7 Step Guide to PR Analytics: Unveiling Insights for Strategy Enhancement

Intelligent Relations
By Intelligent Relations Team

With the advent of digital technology and data-driven insights, public relations (PR) is more dynamic and sophisticated than ever. 

That also means it’s more complicated than ever. 

For example, how do you know if you’re leveraging new technology and data for max benefits? How do you know that your PR strategy is even working?

That’s where PR analytics come into play.

PR analytics are at the core of informed decision-making, impact measurement, and strategy refinement. On the surface, it’s about tracking, measuring, and understanding PR metrics.

Deep down, PR analytics tell you what’s working and what isn’t. You’ll be able to adjust your strategy on the fly and get better results fast.

That’s why this article will show you how to use PR analytics to your advantage.

In this article, we’ll dive into the benefits of leveraging analytics, how to transform data into actionable insights, and emerging PR analytics trends in 2023.  

  • The Power of Analytics Software
  • Top 5 Benefits of PR Analytics 
  • Turning Data Into Actionable Insights
  • Trends Shaping PR in 2023

Not sure what to track or how to get started with PR analytics?

Let us help. Book a free consultation with one of our PR experts. We will take a look at your PR goals and help you get a head start on tracking your success.

The Power of Analytics Software

For starters, you’ll need the right tools for gathering data and metrics. PR analytics software is an indispensable tool for anyone doing PR. 

There are paid tools that give you deeper insights into specific PR metrics you’ll want to track. 

And there are free tools like Google Analytics that channel the potential of big data and focus it into valuable insights that can guide: 

  • PR Campaigns 
  • Crisis Management 
  • Reputation Management

As you know, Google Analytics isn’t considered a PR tool. It’s a website analytics tool that allows you to glean key insights into visitors to your site —  how many visitors there are, how they got there, how much time they spent there, and more. 

But the tool does allow you to set up specific goals and metrics that track individual PR and marketing campaigns. It’s a good idea to think broadly about what tools to use.

A good starting point is to simply choose the PR metrics that you want to measure and then find tools that will gather the right data and allow you to analyze it.

If you’re not sure about which PR metrics to measure and monitor, take a look at our dedicated article: 10 PR Metrics You Must Measure to Gauge Success

Now, let’s check out a couple of other popular examples of PR analytics tools that can help turn your data into actionable insights. 


Qualtrics is an AI-powered analytics tool and survey platform that offers a wide range of features for collecting data and adding context to insights. Its versatility and robust analytics capabilities make it a top choice for over 18,500 brands and 99 of the top 100 business schools.

How does it work as a PR analytics tool?

Let’s say you need to gain an in-depth understanding of how your brand stacks up against your competitors. 

Well, you can use Qualtrics’ brand perception analytics to track and measure key brand metrics, like awareness, perception, sentiment, etc. Then you can compare your metrics to your competitors, seeing how your brand is positioned on the market in real time.

Check out Qualtrics pros and cons based on real customer reviews: 


  • Versatile Survey Tools 
  • Powerful Analytics and Reporting 
  • Automation and Integration


  • Steep Learning Curve
  • Limited Customer Service 

You can set up a free account or receive a demo upon request. 

While it might take some time and practice for PR analytics beginners to get the hang of this software, it can still yield actionable insights to inform your PR strategies. 


Releasd is a user-friendly PR analytics tool that lets teams of any size create comprehensive and visually pleasing PR coverage reports. This robust tool puts the full scope of PR activities into context for quick and easy data digestion.

How does it work as a PR analytics tool? 

Let’s say you want to create a clear report on active media coverage secured by your startup.

Releasd allows you to track and measure subsets of coverage — from top-tier publications down — and package the data in a time-saving visual report that even the greenest PR analytics layman can savvy. 

Let’s check out Releasd pros and cons based on real customer reviews: 


  • Intuitive Interface 
  • Visual Appeal 
  • Collaboration and Sharing 


  • Limited Data Integration

The basic plan starts $95 per month, allows up to 5 users, and includes:

  • Unlimited Coverage 
  • Unlimited reports
  • Unlimited Brands
  • Basic Coverage Metrics 

Releasd’s user-friendly interface and focus on visualization make this a great tool for someone just starting to dip their toes into PR analytics. Take the free trial + demo for a spin, then consider a subscription based on your company’s size and needs. 

Want to see a full list of what we consider the best PR tools for 2023? Then check out our article: 10 Best PR Tools That You Should Know About

Top 5 Benefits of PR Analytics

Once you’ve got the right tools, what is the desired result? Why is it important to make sure you’re gathering, tracking, and analyzing the right data and metrics in the first place?

Well, PR analytics offers an edge that enhances the effectiveness of your PR strategies and campaigns. To break that down into specifics, let’s take a look at the five biggest benefits PR analytics provide. 

1. Data-Driven Decision Making 

PR analytics provides you with quantifiable data that can guide your decision-making. That data allows you to base your strategies on concrete insights rather than gut feelings and present tangible evidence of effective PR efforts to any interested parties. 

2. Measurement of ROI 

Measuring return on investment (ROI) has been a longstanding challenge in PR. 

PR analytics tools allow you or your team to attribute specific outcomes to PR efforts, demonstrating the value these efforts bring to the company. 

If an overview of key metrics reveals an uptick in referral traffic, positive sentiment, and conversions after a social media campaign and increased social engagement efforts, the inference is that the campaign was successful and added value to the brand. 

3. Targeted Messaging 

PR analytics enable better audience targeting. Analyzing demographics, preferences, and behaviors from things like web traffic metrics and click-through rates (CTAs) help to further target messaging for maximum impact. 

4. Crisis Management 

In the digital age, PR crises can escalate quickly. PR analytics tools help teams monitor conversations, detect potential crises early, and formulate effective strategies to manage them. 

5. Competitor Analysis

PR analytics also extend to keeping an eye on the competition. Valuable metrics like share of voice (SoV) and brand perception can provide valuable insight on a brand’s share of a particular market and how they stack up against the competition. 

You can identify how competitors are perceived, spot gaps, and capitalize on opportunities to differentiate yourself. 

7 Steps for Turning Data Into Actionable Insights

Collecting and measuring data is just beginning — the true value lies in transforming that data into actionable insights

Check out this seven-step approach:

1. Set Clear Objectives

It’s important to have well-defined, data-driven goals to inform your PR efforts. Whether your aim is to boost brand awareness, increase sales, or improve reputation, having clear objectives will guide your data analysis and steer it to positive results. So, let’s look at an example.

Jenny works at a company called Fitboy that’s just released a new smartwatch. 

She ran a massive PR campaign to highlight the new specs. Jenny’s PR campaign included a:

  • Product Press Release
  • Social Media Campaign
  • Earned Media in Niche Fitness Publications
  • Podcast Appearances
  • Product Landing Page  

Overall, Jenny’s earned external media campaign was focused on building awareness and driving traffic to the new product page where users can buy the smartwatch.

So she set a clear objective: 

Drive traffic to the product page. 

If you’re releasing a real product soon, you might want to know how to write a press release for a product launch. Read more here: A Guide to Writing a New Product Press Release

2. Choose Relevant Metrics

It’s not necessary to analyze every metric. Identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your objectives can streamline the analytical process and focus your PR efforts. 

At Fitboy, Jenny’s objective was to drive traffic to the new product page. So, she would want to focus on web traffic metrics. Her KPIs should focus on: 

  • Amount of Organic Traffic
  • Amount of Referral Traffic (Social, Earned Media)
  • Click Through Rates (CTRs)
  • Conversions on the Page

3. Monitor Consistently

Regular monitoring of the selected metrics with a PR analytics tool is crucial. Tracking progress, identifying trends, and detecting anomalies influence strategies and key strategy adjustments. 

This is helpful in the event of a crisis. For example, sudden swings in sentiment may indicate an issue that requires an immediate response. 

Let’s go back to the Fitboy example. 

Jenny used Google Analytics as her PR analytics tool to track steady increases in web traffic post-PR campaign. She noticed a sudden dip in traffic about two weeks later. What caused it? 

Jenny is also using a social media listening tool to keep track of sentiment across Fitboy’s social media channels. So, she decides to check her sentiment metrics. She notices that it’s sliding toward negative. 

She discovers that social media shares and online reviews indicate a product issue.

A controversial watch feature is acting up. The zap function that introduces a mild jolt of electricity when the wearer touches a french fry was active even when turned off. What’s worse, it shocked people when they touched their pets and kids. 

Jenny acts fast and implements Fitboy’s crisis management plan. It’s a success.

4. Segment and Compare Data

Split collected data up among things like demographics, geography, and media channels. 

Comparisons of these segments can reveal valuable insights into which strategies will resonate best with a target audience. 

After compiling web traffic data, Jenny broke it up into things like age groups, gender, regions, and where FitBoy was being talked about most — chatrooms, social media platforms, lifestyle magazines, etc. 

Jenny found that most FitBoy Smartwatch enthusiasts were women over 60 years old, living on the east coast, and sharing weight loss success stories on Facebook. This aspect of PR analytics helped Jenny identify a clear buyer persona and informed her future PR strategies. 

5. Identify Patterns and Trends

Leverage the power of data visualization to identify patterns and trends. Visual representations of metrics — infographics, charts, plots, etc. — make it easier to spot correlations and anomalies that might not be apparent in raw numbers.

Jenny noticed a drop off in referral traffic during the fall and winter months thanks to keeping track of all her data in a visual report. Based on the pattern, Jenny began planning new PR activities to compensate for the lack of traffic.

6. Correlate with PR Activities

Relate PR analytics to PR activities. For example: 

  • Did a spike in web traffic coincide with a particular media campaign?
  • Did a shift in sentiment on social media align with a specific event? 

These correlations offer actionable insights. 

Jenny pitched a story about Fitboy to a blogger who runs the exceedingly popular Chilly Grannies Outdoor Livin’ — a blog about staying active as a senior citizen with a 1M+ readership. Her traffic spiked after the publication. She now knows which publications resonate best with potential customers.

Another success.

7. Iterate and Optimize

Expand on step six by iterating and optimizing insight-based PR strategies. A deeper analysis of a spike in web traffic — where the traffic is coming from — is beneficial to building on already effective strategies and sharpening future efforts.

Amplify tactics that are yielding positive results. Make adjustments and experiment with new approaches in areas that are falling short. 

Jenny’s efforts were so effective, she strengthened what was working by generating more valuable mentions in top publications related to her target audience. 

For more on tying data findings into actionable insights and results, check our article: PR Reporting — How to Use Data to Get Better Results [+ 3 Examples]

5 Trends Shaping PR in 2023

PR analytics is constantly changing, so making sure you’re up-to-date on the latest trends is essential for staying competitive. 

Let’s check out some important trends gaining traction in 2023. 

Predictive Analytics

You’ll want to increasingly use predictive analytics to:

  • Forecast Potential Crises
  • Identify Trends
  • Find Your Audience 
  • Anticipate Audience Reactions 

Analyzing historical data and patterns allows you to take proactive measures, mitigate risks, and identify shifts in your target audience. 

For example, Netflix’s target audience shifted from hardcore movie buffs to middle income families. Streaming opened the flood gates to wide-ranging content for all ages with the ability to access it from multiple devices — and with that came a dramatic shift in audience. 

Predictive analytics identifies customer shifts, preventing PR efforts from getting stuck in the mud. The AI-integrated aspect of the aforementioned Qualtrics tool can be used for predictive analytics. Observing data related to consumer trends and behavior will forecast potential audience shifts with which PR efforts must roll. 

Integration of AI and Machine Learning 

AI and machine learning are being integrated into PR software to enhance: 

  • Automated Data Analysis
  • Sentiment Detection
  • Media Monitoring 

Integrating these technologies vastly improves the accuracy and efficiency of data interpretation. 

Focus on Business Impact 

These days, PR is about more than just media mentions — it’s about driving tangible business outcomes. PR analytics tools are aligning their metrics with business KPIs like: 

  • Lead Generation
  • Customer Acquisition 
  • Revenue Growth

Holistic View of Brand Reputation 

PR analytics now provide a complete view of brand reputation by consolidating data from: 

  • Traditional Media
  • Social Media
  • Online Communities 

This allows you to make more well-rounded decisions from a 360-degree perspective. 

Real-Time Insights

In the fast-paced digital landscape, real-time insights are crucial. PR analytics are capable of providing up-to-the-minute data on: 

  • Media Coverage 
  • Social Media Conversations 
  • Public Sentiment 

The ability to adjust or amplify strategies as soon as metrics change is invaluable when it comes to turning data into action. 

Data’ll Do It

PR analytics has ushered in a new era of data-driven decision-making in the world of PR. With powerful analytics tools at your disposal, you can measure the impact of your efforts, predict crises, and better align strategies with objectives. 

The trends shaping PR analytics in 2023 indicate a PR future that is more efficient, targeted, and impactful than ever. 

By harnessing the benefits of PR analytics and mastering the art of turning that data into actionable insights, you can navigate the complex digital landscape with confidence and achieve remarkable results.

Need to start tracking and getting insights from PR analytics right now? Let us help! Simply book a free consultation to get expert insight into how to start or improve your PR analytics and tracking efforts.