Boosting and Measuring ROI Through PR and Marketing

By: KCD PR Editorial Staff
Category: Uncategorized

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the PR and marketing industries have had to shift focus and create tactical strategies to keep their return on investment (ROI) afloat, never mind improving it. This meant virtual Zoom meetings rather than industry events, more calls and emails rather than face-to-face contact, dealing with squeezed budgets, and even moving campaign messaging to more authentic tones.

It’s no doubt that the industry has changed substantially since March of 2020. No longer are the same metrics we used to improve ROI relevant to the now. In this blog, we’ll focus on what measures PR agencies have taken to increase their ROI, and how they can keep a positive return year-over-year.

Diversify Your Skills

While we were all trying to keep our heads afloat at the onset of the pandemic, the PR and marketing industries learned a key new skill that can successfully prove ROI—diversification. Rather than hosting in-person events, agencies improved their grasp of Zoom, hired social media managers or team members, learned the significance of utilizing social platforms in PR campaigns, and overall allotted more time to refining their digital strategies and promoting digitization.

Additionally, the rise of a new generation throughout the pandemic has altered how these agencies are discussing and strategizing around social media. Gen Z consumers are largely swayed through social media marketing—97% use social platforms as their main source of shopping inspiration, and 61% are specifically interested in watching more video content on social channels. As this generation and those after use social media in their everyday lives (the current projection for Gen Z consumers is at four and a half hours a day), it’s a no-brainer that PR agencies must diversify their skills to include digitalization.

Now, as most of our world turns to TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter for all their needs, and as more talks of a metaverse come to life, traditional PR agencies are transforming into full service, digital communications agencies. Technology has thoroughly altered how clients and consumers view and digest media, therefore it’s key for PR agencies to follow these emerging trends. Doing so will keep you and your agency current and will factor in the ROI.

Track Your KPIs

Likely one of the more traditional methods of boosting ROI, keeping track of your agency’s key performance indicators (KPIs) will gauge the success of the company, both month-to-month and at the end of the year. Tracking these numbers over time will reveal insightful and helpful trends that may help agencies adjust their strategies for a higher chance of success.

However, before tracking metrics, agencies must manage client expectations to what is feasible with their current plan or rate. This is why it’s important to create a benchmark that showcases what the agency can offer and likely achieve. How many new leads should the agency strive for per month? Is there an exact reach—or even media publication—that the client is aiming for? How many press releases will the company need per month? What reporter relationships can the agency leverage and utilize for media outreach? These questions, and their answers, will clear any confusion from both parties and allow the agency to better track its indicators.

…And then Track Further

You’ve met with your client, discussed monthly and yearly metrics, and have even scored several hits for them since your meeting. Great! Now, let’s track those wins.

Not only is it important to hit your key metrics, but it’s also vital to understand the scope of a hit. For example, coverage volume, sentiment, and type will largely influence your client’s reaction, and in turn, the agency’s ROI. Agencies should ensure they are tracking the volume of coverage and the industries their clients are being covered on, how the coverage is received, and whether the coverage was a feature, mention, or thought leadership piece.

Tracking these KPIs further allows agencies to measure the value of their work and analyze how a client reacts compared to their goals. Additionally, all of these indicators showcase the worth that a win brings and the hard work that comes beside it. It allows agencies to understand whether they need to shift expectations or not, and will eventually measure the success of the agency’s ROI.


The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the tide of PR and marketing, and in turn, changed how ROI is measured among PR and marketing agencies. With the two industries moving towards emerging trends and practices, it’s likely their ROI will change—and increase—when compared to the new value their additional work brings.

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