Media Relations Measurement: a review

Review by Mike Unwalla.

Ralf Leinemann and Elena Baikaltseva, 2004. Media Relations Measurement: Determining the Value of PR to Your Company's Success. Aldershot: Gower Publishing Ltd.

Promotion is the key to the success of every business. One part of promotion is public relations (PR). If you cannot measure it, you do not know how effective it is, and therefore, you do not know whether to do more or whether not to bother. Before reading this book, I naively measured my PR by the number of articles about my company. Now I know better.

The book contains a collection of metrics for measuring the value of PR. Measurements in PR are different from measurements in the hard sciences. The book shows how we can measure some things accurately, for example, the number of articles in a journal over a period of time or whether an article contains a picture. However, there are things that we cannot measure accurately, such as the effect of the location of a news item in a magazine, or the value of a product review.

Putting a financial value on many of these measurements is difficult. What we can do is to compare our PR coverage with that of our competitors. That gives us a relative metric. One very useful appendix is the list of sixty-six factors that can be measured. For each factor, there is a summary of the pros and cons of measuring that factor and a reference to the pages on which to find more information.

The book is designed for PR professionals, and the metrics range from very simple to quite complex. Whilst these are no doubt suitable for full-time professionals, some of them are too time-consuming for most freelancers, who must do everything in the business (that is not a criticism of the book). However, the book will be useful to all freelancers who are looking to quantify their PR work.

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