ROI in Public Relations

The measurement of Public Relations campaigns and tasks is a lot to gage. The various types of measurements that can take place on different aspects of a campaign solely come down to a PR team’s ROI, Return on Investment. ROI is used by various public relations professionals to measure the success they are creating for their clients.

One way that public relations professionals use ROI is through social media. When looking through various social media platforms used by a company, ROI measurements help decipher which posts are receiving the most attention from the public eye. Using the ROI measurements they, “Consider how many mentions are mainstream or first-tier and how many  are less popular, yet highly influential” (Obrien, 2013). Professionals are also able to assess the quality and impacts their campaigns are making on the public.

When PR professionals are measuring their campaigns through an ROI, they tend to focus on media platforms and their quantitative numbers. According to Sandy Sponaugle’s article, she demonstrates that professionals tend to base their measurements off of “…1) how many outlets picked up the story, 2) how many stories were in the media and 3) increased traffic to the company’s website” (Sponaugle, 2013). ROI measurements have turned towards the outcomes social media is presenting about a company after a campaign has been adopted.

According to Max Weiner, the quantitative measurement, “…offers guidance to achieve significant and true business outcomes that can help attract, retain, or avoid spending millions – or billions – of dollars” (Weiner, 2006). In reference to this, Weiner brings up the crucial point that measuring a public relations campaign is essential to a company and their investments. Millions of public relations professionals are hired across the country, but without the proof and measurements of their successes, company’s will not know the amount of money they could be saving. It is important for companies to invest in teams of PR professionals that will make them invests without using a million dollars to do it. The cost of campaigns can be expensive, but using measurements on investments, companies are able to save their investments and gain from their efforts rather than lose money.

Although ROI is focused a lot of the numbers and investments made by a company, it also tends to look at the quality of the data. The data and research collected from media must also show positive correlations about the company to help understand the total ROI. It may be a number that the company is receiving, but without positive media there is no true measurements of the tactic’s success from a campaign. It is important that the feedback being given through media and the public is positive and promoting the brand well. Many social media platforms can grab a lot of attention from negative campaigns and unsuccessful brand promotions. It is crucial that professionals recognize how they are influencing the public eye.

ROI measurements in public relations are compiled of a variety of different aspects of a campaign. The use of these measurements is essential for a company’s success when if comes to their efforts of promoting brand awareness. It is crucial for PR professionals to understand these various aspects of ROI measurements such as social media, news reports, blogs, and various other media platforms. By taking into account all the forms that make up an ROI, public relations professionals are able to provide companies with successful returns on their investments.


Obrien, A. (2013, February 23). 10 Ways to Measure the ROI of Public Relations. Everything-PR. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from

Sponaugle, S. (2013, May 30). Measuring ROI of a PR Campaign. Platinum PR. Retrieved November 25, 2015, from

Weiner, M. (2006, March, 6). Splitting hairs: Value, expectations and ROI in public relations. PR News, 62(10), 1. Retrieved from


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