Press releases have long been regarded as indispensable tools for circulating important news and information. A conduit between companies and the media, news releases allow organizations to share important updates with their target audiences. As with any marketing and communications tactic, it’s important to understand the return on investment (ROI) for press release distribution. What metrics are important for measuring your results? How can you prove the value of your announcements?

How to measure the success and ROI of your press releases:

Understanding the ROI of press releases also allows communicators to optimize their strategies. Beyond simply issuing a press release, analyzing the performance of your press release provides key insights to help you in the future. What made a difference—the release date and time? Was your headline too short or too long? Did you include multimedia assets? Did you include a clear call to action, links to social media pages, or a pull quote? These elements can all impact the reach and engagement of your news.

What is ROI? ROI stands for “Return on Investment.” It’s a metric used to evaluate the profitability of an investment (like an advertising campaign) relative to the overall cost. When it comes to press releases, noting the impact of your news through metrics such as trackable link clicks, form submissions, and overall audience reach will help you determine ROI.

Let's explore how setting clear objectives, measuring key metrics, utilizing appropriate tools, analyzing results, and leveraging insights can help you prove ROI and set you up for future success.

Setting Clear Objectives for Your Press Release

Before embarking on any press release campaign, it's essential to establish clear objectives that align with broader business goals. Following the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) framework ensures that objectives are well-defined and actionable. Whether the aim is to increase website traffic, generate leads, enhance brand awareness, or secure media coverage, setting specific targets provides a roadmap for success.

These objectives not only guide the content and distribution strategy of your press release but also play a crucial role in determining the metrics used to measure success. For instance, if your goal is to boost website traffic, metrics such as page views, unique visitors, and referral sources are crucial to monitor. If your objective is to enhance brand awareness, metrics like social media shares, media pickups, and brand sentiment are more relevant.

Example of a SMART goal for a press release campaign:

Distribute a press release with Business Wire with a clear CTA to visit our campaign landing page, incorporate learnings from past release performance, and select the optimal circuit to achieve a 20% increase in traffic to my site.

  • Specific: Distribute a press release targeting my customer demographic in North America. Include a clear call to action to visit our campaign landing page.
  • Measurable: Achieve a 20% increase in visits to my campaign landing page within one month of distributing my press release.
  • Achievable: Based on link click data from past releases distributed with Business Wire, a 20% increase in overall traffic to our site following this announcement is attainable.
  • Relevant: My goal aligns with my organization's overall marketing objectives of increasing brand visibility and driving traffic to our website.
  • Time-bound: My goal will be achieved within one month.

Key Metrics to Measure Press Release Success

Measuring the success of a press release means observing a range of metrics that help you gauge your announcement’s impact and effectiveness. These include:

  • Reach and Impressions: Understanding the breadth of your press release distribution includes assessing the number of outlets it reached, potential audience size, and the overall visibility it garnered.
  • Website Traffic: Press releases should drive tangible results, and one of the most direct indicators is their impact on visits to your website. Monitoring changes in traffic patterns following a release distribution can provide valuable insights.
  • Engagement: Beyond clicks, analyzing interactions such as shares, likes, and comments offers deeper insights into audience engagement and sentiment toward your content.
  • Media Coverage: Quantifying the extent and quality of media pickups helps assess the reach and credibility of your press release within journalistic circles.
  • Lead Generation: Generating leads (or subscribers, registrants, etc.) is often a primary objective. Tracking leads directly attributed to your press release helps evaluate its contribution to your sales funnel or database.
  • SEO Impact: Press releases can also have a significant impact on search engine visibility. Assessing improvements in search engine ranking, organic traffic, and backlinks can help you monitor SEO value.

Tools and Technologies for Measurement

Having robust tools and technology will help you measure the success of your press releases. Leveraging analytics platforms, media monitoring tools, and website tracking software can provide comprehensive insights into press release performance.

UTM parameters play a crucial role in tracking digital performance by attributing website traffic and conversions to specific marketing and PR campaigns. By incorporating UTM parameters into press release URLs, you can accurately track the effectiveness of your distribution channels and messaging strategies.

CTA banner for Business Wire's "Attributing Economic Results to Press Releases" webinar

Analyzing and Interpreting Results

In addition to reviewing any analytics reports or tools you have, establishing benchmarks based on past performance or industry standards helps contextualize your results and determine success. Focus on metrics that directly impact your business objectives and take the time to scrutinize data for underlying trends and patterns so you can derive actionable insights for future campaigns. Keep a record of successful press release campaigns and the metrics you used to indicate their success.

The true value of press release measurement lies in its ability to inform and refine future PR strategies. Doing so allows you to smartly optimize press release content, targeting, and distribution strategies to maximize the impact of your news.

Don’t be afraid to A/B test headlines, content formats, and distribution channels to see what works best for your organization and announcements. Establishing a feedback loop that incorporates measurement insights into the planning and execution of future press releases fosters continuous improvement and adaptation to evolving market dynamics.

Business Wire’s Press Release Analytics

newstrak-min-1By setting clear objectives, tracking key metrics, utilizing appropriate tools, analyzing results, and leveraging insights, you build a foundation for future successful PR efforts.

Business Wire’s NewsTrak Reports help you measure the performance of your press release campaigns and provide actionable insights. NewsTrak’s intuitive interface can be organized according to your preferences, is user-friendly, and offers several features to allow you to quickly and easily understand your results.

As you embark on your press release journey, remember that effective measurement is not just about proving ROI; it's about continuously refining and improving your approach to communication.

Learn More

Get the latest PR, IR, Marketing, and Media tips on the Business Wire Blog. Subscribe today!

Subscribe to the Blog

  • There are no suggestions because the search field is empty.
New call-to-action