Underneath the hood, there are several key metrics that marketers should use to measure success that is usually derived from public relations and communications reporting. And if your comms / PR team isn’t using these metrics – they must.

Metric #1: Sentiment

Coverage sentiment scores are a good way to understand the impact public relations and communications programs are having on your brand health. Sentiment, as measured by the positivity or negativity of coverage of your brand, can help provide a marketplace baseline for other brand favorability metrics.

Sentiment will fluctuate regularly. This variability will enable your marketing analytics teams to build timescale-based correlation models between sentiment from communications efforts to overarching marketing goals (e.g., NPS or Revenue). This analysis will help understand the impact communications is having on business outcomes. And put communications activities contribution to business outcomes in the context of other marketing activities.

Metric #2: Indirect Reach

On a regular basis, your PR tools should be calculating the potential reach of the audience that has been exposed to your earned media. Further analysis will help you understand your true addressable market size and ideal customer personas (targets). Additionally, you should be running sentiment scores by content distribution category (e.g., key industry trade journals, general business, etc.). Measuring these separate earned media buckets will help identify areas for communications improvement.

Additionally, further sentiment and audience analysis will help your paid programs better target the right content that over index to your key personas or targets. This analysis is crucial to help identify the right partners for other brand or demand generation programs (e.g., white paper distribution).

Metric #3: NPS

Net Promoter Scores for your brand need to quantify for all audiences to understand which marketing or communications activities are driving the improvement to your brand’s NPS. Your indirect audience – exposed to your brand via communications (e.g, PR or IR) – should be regularly surveyed for NPS.

Additionally, NPS provides the relative context of marketing and communications impact on business and marketing objectives. And NPS has been proven that higher NPS (8+ on a 10 scale) drive better business results and revenue.

The net is these three metrics working in tandem can help you not only measure communications (e.g., PR) success but also provide alignment to the way your marketing and communications programs are working together to drive improvement to your overall objectives.