3 minute read

No more inflated numbers. Make 2018 the year your PR measurement got real

“The CEO wants to know who saw that killer piece of coverage on the Mail Online last month”

You remember back ‘that piece was great, it was on the homepage! No problem’, you think. But then you realise…..The Mail doesn’t release that kind of data and your PR tool only provides unique users.

What do you do? Look for the best data available and be realistic.

What’s the best data?

The best data would pulled direct from the Mail Online’s site analytics where we could look at how many people found, engaged with and shared the page the coverage was on. But that still isn’t possible unless you work at the Mail and are friends with the analytics team.

So what else do we have?

Cision (or Gorkana in the UK) tells us that The Mail Online has 231,000,946 Monthly unique browsers.

Monthly unique browsers or unique user data is provided by the publisher on an annual basis to tools like Cision and Gorkana. Although the number provided is direct from the publisher and we can be reassured the number is true, because it is updated annually the monthly figure is an average of the whole year.

So, although you get an idea of monthly activity you won’t gain any picture of seasonality or as the CEO wants to know who viewed your coverage!

In recent years there has been an increase of a different type of metric provider; monthly estimated site traffic. Providers such as Compete, Alexa and Similarweb all provide estimated web traffic based on last month.

Site vs. page traffic

According to SimilarWeb.com (A free tool!) the Mail Online gained an estimated 391.30 million total visits for the ENTIRE DailyMail website last month. That is more that our figure from Cision as SimilarWeb looks at total visits rather than uniques. It’s also based on last month, which makes it a lot more accurate to when the coverage went live.

Great, shall we report that back? Well, you could ifthe editor at Mail Online decided that the article your client was mentioned in was so amazing, they could get away with deleting everything else and build a one pager site website featuring your coverage.

But you might be thinking.. ‘Wait, it was homepage coverage!’


The homepage of the Mail doesn’t get 391.30 million visits — that’s the sum number forevery page on their website.

I’d guess the homepage gets something like 30–50% of that.

So, 195 million? Well no….

How long did your article stay linked from the homepage? 1 hour? 2 hours? Maybe a day at best? You’ll have to factor that in.

Here’s a rough but more realistic formula you can use for homepage coverage:

Start with the total month numbers for the site in question. e.g.391 million

Get to 50% of that number to get an estimate of home-page visits.

391 million x 0.5 = 195 million.

Divide that number by 30 days to get to a day’s worth of traffic.

195 million / 30 = 6.5 million views of your home-page coverage

Still a respectable number right? But more importantly a realistic estimate and it answers the request of the C-Suite.

Speed it up…

Now, just imagine if you could access that data in seconds. Not only would you impress the C-Suite and CEO with your insights you could pull on this data for your own development and knowledge at any time…

The wonderful world of Pivot tables for PR

By keeping a master list of coverage, noting key pieces of information such as the view formula above, you are paving the way for quick and easy number crunching and evaluation at a later stage. Not only that you can generate amazing visual charts for presentations too — another bonus with the C-Suite.

Check out Steph Bridgeman’s blog post on analysing PR data in excel. Steph is an independent freelance measurement consultant and she has been using excel for data analysis in PR for years. Steph knows her stuff and more what’s more, she writes in a language we all understand. Thank you Steph!

If you’re a CoverageBook user this will be even easier as estimated coverage views are automated on every coverage item and you can review through the handy Insights section.

Make 2018 your year for powerful ‘key performance indicators’

Estimated coverage views are an ideal metric to set as a KPI. By looking at how coverage views differ campaign to campaign, you’ll gain a good idea of relevance and popularity of your coverage.

If you’re aiming to target a similar publication or journalist on your next campaign, then setting ‘coverage views’ as a KPI can work well. The target could be a more prominent area of the site such as homepage or main category page. The KPI could then be the increase in coverage views for the prominent area.

You can gauge how much that % increase should be by applying the formula I have mentioned. Or you could save some time by using CoverageBook.com as the coverage view data is worked out automatically in seconds!

For now start to review some of coverage from 2017 and apply the formula. You might be surprised to find that the sites that were lower in your priority list actually delivered similar views to some of the big hitters. Powerful KPIs and a new target list to too.

Happy new year indeed.