3 minute read

Show the predicted $$$ impact of your coverage. Using a “Proxy” goal value.

You’re looking to evaluate the impact of your coverage. Your boss/client is asking to put some kind of $$ value on it. Which is fair enough. But you’ve got a problem. They are not an eCommerce business. Or set up to make transactions online. So how on earth can you link visits from your coverage to actual revenue/sales/donations in this case?!

The simple answer is you probably can’t. But don’t let that put you off. That’s what “proxy” metrics and conversion values can be good for.

Not every business transact online after all!  BUT…most websites are set up to nudge you to do something. Otherwise, why does it even exist?! 

Maybe the site lets you:

  • get a quote
  • view a store locator
  • download a brochure
  • get a demo
  • view an ad
  • make a pledge.

You get the idea.  The list of potential conversion actions that can sensibly be predicted to lead to business value will be known. You just need to ask what they are when you start work.  You’ll either discover.

1. They do indeed exist. Are tracked in some way already and have a value put against them inside their analytics tool. This is great news. And you’ll be able to use the guide here to map the impact of your coverage to website goals (it’s written for G Analytics but the principle will be the same for other tools.

2. The actions are known but have no agreed value. They may be tracked inside analytics. But nobody has put a $ value on these actions/conversions yet.

Remember the point here is to put a $ value on your coverage. Each action needs to be worth something. Find out what they are worth to their business. On average. It’s ok to estimate here in my opinion if the business is not set up to track this stuff in a sophisticated way.

A “proxy” metric example case study.

Let’s say you work for a business that sells HR software. You don’t buy this tool directly online. But you are able to sign up for a demo. That “demo request’ makes a great action to put a proxy metric against.

The average Life Time Value of a customer is $20k.

The HR business knows that for every 10 demo requests they tend to win 1 new customer. A 10% demo to sale conversion rate.

This means that you could assume a “proxy” value of $2,000 for each demo requested. Essentially a law of averages guess that 1 in 10 of these demo requests will lead to a $20k customer.

You can of course adjust this proxy metric value to account for all kinds of things. For a software business, a target Cost per Customer Acquisition value is an important metric. i.e. What is the maximum this company can afford to pay for a new customer. The general rule of thumb in software being you should invest about ⅓ of the total Life Time value of the customer to acquire them in the first place.

For simplicty. Let’s just assume it’s the basic $2k per demo request.

Now we have our first “proxy value” assumption. We can ask the business to dig into their analytics to measure if the coverage led directly to visits and then “demo request” actions on the site. You’ll either be doing this yourself or asking a friendly analyst to do this for you.

Now say overall you could see your coverage led to an incremental 100 demo requests. As in 100 more than they would normally expect to see.

You could now reasonably claim that your PR work led to:

$2k per demo multiplied by 100 extra demos. = $200k of potential lead value.

Or put in another way….

100 extra demos with 10% average conversion rate = Predicted 10 new customers worth $200k

For extra brownie points. Work out your Return on PR investment.

Let’s say the cost of your time/retainer invested into PR was $30k.

The business invested $30k. And got 100 extra demo requests. So you can say $300 cost per goal. How does this compare with other marketing channels?

You can also say you invested $30k and got $200k back out in estimated value.

Then to be a real fancy pants….get to an % ROI.

Total Revenue Generated – Total Cost of PR work  = $170k
Divide $170k by $30k then multiply by 100 = 566% ROI.

To make this simpler I made a
template PR ROI Google Sheet with all of the above in it. It’s read-only but you can make a copy and play with the numbers yourself!


Hope that was useful. If not let me know and I’ll update to try and make it clearer. I’m here on Twitter.

If you enjoyed this you might also like this other post:

Putting a $ value on the efficiency of your PR work. And comparing with advertising channels.

Written by —
Gary Preston

Gary Preston

CEO & Founder of CoverageBook & AnswerThePublic