Public relations professionals have concentrated on coverage and stories placed as well as audience reach as metrics to measure the success of their earned media efforts this year. However, a recent report [download page] from Muck Rack indicates that they will be shifting their attention towards social media engagement metrics to measure success in the year to come.
This past year saw nearly all (94%) of more than 500 communications professionals say they use coverage and stories placed as a metric to measure the success of their earned media efforts. Beyond that, about half of PR professionals used audience reach (53%) and website traffic (52%). Likewise, roughly half measured earned media success using social media metrics like social media shares and mentions (51%) and social media engagement (48%).
Social media metrics will come more to the forefront next year, with three-fifths of respondents planning to use social media shares and mentions and social media engagement metrics in 2022. Indeed, the share of respondents who will be using social media engagement as a measure of earned media success next year compared to this year is projected to rise by more than 10% points. However, the increase in those PR pros planning to use social shares and mentions over last year is slightly lower.
It looks as though social media will prove more important to communications professionals in the future. Previous research shows that 7 in 10 PR professionals believe that social media skills will be important to their organization’s success in the next 5 years.
Social engagement isn’t the only metric that will see increased use next year. It also appears that more PR professionals will be using pitches opened or clicked, sentiment/consumer attitudes and website conversions and form submissions in the year to come than did this year.
The full report is available here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a November survey of 517 communications professionals.