Key metrics to report on in 2022

How can we meaningfully measure our PR when the technology and the goal posts are always shifting? Join measurement king Richard Bagnall to learn:

  • PR measurement trends in 2022

  • How to choose metrics for your campaign

  • How to bring meaning to the numbers

What metrics to report on in 2022

Modern PR measurement is a tough cookie to crack, with the recipe for what works changing constantly.

You wouldn't be the first PR to have asked yourself: How can I decide what to measure for each campaign? How do I derive meaning from the numbers? Which metrics can help me demonstrate the value of my work?

Thankfully, we've found just the man to answer those questions. As Co-Managing Partner of the oldest PR measurement and analytics powerhouse CARMA, and Chairman of the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication, AMEC, Richard Bagnall has all but written the book on PR measurement.

Scroll down for the show notes.

This episode first aired on Thursday 3rd February 2022


As CARMA’s Co-Managing Partner, Richard has advised international clients on the best ways to measure the effectiveness of PR and communications for the past 25 years. He has built or led some of the world’s best-known communications measurement consultancies, including Metrica, Gorkana and PRIME Research.

Richard has been a board director of communications evaluation global trade association AMEC for over 10 years. In 2013 he co-authored the UK government’s Capability Review of Digital Communications.

You can find Richard on Twitter and LinkedIn.

What metrics to report on in 2022

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Show notes

01:11  Richard shares about his history in the industry, how he got into it, and his passion for PR measurement.

05:39  How far has public relations come in the last 25 years, and where are we going next?

06:52  “We live in the era of accountability.” We use measurements to account for the work that we do in public relations.

07:25  “What the CFO is looking for is for PR and comms professionals to prove their value. How do you prove your value? You prove your value by being able to demonstrate that you have supported the organization that you work for against some of its key objectives.”

08:03  The importance of thinking ahead when it comes to tracking metrics.

09:34  Making sure the metrics are actionable and valuable.

10:28  “80% of the industry is still at that sort of tactical, backward looking measurement, just counting some big numbers and only the enlightened 10 or 20% are looking for stuff that really does help them with their strategy.”

11:50  How the 80% and 20% differ in their measurement approaches.

13:07  Measurement should be able to answer:

  • “What?” 

  • “So what?”

  • “Now what?”

14:15  Success should be measured by results, not activity.

15:08  “We don't want to be busy fools. We want to be a value creators.”

18:06  How measurement has shifted in PR over the years.

19:27  “There's three core components that I I'd like everyone to think about. There’s output, outtakes and outcomes. And what we have to do is move our measurement from just outputs to say, well, what are the outtakes and what are the outcomes?”

23:08  How marketing and PR differ in their respective measurement tracking.

23:54  So what do we track exactly?

27:31  Telling a “meaningful measurement story.”

30:18  Engagement metrics are easy to manipulate, and much of the digital advertising analytics are problematic.

32:34  Is “share of voice” necessary in PR measurement?

34:55  Actual static metrics are less important than month-over-month tracking and improvement.

36:59  “All models are flawed, but some are useful.”

38:43  How often should you be reporting on metrics? “I think it's a lot about the rhythm of your business and your organization and how, how frequently it's useful.”

39:01  The pandemic changed how we manage and monitor measurements.

41:23  “I think of the Roman God, Janice. Who is where the word January comes from. He sat at the head of the year and he had two faces, and one face look to the future and the coming year and the other face looked to the past. And I think that's how we should think about measurement today.”

42:47  “Begin simply, but simply began.” Measurement doesn’t need to be as complicated as we make it sometimes.

43:24  Measurement Maturity Map

47:02  Recruitment and hiring for PR measurement

48:32   “’Let’s face it, PR’s biggest, dirtiest secret is: it doesn’t plan.’”

50:06  “If we don't have a plan, we're not going to measure it. We're just going to count nonsense. And we're going to risk becoming obsolete as, as PR professionals.”

51:58  The point of measurement hasn’t changed, but the ways we measure have changed.

52:50  Measurements in social media and the special considerations of that (frequently manipulated) data.


"how do we decide what's worth measuring?". What have you found to be the most commonly helpful metrics to track?

Answer: 23:54–25:04 (kinda)

What kind of campaign could social media metrics play into, and how do we derive meaning from likes/shares/replies?

Answer: 30:18–30:45, 31:30–32:18

Question sent in advance from Vanessa and her team: Can you explain "share of voice" and what it means? Is it necessary to use for PR measurement?

Answer: 32:24–34:55

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