There are about five PR pros for every journalist, a ratio that can be discouraging for those struggling to earn a media placement for their client. Additionally, some journalists report that they reject up to 95 percent of the pitches they receive on a weekly basis.
With odds like these, it’s important to measure your pitching efforts and other online work to make sure everything is working properly.
1. Pitch volume
Pitch volume is the number of individual pitches sent for a single content marketing campaign.
This metric is the precursor to all of the other metrics on this list. If you don’t measure the pitch volume for each campaign, you’ll be unable to determine other key performance indicators.
The benchmark or baseline for this KPI should be determined for each team member based on seniority and campaign type. A content marketing campaign in an extremely niche vertical would have fewer press opportunities and therefore the pitch volume would be lower than for another campaign in a widely covered topic area.
2. Placement rate
Placement rate measures pitch quality. The placement rate will be different for each team member and varies, like pitch volume, based on the topic area of the content marketing campaign.
It is no longer enough to measure “reach” or pitch volume alone as digital PR professionals have done in the past. If you want to track your efforts accurately, you must measure earned press mentions against total pitch volume.
The higher the placement rate, the more effective your pitch is. An extremely low placement rate may indicate something is wrong with your pitch, your targeting or your campaign.
3. Interest rate
Interest rate is the number of interested publisher replies divided by the number of total pitches sent for a content marketing campaign.
This is another indicator of pitch quality. Campaigns with a high ratio of interest from journalists indicate the pitch was compelling and relevant to the writer. When the placement rate is low, but interest rate is high, it usually means that something happened outside of your control, such as getting bumped for breaking news.
4. Decline rate
Conversely, campaigns with a high proportion of declines can show that the email pitch was of a lower quality or the campaign topic wasn’t relevant to the journalist.
5. Days to the first placement
This metric is the number of days between your first pitch sent and your first placement ni a media outlet. When a campaign has been in the pipeline for a long period of time and hasn’t earned its first press mention, consider adjusting your outreach strategy.
6. Days of syndication
How many days are you pushing the story? If a content campaign isn’t allowed sufficient syndication time—or the time between first placement and last pitch—campaigns can only perform so well.
7. Total days of outreach
If a content campaign has been in the pipeline longer than the standard amount of time for a campaign within that vertical, it may no longer have legs. It may be time to close it out and make room for a new campaign in the pitching pipeline.