10 Must-have PR KPIs To Measure for Your Small Business

So, you’ve been featured by a few publications, and your PR content has finally been pushed out there. But how do you measure your success? This is where KPIs come in.

At PressKitHero, our goal is to help small businesses learn how to build their own PR strategies from their limited resources. Don’t worry about hiring a PR agency just yet; you can still succeed on your own.

In this article, we’ll look at the significance of PR KPIs and how you can measure them as a small business. 

What’s The Significance of PR KPIs?

A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a value businesses use to measure their performance over a specific time for a specific goal. It gives you a structured method to quantify your objectives.

Since KPIs measure unquantifiable goals, you can use this value when it comes to figuring out the impact of your public relations strategies. PR, unlike ad marketing, has no direct link to sales. So, your PR KPIs will be audience reach, social engagement, media impressions and the like. 

You should know that KPIs aren’t created equally, though. The type of business you’re running will determine which measures will work for you. For example, if you’re an online store sending out an email campaign, you should focus on website traffic as your KPI. With the right tool, you can check the proportion of website visits coming from the link in your email.  

If you’re going to do your own PR, you need to know the value KPIs can bring. 

Why are KPIs Important for Public Relations? 

Things to Consider When Choosing & Measuring PR KPIs 

Set goals and measurement

The KPIs you should be monitoring will depend on your business goals. For instance, if you’re an online store that wants to grow its social media reach, you’ll focus on shares and engagement rates. Without SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely) goals, you’ll be left measuring data that has no use for what you’re trying to achieve. 

Prioritize quality

When it comes to KPIs, quality may be more important than quantity. Just because your content is getting chosen by several media outlets doesn’t determine if they’re actually generating the impressions you’re aiming for, satisfying your audience, or sending the right message. 

Ensure everyone within your company understands KPIs

Everyone in your business needs to know the goals and how they’re being measured. KPIs need to be considered on every level of your business for them to work well for you. Basically, awareness throughout your business will ensure that your measurements remain valid and transparent to continuously improve your process. 

Measure the effectiveness of your campaigns 

You must constantly review your KPIs to ensure they’re still useful for improving your company’s performance. It helps to have specific KPIs defined for each campaign so that you can easily measure each one’s effectiveness to discover what works best, and where you can trim the fat. 

Must-Have PR KPIs & How to Measure Them

We’ve compiled a list of some great PR KPIs you can track as a small business. It’s best to start with those that will push your brand impact. Also, remember to measure your performance against other businesses in your industry using benchmarks. 

#1: Potential Reach

Potential reach is the accumulated number of viewers you have for any publication or website where your company is featured. This includes social media too. You’ll also need to keep an eye on how these viewers found the publication or website, whether it was organically or a paid ad.

Organic reach is the amount of people reached through unpaid content distribution, like blogs. And paid reach is the potential audience reached using ads only. Ultimately, the combination of both makes up the total reach. 

#2: Social Engagement

This includes the number of shares and comments your content receives on social media. Whether the comments are positive or negative, you’ll know which people actually read an article featuring your brand and how they felt about it.  

If your business is featured in an article that goes viral, it will be a golden indication of a successful press pitch that touched the audience. 

However, remember that not everyone who enjoys an article will share it on social media. Plus, some people who do may not be sharing it because they love the content. Whether your business cares about positive social engagement more than any other kind will be completely up to the goals you established initially. 

#3: Active Coverage

This is for any ongoing campaigns that you have. It may be beneficial to make a subset of this KPI that strictly focuses on the high-level publications in your industry. Doing this will help you measure the difference they make in bringing in traffic for your business compared to other publications. 

#4: Media Impressions

These are the insights of the amount of times your content was displayed to an audience, and it’s a classic metric in PR. It helps give an approximate number of people who may have seen your company placements throughout the duration of a campaign. You can set a benchmark for the amount of views you’ve received and make it a goal to surpass. 

Your monthly viewership data shows how well a publication is growing your potential reach, if at all, and helps you estimate how many people may have seen it. 

You should note that the impressions you received for your content don’t indicate the number of viewers or if it was clicked, just the number of times it was displayed. This metric needs to be used in addition to others but never alone. 

If you’re looking to get more coverage from the media, PressKitHero can help! We help you create personalized press kits which can be sent to various media outlets, allowing you to get more eyes on your product or services. 

#5: Increased Web Traffic & Sales Leads

The goal of media coverage isn’t just brand awareness but to build your company’s credibility so that it can generate leads. Website traffic can help show which media hits led to the most website conversions. This way, you’ll know which ones you should maximize. 

You should also know that web traffic doesn’t accurately measure impact because articles stay online for a very long time, surpassing your campaign's duration. You shouldn’t just rely on website traffic to gauge the success of a campaign. 

#6: Increased SEO

PR can play an important role in boosting your business’s search engine optimization. High-level publications have high-ranking sites, so if they pick up your content, it’ll have a major impact on SEO. This is because search engines recognize these publications as industry leaders, so the more they mention you, the more likely Google will recognize your industry value too. 

This KPI measurement can be great for your business if you have any negative past coverage that you want to draw attention away from. 

However, the main issue with this is that most prominent publications don’t include backlinks to maintain journalistic objectivity. In an article, your brand mention is more effective when linked to your website, so you can compare individual placements with web traffic conversions. This metric may not work for all your media features, but it can be very useful for those that include your links. 

#7: Key Message Inclusion

As a startup or small business, this metric is quite essential because you want to assert your unique message as a beneficial contribution to your industry. Your content is what stands out here, and it has to make you stand out from your peers. 

#8: Email Metrics

You can measure some email metrics regularly to analyze how effective your media pitches are and how you can improve. It’s quite necessary to track the ratio of delivered emails you’ve sent to the ones not delivered so you can assess the quality of your PR list. The open rates and replies will also help you gauge the engagement of certain pitches. 

#9: Coverage of Your Outreach

You need to be able to establish your outreach across the different publications. This measurement includes tracking Google Analytics reports and custom URLs. As a small business, you can benchmark your media coverage manually through Google Alerts

#10: Sentiment Analysis

This metric helps you analyze public perception. It’s beneficial, especially when you make a new decision and want to see how your audience feels about your brand afterward. 

Having an overview of sentiment makes it easier for you to identify your PR wins. And this is particularly helpful in identifying any increase in positive sentiment if you’re recovering from a negative PR mishap. Additionally, you’ll be able to visualize where things went wrong with any past mistakes. 


Measuring KPIs may seem daunting as a small business, but as long as you have a good PR and marketing team with the right foundations, you’ll be right on track. Always remember to revisit your goals, communicate your KPIs in a way the whole team will understand, and stay true to the quality of your content. 

Of course, not every KPI metric is essential for all types of businesses, but you’ll be able to choose the right ones for you if you follow our guide. 

If you’re still trying to build your PR media kit, PressKitHero has the perfect solution for you with our no-code press kit builder. With a strong press kit, you’ll be able to establish your company’s value in your industry in no time.