PR ROI of 32x?

Going Beyond Brand Awareness to Explain to the C-level Why It’s a Good Investment

Posted on: August 18th, 2022

Clients are interested in PR and brand awareness because it’s a great way to establish or reinforce subject-matter expertise and credibility within a specific industry. Furthermore, it can also help in boosting leads and even sales.

However, even when you know your PR is working and you’re seeing results, it’s still important to measure this activity to demonstrate proper ROI in front of senior management.

PR ROI and measurement can often be broken down in three primary categories: Overall brand awareness, industry credibility, and thought leadership.

Improvement in key performance metrics such as impressions, traffic and social media views often illustrate long-term increases in new business opportunities and securing existing business for new contracts.

These criteria are also important because being viewed as a thought-leader or an industry expert tells consumers or business audiences that your brand is reliable and trustworthy. Earned media, such as by-lined columns, quoted mentions, podcast appearances or interviews increases the likelihood of attracting new business.

But how do you place a quantifiable value on all of this?

Here at Merit Mile, we have a long history of measuring our PR and awareness results for clients. In addition to traditional metrics such as number of impressions and key message placement, we also use a scientific approach that calculates advertising equivalency of comparative editorial placements. While many other agencies today no longer make these calculations, our proprietary measurement platform, Metrix, enables this critical calculation so that C-level executives can clearly see the return on their PR investment in a digestible, dollars-to-dollars-worth.

Based on this advertising equivalence, in the first six months of 2022, the Merit Mile PR team achieved an across-the-board ROI of 32.4 – meaning clients received $32 dollars in return for every $1 dollar they spent with us on their PR campaigns. When isolated to clients specifically in the sports marketing industry this ROI number totaled 71.3, and in the supply chain industries this totaled 66.1.

Advertising equivalence isn’t a new metric in the world of PR, but it has become much more difficult to calculate without the right tools because of rapidly changing advertising costs. It essentially places a dollar value on an editorial placement assuming that same placement was paid-for. It is still the best way to place a dollar value on a PR/editorial placement, interview or brand mention that was “earned” rather than specifically “paid for”.

Naturally, some placements have a higher advertising worth than others. However, all placements serve a purpose and can benefit a brand. Merit Mile represents clients that have a need to be viewed in top-tier media such as Washington Post, or CNBC. And we also have clients who place a greater priority in being seen in more niche, industry publications where targeted decision makers are more likely to read about them.

No matter how big or small your brand is, the desire to garner earned media, PR and awareness is essential in building the overall brand presence and establishing your executives as higher authority figures within the industry. It’s one thing to secure these placements, but it is even more critical to partner with an agency who can demonstrate the value of these placements in a way that shows clear ROI toward the bottom line. In many cases the C-level isn’t satisfied with seeing their name in the news. They also want to know what it means toward their bottom line and investments.

To better understand how PR measurement and proper ROI can benefit your organization, schedule an informational session with a Merit Mile PR representative today by emailing us at