2 minute read

How to move away from big (useless) numbers in PR reporting

I believe site-wide traffic numbers are fast becoming the taboo metric in PR, here’s why….

Originally taken from my talk at PRWeek DECODED. Chicago, October 18, 2018

Site-wide traffic figures such as monthly uniques, visits, impressions etc. doesn’t say anything about your coverage because…

  • You didn’t get coverage on every page of the site so why report on the people that didn’t see the coverage?
  • Even if it was homepage coverage it wouldn’t have stayed there for the full 30 days
  • Monthly site-wide traffic is not used in other areas of marketing so why do we use it?

Site-wide traffic figures such as monthly uniques, visits, impressions etc. do not help decision makers. It doesn’t tell budget holders:

  • Who saw the brand
  • Who engaged with the article
  • Who shared
  • Who clicked through
  • Whether the site-section/influencer was a good fit
  • Whether this PR activity should happen again…and be given budget!

So what do we do?


Start to look at article level data even if it’s estimated.

CoverageBook predicts & automates article impressions. Test it and use the free trial here.

Here’s how we work that number out.

If you want to try and do this yourself read this post from Gary on how to figure out your own version.


Were there any links in your coverage can you see who clicked and went to your owned content?

You need analytics access for this.

If analytics is a challenge, use our FREE tool AnswerTheClient.com to extract click data from your coverage clips.


Even if you are beginning to be comfortable with smaller numbers, often the clicks from your coverage can be very low BUT dig deeper to see what those people did — did any of those clicks/people buy?

How much is the sale worth?

What is the lifetime value of that customer?

Not only can your seemingly low numbers increase in size, more importantly, they are REAL NUMBERS and we potentially have a $ return.

…and in PR, that is magic.