The best analytics tools to measure your PR efforts in 2024

The best analytics tools to measure your PR efforts in 2024

A collection of data analysis tools for modern PR teams.

Public relations is a hard art to measure, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Thanks to new digital mediums, there are a lot of great new PR solutions to help PR teams get a handle on things like:

So let's take a look at some of the best PR measurement tools for data analysis. In the overviews below, any pros and cons listed are taken from public review data (Trustradius, G2, Capterra); pricing information is similarly based on publicly available information.

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Site monitoring & PR analytics

Plausible Analytics

Starting price: $5/month; 30-day free trial

Around since: 2018

Pros: Easy to use | Privacy-first analytics | Works in all browsers

Cons: Limited data | Could use more detailed documentation

Plausible is our favourite forerunner in the battle for moral analytics, because it’s always put privacy at the center of its software. It’s one of the reasons we use it for our own websites.

Plausible comes integrated with your Prezly account. Start your free trial →

Plausible it synonymous with simple open-source web analytics. The project was bootstrapped by co-founders Uku Täht and Marko Saric in 2019, and without the pressure to scale scale scale that investor-led startups face, the team behind Plausible chose instead to take their time, and build a conscientious product that would let them sleep easy at night. The result is the most effective privacy-first analytics product on the market.

​Plausible is more like how web analytics used to be before surveillance capitalism became the default business model of the web. ​

​Plausible is more like how web analytics used to be before surveillance capitalism became the default business model of the web. ​ ​ ​– Marko Saric, Plausible

Plausible:

  • Doesn’t collect any personal data
  • Doesn’t use cookies or any other long-term identifiers (which means no cookie banner!)
  • Doesn’t perform any cross-site or cross-device targeting

Here’s what it does instead:

  • Shows you the most meaningful website metrics in a single simple interface (so you don’t need to take a course or employ an expert to start using it)
  • Loads lightning fast, meaning it won’t burden your website
  • Tracks traffic, events and goals, including conversion rates and referral sites
  • Is fully compliant with the GDPR, CCPA and PECR

For the full details, see Plausible’s data policy and about page; for more about the Prezly–Plausible integration, check out our help documentation about your analytics dashboard.

Take the guesswork out of your comms strategy with Prezly
Take the guesswork out of your comms strategy with Prezly

Find out who's opening your emails and reading your stories so you can use that intel to seriously boost your public relations ROI.

Mixpanel

Starting price: Free

Around since: 2009

Pros: Super customizable | Comprehensive documentation

Cons: Steep learning curve | Customer support

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While tools like Google Analytics and Plausible give you an overview of things like pageviews and time on site, Mixpanel delves deeper – sometimes a bit too deep. With so many options at your fingertips, it can be easy to lose sight of the wood for the trees.

With Mixpanel, you set up your own dashboards to show things like what a specific user might have done while on your site, how traffic flows from one page to another, what links were clicked or assets downloaded, and so on. We use it, for example, to learn how people travel through prezly.com before they sign up to a trial, or which parts of the actual app they use most.

It's a great tool if you need to have oversight of a complex flow, but for things like newsrooms, it's honestly a bit overpowered. I'd recommend you use something like Plausible instead.

Ahrefs

Starting price: £79/month (so, around $100) + free access to webmaster tools

Around since: 2011

Pros: Deep-dive analysis | Extensive documentation

Cons: Can get pricey | A lot of reports to become familiar with

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Another more in-depth analytics and performance tool is Ahrefs, and honestly, I love it. For one, it gives you actual actionable information into how to make your online content perform better – things like information on competitors, keyword opportunities, backlinks, internal links, page errors, and more. It will even tell you if a title is too long, or some meta data needs fixing.

It's very much a digital marketing and site optimization tool, but from a PR perspective, I would definitely use it to boost rankings for stories published to my newsroom, any homegrown thought-leadership blogs, my client's website, that sort of thing.

Google Analytics

Starting price: Free

Around since: 2005

Pros: Free | Extensive documentation | Detailed reports

Cons: Can get complex | Mixed results in Europe | Can be slow

[browser]Google Analytics is still one of the best ways to track visits and engagement on your site and newsroom
Google Analytics is still one of the best ways to track visits and engagement on your site and newsroom

Everyone's at least heard of this free behemoth. The beauty and the bane of Google Analytics is that it can reveal a lot of information about your website's performance.

You can track things like visitors, referrals from different channels, and conversion rates. You can also reveal demographic information about your visitors and see how they arrived to your site, how long they spent there, and compare data sets to previous periods. It also gives you an insight into who is linking to your site and can help flag earned media.

The downside is that Google Analytics comes with a lot of baggage, most notably around privacy concerns and GDPR compliance. It's also the biggest analytics tool out there, and therefore holds a monopoly on analytics software – which is almost always a bad thing. Google controls a massive chunk of how we operate online, which is a lot of power for a profit-based business to wield.

So why do people keep using it?

Well, say what you will about a complex interface, steep learning curve, and privacy concerns, it does deliver on the numbers. You'll even be able to line up campaigns and create annotations so that you can attribute the real impact of each action you perform.

An added benefit is that you can use Google Analytics to get additional feedback on the engagement of your newsroom and online press releases, although Prezly does come with Plausible analytics built-in for most plans (more on Plausible below).

[browser] Create annotations to spot patterns between campaigns and engagement
Create annotations to spot patterns between campaigns and engagement

It may not be the prettiest thing in the world, but dang it's useful. It can also look a bit daunting is you're new to digital marketing (yes, the "m" word – but no one works in a silo these days!). Fortunately, Google has kindly provided its own beginner's guide to using the platform.


PR tools for campaign analytics

Prezly

Starting price: $50/month billed annually; 14-day free trial

Around since: 2013

Pros: All-in-one PR software | Easy to use | Helps show best content & contacts

Cons: No option to download data as PDF | Doesn't sell contact lists

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We have our campaign analytics built into Prezly. Prezly's Campaign Overview feature pairs nicely with many of the other tools mentioned above to help you get a direct picture of which media contacts in your PR CRM are the most engaged with your press releases or stories.

This helps you keep your contact lists in check by easily weeding out any dead emails, helps inform how you write your campaigns, and guides the way you follow up on pitches (more on that in our free guide to email pitching, complete with a strategy template and data from 16million pitches).

You can also use Prezly campaigns to report on your coverage using Prezly's coverage feature, which lets you upload mentions manually or use our API to plug your coverage provider straight into the tool and automate the entire process. Easy :)


PR tools for monitoring & impact

Cision (TrendKite)

Starting price: Pricing withheld, though est. $7,200/year; no free trial

Around since: 2012 as TrendKite

Pros: Helps identify key media | Customizable dashboard | Good customer support

Cons: Clunky interface | Media monitoring misses mentions | Expensive

[browser] Screenshot taken from www.cision.com/products/analytics
Screenshot taken from www.cision.com/products/analytics

TrendKite was a pretty neat PR intelligence tool for many years – so much so, in fact, that it was assimilated into the PR monolith that is Cision in 2019. These days, you can find its remnants in the Analytics and Impact product offerings on Cision's site.

Thanks to TrendKite, Cision now lets you organize your data in a way that is more meaningful for public relations professionals. You're able to better visualize attribution (where your traffic comes from), media mentions, and the impact of SEO on your work.

Muck Rack vs Cision vs Prezly: Which one is best? [2024]
Muck Rack vs Cision vs Prezly: Which one is best? [2024]

We compare the features, pricing, and overall value of each platform to help you choose the one that best fits your business.


PR reporting tools

CoverageBook

Starting price: $99/month (one month free on annual plan); 30-day free trial

Around since: 2015

Pros: Easy to use | Customizable reports | Downloadable PDF reports

Cons: Adding print media is tedious | Some stats might not reflect other tools

[browser] from G2Crowd.com
from G2Crowd.com

CoverageBook is a simple way to create PR reports based on the performance of your campaigns – namely, media coverage. As we all know, tracking and reporting on coverage is one of the essential principles of public relations (if we want to prove our worth and get paid, that is).

The idea is simple. You take all your pieces of coverage and copy their links into CoverageBook. From there, the tool will generate a report, complete with coverage thumbnails, based on the material you provide. Their metrics include things like pieces of coverage, revenue, social shares, links attributed to coverage, new customers and online readership.

An added bonus: you can link up your CoverageBook account with all-in-one PR software like Prezly to get an overview of which contacts in your CRM are talking about you. Try it for yourself with a 100% obligation-free trial of Prezly.

The magical formula for calculating PR value ✨
The magical formula for calculating PR value ✨

JK! There's no secret sauce, so don't waste your time looking for one. Instead, do these three things (you won't believe #2!)

Measuring share of voice

Meltwater

Starting price: Pricing withheld, though est. $12,000/year; no free trial

Around since: 2001

Pros: Media intelligence | Social listening | Media outreach

Cons: Media database is outdated | Misses mentions | Steep learning curve

[browser] from Meltwater.com
from Meltwater.com

Meltwater is a heavy hitter in the world of best PR analytics software. Their big media database makes them a leader when it comes to media mentions. They also have developed a set of tools that let you measure things like share of voice, website traffic, estimated potential reach and a whole lot more.

Meltwater review (2024): Just media monitoring, or more?
Meltwater review (2024): Just media monitoring, or more?

We look at Meltwater's features, pricing, and alternatives to see how it stacks up.

Mention

Starting price: $41/month paid annually; 14-day free trial

Around since: 2012

Pros: Easy to digest findings | Create alerts | Finds mentions other tools miss

Cons: Slow loading times | Some features reserved for Enterprise plans

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Mention lets you track what people are saying about you (or your competitors) on the web and social media. As well as monitoring your online reputation, you can use it to create and post content.


PR software for media monitoring

CARMA

Starting price: Pricing withheld; no free trial

Around since: 1984 (!)

Pros: Easy to get started | Generates annual reports

Cons: Pricier than competitors | Convoluted menus

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With more than 30 years' experience, CARMA provides 24/7 services in monitoring, public relations measurement, and evaluation solutions, as well as consultation services to help you create a solid communications strategy and cut out unnecessary spend.

The media monitoring part of CARMA is called CustomScoop and gives you an "all-in-one" overview of your online news and Twitter coverage in a 24/7 dashboard.


Tools for social listening

Brandwatch (Cision)

Starting price: Pricing withheld; no free trial

Around since: 2007

Pros: Easy to use | Responsive Customer Support | ​ API

Cons: Client Management | UX Design | Automations

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Brandwatch offers tools across three main areas: consumer intelligence, social media management, and influencer marketing. Sound like a lot? It built up its significant toolkit partly by acquiring other businesses in the area of social listening and audience research, such as PeerIndex and Falcon.io.

Brandwatch was acquired by Cision in 2021.

While pricing is not clear from their website, reviews on Trustradius suggest that it may be a bit steep for smaller businesses:

Reviews taken from Trustradius →
Reviews taken from Trustradius →

With this tool you can monitor your brand reputation, trends in your industry, your campaign performance, and see what people are saying about you on social media.


PR software for sentiment analysis

Brand24

Starting price: $79/month billed annually; 14-day free trial

Around since: 2011

Pros: User friendly | Downloadable reports | Works across social media platforms

Cons: Inaccurate sentiment reporting | Misses some mentions | Patchy support

[browser] from Capterra.com
from Capterra.com

Brand24 is another media monitoring tool that will make your life a bit easier.

What Brand24 delivers really well is the sentiment analysis. They collect data and mentions from all over and give you a true idea of your reputation online. You can segment mentions and break things down by campaigns.

Ready to take the guesswork out of your PR strategy?

Get insights into your PR performance and where to focus next with Prezly's analytics. Track campaign engagement, newsroom activity, earned coverage, and more.

Updated December 2023

 

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