Urging the PR Industry to Rethink Media Evaluation Approach Now

Metricomm urges PR industry to rethink media evaluation approach now, or risk losing budget to other marketing disciplines.

Digital marketing has further exposed the difficulties PR faces when it comes to measurement. This, along with the exorbitant cost of accessing quality data for PR planning and evaluation, are the two issues challenger brand Metricomm is set to tackle head-on.

With a mandate to elevate the standing of PR in boardrooms, the new data company aims to change the media evaluation status quo, focusing on the media coverage that reaches and influences audiences, credibly revealing the direct impact of media coverage on business outcomes, such as online searches and sales.

Its approach to media evaluation allows organisations to measure and compare PR results alongside other marketing disciplines. Metricomm achieves this using its own algorithm, developed specifically to determine the size of the audience most likely to have read, been influenced by and reacted to media coverage.

Behind the new company is evaluation industry expert Mark Westaby, who founded leading media evaluation company, Metrica, which was acquired by Durrants and subsequently became part of Gorkana and Cision.

Westaby said: “Our offer is a game changer for the PR industry, and I don’t say that lightly. It provides a much-needed solution to one of the biggest problems the industry faces. Currently, PR professionals are operating largely in the dark, with little insight into what aspect of their work is driving engagement, or indeed the full impact of their work, making it difficult for PR to show its worth. This is detrimental to the industry, and other disciplines with far more superior metrics are capitalising.”

“Online media consumption in particular paved the way for big data and algorithms to be used in this way. We can now provide a concise response to key questions such as, how many people read the coverage generated by PR, which is not the same as circulation numbers or reach, and take action – for example, visit my website or search online for my company? PR professionals no longer need to hide behind outlandish numbers, such as reach, volume of coverage and opportunity to see, that boil down to nothing.”

As well as media evaluation, Metricomm offers two planning reports: a sector report and a competitor report. The former includes all the key players within a sector, ranking them by the size of audience engaged by coverage. And the competitor report is a deep dive into three organisations within the same sector, allowing companies to benchmark their PR performance against two rivals.

In the context of the pandemic, where information is vital in unprecedented times, these reports also provide critical insights that can inform when a business should resume PR spending, and at what budget level, and whether PR and marketing activity is effective in ‘new normal’ market conditions.

This makes information more important than experience in understanding the new landscape, informing next steps and rebuilding brand presence.

Five ways Metricomm differs from traditional media evaluation


Data for PR planning & Evaluation:
The Metricomm approach

Out-dated media evaluation
Reveals the best media titles for reaching the highest number of people interest in your news. On average only 20% of the coverage generated drives behaviour such as searches. Metricomm identifies your 20%.

Emphasis is on the volume of coverage and frequency of reach.

Metricomm provides realistic metrics, such as the size of audience that engages with content and the impact of coverage on search. Reach, Opportunity to see, Impression are some of the metrics used.
Measures the six key emotions that drives decision making. These are happiness, surprise, sadness, fear, anger and disgust. Negative, Positive and neutral are the only sentiments measured.
Measure what aspects of your content is driving engagement, for example what themes and topics the audience is taking out of coverage. Measure the proportion of coverage that included a spokesperson, an image, a key message, etc.
At a fraction of the cost of well-known media evaluation companies, evaluation covers the client and competitors at no additional cost. With near-real time data, there’s  also scope to remain agile, adapting live campaigns. Cost implication means evaluation is usually only carried out at the end of a campaign. And competitor evaluation is never considered.


Whilst Metricomm is a new entity, the algorithm driving its reporting has been rigorously tested and used over the last three years by several household brands, with great success. It is a combination of human analysis with automation, using big data techniques and analysis to deliver insights and evaluation.