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:
- Media mentions
- Reach & impressions
- Sentiment analysis
- Newsroom traffic analytics
- Lead contributions from PR
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.
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.
– Marko Saric, Plausible
- Doesn’t collect any personal data
- 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
You can now see how many people are visiting your sites!
Starting price: Free
Around since: 2009
Pros: Super customizable | Comprehensive documentation
Cons: Steep learning curve | Customer support
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.
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
Another more in-depth analytics and performance tool it 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.
Starting price: Free
Around since: 2005
Pros: Free | Extensive documentation | Detailed reports
Cons: Can get complex | Mixed results in Europe | Can be slow
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).
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.
Find out who's opening your emails and reading your stories so you can use that intel to seriously boost ROI.
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
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.
We compare the features, pricing, and overall value of each platform to help you choose the one that best fits your business.
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
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.
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!)
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
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.
We put all three to the test, so you can see which has the right strengths to fit your needs.
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
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.
Starting price: Pricing withheld; no free trial
Around since: 1984 (!)
Pros: Easy to get started | Generates annual reports
Cons: Pricier than competitors | Convoluted menus
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.
Starting price: Pricing withheld; no free trial
Around since: 2007
Pros: Easy to use | Responsive Customer Support | API
Cons: Client Management | UX Design | Automations
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:
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.
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
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.
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
Last but not least, 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 :)
Prezly – software for modern PR teams
Write & publish brand stories in an online newsroom
Send email campaigns, pitches & newsletters
Manage all your contact lists in a single CRM, with easy import & export
Measure performance to see who's engaging with your stories
Updated December 2023