track (via GA or another technique such as discount codes) the number of sales you have?
  • Keyword rankings and visibility – If you can track the keyword ranking of your site, have they increased after the work you’ve done from a PR/link perspective?
  • Journalists’ metrics – Have social shares of an article written by your campaign gone through the roof?
  • Dream publications secured – have you hit the dream publications you set with yourself and also your client?

Key takeaways to consider when measuring your digital PR:

  • Look for more than just press coverage. Can you show an impact to business revenue?
  • How can you show extra business value?
  • Make sure journalists know the impact of their work with you. Here at Nellie PR we always tag and thank journalists.
  • Make sure you’re learning from your past successes and failures.


You can find more talks and useful information about measuring digital PR here at 2021 PRCA Measurement Conference All the talks are still available on-demand (big thanks to PRCA, CAMRA and all the speakers) and you can find links to lots of great resources in our post How To Develop a PR Measurement Framework.

Tillie Holmes

Find me on: Linkedin | Twitter

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