Measuring PR success

How do you measure PR success? On Thursday afternoon, Alan Chumley, Director of Measurement for Hill & Knowlton in Toronto shared his insights and experiences on the issue with Loyalist PR students.

While everyone wants to know what their PR spend is buying them, there are dozens of different measuring tools available to do the job, says Alan.

“Eighty-nine per cent of practitioners are measuring volume,” he points out. “Only 32% are measuring behaviour.”

Alan’s five main pillars for understanding PR measurement include:

1. Measurement is research, research is measurement.

2. The industry must link communications and business objectives.

3. The industry must move beyond measuring simple outputs.

4. There is no singular industry standard.

5. Approaches to measurement must be evolutionary.

“We aren’t in the business of securing media coverage,” says Alan. “We’re in the business of projecting and protecting the reputations of organizations.”

For this reason, it’s important for PR practitioners to evaluate the success of their efforts based on more than media monitoring alone.

From web metrics and focus groups to reputation quotients, Alan shared some of the current techniques being used by his own company, one of the biggest PR firms in the business.

Thanks for beaming down to our classroom for the afternoon, Alan. We look forward to hearing more updates from the field as new developments take place in the area of PR measurement.

To learn more about PR measurement from Alan Chumley, visit his blog at