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How To Measure (and Increase) the ROI of Your Press Releases

One of my favorite questions about press releases is how to measure success.

It's a valid question. Unlike advertising campaigns, sending press releases via newswires means that results depend on multiple factors - everything from the time of day the news was issued to other stories in the news cycle.  

Newswire results are not guaranteed, they are earned. And newswire-generated actions, from open rates to clicks, have high value. 

Knowing the importance of releases, and how crucial it is to communicate impact to clients and management, let’s look at some of the top best practices for how to measure press release ROI and increase the impact of your news! 

Note: It’s important to remember before you begin measuring that newswire reporting is just a snapshot of the entire engagement generated by your news. 


How To Measure Press Release ROI

Once you’ve distributed your release, it’s time to shift your attention to measuring performance. Fortunately, there are several ways to do this - both for conventional media outlets and social media channels.  

Analyzing these metrics is important because you can better understand everything from how many people opened your release to earned media coverage. Did your release perform as expected? How can you improve with future releases? 

Here are the top eight ways to measure the return on investment (ROI) of your press releases: 

  1. Open Rates: This is an excellent metric to follow as it reflects actions deliberately taken by the reader, this is highly valuable user-led data! Press releases are only opened by audiences who genuinely care about the news that is being shared. Press release views are high-quality content views. This number may appear lower than expected, but these quality audiences will likely visit your website, act on your news or share it across their social channels.

  2. Media Coverage: Did a journalist write an article or blog based on your press release? If so, you may also want to track if they included your key points, used your imagery, included a link to your website and whether the publication drives impact within your market. Coverage is one metric - the value of coverage is another.   

  3. Social Media Mentions: Social mentions are another great metric to track. People showcase their endorsement of a news release by sharing it with their more expansive audiences. See how many social shares your release received and the discussions or reshares it generated.  

  4. Link Clicks and Landing Page Views: If someone has opened your press release, it’s essential to give them something to do. Social shares are one option, but you should also look to drive these active readers directly to your website. Including highly relevant hyperlinks throughout your press release is a terrific way to move the conversation from your story to your conversion-focused landing pages that contain call-to-actions.  

  5. Go Beyond the Landing Page with UTMs: If you’re including hyperlinks that drive readers from your press release to your website, you should include a UTM link that will allow you to track inbound traffic as it travels throughout your site. Easy to create and append to your hyperlinks in your press release, UTMs let you track click-through rates and actual website engagement. It’s a terrific way to understand if your landing pages are converting your inbound audiences!

  6. Overall Website Traffic: Newswire readers often will click a link included in your press release - but sometimes, they put your company name in their search bar and come to your website through your main page. To capture these action-oriented audiences, look at your website traffic the day you issue your release and one to two days afterward. Many companies will see increased inbound activity on the day of and the day after their release is distributed that is not included in normal tracking reports.

  7. Increase in Subscribers and Followers: One of my favorite ways to track the impact of a press release is to include links to subscription pages or mailing lists. If you have a mailing list that converts audiences, include that link in your press release.

  8. Measure More Than Once: Don’t just measure your press release once! Look at the long-tail impact of your newswire release and how it performs. 

Pro tip: With GlobeNewswire by Notified’s Newswire Analytics, you can understand how your press releases impact your business and brand.

Instantly connect to the data you need to help measure the performance of your distributed releases — the number of people who viewed it, social media shares, multimedia engagement, link clickthroughs and more! Plus, the newest version of Newswire Analytics delivers meaningful metrics in a user-friendly format, using widgets and live dashboards instead of static reports.

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Four Budget-Friendly Ways To Increase the ROI of Your Press Releases 

Measuring success is just the beginning!  

If you want to improve both the performance and impact of your news, here are four key elements that can increase or decrease interest in your stories. 

1. Write a Press Release Readers Will Act Upon. 

How can you do this? By following our five content creation tips below: 

  • Revise your headline. Your headline is the first element reporters will see and is the primary decision-maker in wanting to learn more about your news. We recommend spending more time on this part of your release to ensure it tells a story that’s highly relevant to the journalists you want to reach. 
  • Try Google Trends. One option is to place each central word added to your headline into Google Trends to confirm your headline matches what today’s audiences are searching for. Click here to see how we compared “press release” and “news release” to determine the right choice for our headline. 
  • Put your customer first. Don’t write about your company; write about the impact of your news on your audience! People care most about news that impacts their lives. Write a headline that focuses on the impact of your news on your reader’s life. 
  • Format your press release in an engaging way. You must format your press release as you would your blog. Use bold, italics, underlines and paragraph headers and bullets to increase the readability of your press release. This is a great way to increase news comprehension! 
  • Always include call-to-actions. Include CTAs to your most important owned channels (website, newsroom, blog, social, etc.). Readers want to act, so drive them to the pages that work best.

2. Show Your Story, Don't Just Tell It.

For many organizations, this is a big opportunity for improvement! 

  • Add images, video or infographics. Text-only press releases typically receive the lowest engagement rates. Not only do visuals increase the open rates of today’s press releases, but they also allow you to retell your story in an engaging way. Media Snippets can help! 
  • The fastest-growing language is visual fluency. People are moving away from reading blocks of text and are acting and buying upon imagery that speaks to them. Visuals do not require translations, allowing you to speak to all audiences simultaneously. Stop telling your story and start showing it! 
  • Increase visibility in search results. Multimedia also helps to boost search engine optimization and keyword ranking. This is a terrific way to drive inbound traffic via search. 

3. Change Your Press Release Distribution Date and Time.

Optimizing the time you release your news can pay big dividends. How can you do this? 

  • Understand your audience. One of the quickest ways to miss activating your audience is to distribute it when your intended audience is awake and online. Distributing your news when your audience is still asleep won’t drive the best results. 
  • Be flexible with your launch date. News can break at any time on any day. If you notice a story driving the major national news cycle, consider pushing back your launch day to one when you can catch the attention of the audiences you want to reach. 

4. Use a Media Contacts Database. 

To enhance your outreach, look for a newswire service (such as GlobeNewswire) that includes a media contacts database. 

A media database allows you to identify and connect with journalists and reporters who are most likely to cover your news. By leveraging a database, you can streamline your communication efforts, ensuring that your stories are directed toward the individuals and outlets that are most relevant to your target audience. 

Use the Connect media database in the Notified PR Platform to discover verified journalists and build global media lists!

Effectively measuring and improving the ROI of your releases involves a nuanced understanding of newswire results. Unlike paid advertising, success in this domain isn't guaranteed - it hinges on creating compelling content that prompts readers to act.  

Emphasizing compelling content, visual enhancements, optimal timing and seeking out newswires that include media databases can help communicators gauge success and strategically enhance the impact of their news. 

Choose GlobeNewswire to Distribute Your Press Releases

Thanks for reading! We hope these best practices go a long way in helping you improve the ROI of your press releases. 

While these top tips will uplevel your storytelling efforts, the press release distribution service you choose is also a major factor in determining success.  

GlobeNewswire by Notified lets you share your news with media, investors and consumers around the world. Built for public relations, investor relations, marketing and agency pros, GlobeNewswire gives you a wide range of options to help you build brand awareness, reach new audiences and drive coverage. 

Here are the top three reasons why you should be using GlobeNewswire today!

1. Broad and targeted reach. The GlobeNewswire distribution network offers options that will garner placements of your press release on general, financial and trade websites in up to 158 countries and 35 local languages, with more than 1,000 newslines available by geography, industry and media type across the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Africa, Middle East, Europe and Asia. 
2. Highly trusted brand. GlobeNewswire has been a news distribution leader for more than 25 years. Reporters trust stories delivered by GlobeNewswire, allowing them to act quickly upon relevant content.

3. Extreme searchability. GlobeNewswire-delivered press releases have high visibility in search engines (i.e. Google), acting as a lead generator well beyond launch day. People often turn to search engines to learn more about a business. Thanks to our high visibility in search engines, newswire-delivered press releases are easy for audiences to find, read and act upon instantly improving awareness and boosting engagement.

Contact us today for more information and pricing options!

Serena Ehrlich
Serena Ehrlich, Director of GTM at Notified, is a seasoned professional with 25 years of experience specializing in content amplification and strategic steps for audience reach. Her expertise spans investor relations, public relations, media relations and consumer behavior trends. Ehrlich's extensive background in sales, product marketing, sales enablement and global marketing within the newswire industry places her at the forefront of the technical, sociological and influential revolution shaping today’s customer communications landscape.

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