Notified Blog

Proving the Impact of PR: How Data Drives Success

Public relations pros are constantly challenged by management and clients to prove the value of their work.

Knowing this, the ability to showcase success and quantify impact through PR measurement is essential - not just to assess return on spending, but also to prove business value.  

PR teams that can repeatedly demonstrate the success of their work are more likely to be seen as key partners to help drive strategic decisions. Proving impact also goes a long way in keeping – even increasing – the ever-elusive budget for people and tech resources. 

This topic was discussed during the recent Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) International Conference. We hosted the session Proving PR Impact: How to Use Data to Get Budget, Buy-In and Brand Recognition led by Notified’s Kelly Byrd Marin, Senior Director of Product Marketing, and featuring Minh Le, Partner at FINN Partners, and Ashley McDonald, PR Communications Manager at FLEETCOR. 

Keep reading to learn the key takeaways from this important discussion!



The Role of Data in Public Relations

PR pros are no strangers to data, and regularly review and analyze campaign metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) - even though many say they got into PR to “avoid math.”  

But the challenge lies in effectively utilizing this data to demonstrate the impact of PR efforts. By effectively harnessing the power of data to tell clear stories of success, PR pros can better and more closely align with the goals of their clients and the C-suite. 

Leveraging Data for Budget Allocation

An ongoing challenge for PR teams is securing budget, whether for people resources, technology/tools or both.  

Effective presentation of data that demonstrates the return on investment (ROI) of PR activities is essential and showcasing the impact of PR campaigns using metrics such as media coverage, message pull-through, share-of-voice and sentiment trends ensures that a compelling case can be made for retained – even increased - budget allocation. 

Gaining Executive Buy-In

Almost nothing will gain buy-in from clients, executives and other key stakeholders better than results and insights firmly based on data.   

Executives rely on data to make informed and strategic business decisions, so providing them with comprehensive reports that highlight the impact of PR efforts establishes trust and credibility, ensuring PR’s overall contribution to business outcomes is better understood. 

Best Practices for Using Data in Public Relations

Our panel shared some best practices for leveraging data effectively, including: 

Why It's Important To Define Clear Objectives and KPIs

Before embarking on any PR campaign or initiative, it's essential to define clear objectives and identify the KPIs that will be used to measure success.  

By setting measurable goals and aligning them with your overall strategy and tactical execution, you can help ensure that your data-driven efforts are more focused and impactful. 

How To Use a Variety of Data Sources

To get a comprehensive view of the impact created by your PR efforts, it's important to use a variety of data sources. This can include media monitoring tools, social media analytics, website traffic data and customer feedback.  

By combining data from different sources, you can gain a more holistic understanding of the effectiveness of your PR initiatives. 

How To Best Leverage PR Technology and Tools

PR teams have a wide range of tools to choose from - everything from social listening and media monitoring to media outreach.  

Whether the budget is small or large, teams should absolutely be taking advantage of technology to drive greater efficiency in their daily activities and help free up more time for strategic work. 

As PR tech is becoming more sophisticated, bridging the gap between quantitative and qualitative reporting, human input and oversight is more important than ever for accurate and nuanced reporting - especially as generative AI plays a larger role in PR. 

What To Look for When Analyzing and Interpreting Data

Collecting data is only the first step - data is just data unless it tells a story that is relevant and actionable, so it’s critical to analyze and interpret the data to uncover meaningful insights.  

These insights can come from sentiment and reputation analysis, identifying trends and comparing data over time. By digging deeper into the data, you can extract valuable insights that inform your PR strategies and business decisions. 

All data tells a story. Don’t shy away from data that tells a negative narrative or doesn’t align with your campaign objectives. PR teams should evaluate where a strategic pivot in their tactics and messaging can lead to a different result. 

How To Effectively Communicate Results

Once you have analyzed the data and drawn meaningful insights, it's crucial to communicate the results effectively. This can mean creating visually appealing reports, using data visualization tools and presenting the information in a clear and concise manner.   

Data has become an indispensable means of proving the impact of PR. By adopting a data-driven approach and effectively communicating the results, PR pros can elevate their strategies and showcase the value they bring to their organizations. 

Thanks for reading! Subscribe to our blog to stay in the know on the latest PR best practices. 

Lisa Davis
Lisa is Senior Director, Marketing at Notified where she leads the strategic direction and execution of global marketing programs across the company’s public relations and investor relations portfolios. With 20+ years of B2B marketing and communications experience, Lisa oversees customer acquisition and retention programs, demand generation, content and partner marketing.