Tuesday, 18 June 2013

What should be in your PR report?

Yesterday I wrote a post for Comms2Point0 about the lack of a great PR system to plan, track, issue, monitor and evaluate media relations.

It sparked a question from Katy Barnes asking about reporting on the Barcelona Principles, which I mentioned in my post. The Barcelona Principles are a series of points developed by the PR industry. They should guide our approach as PR practitioners but they are not a toolkit and nor do they tell us what to report. There is no single right way to report on PR activity - every organisation needs to choose which metrics meet the objectives of its own strategy, but I thought it might be useful to share what I do at Birmingham Metropolitan College.

I report once a month on PR activity. My PR report is largely output-focussed but as a Marketing Team (comprising PR, online and student recruitment), we report more widely and on a longer term basis on outcomes against targets. The idea is that positive trends in our outputs will lead to positive outcomes over time. I produce the report using the Precise dashboard and score the coverage manually. This report is submitted to the Executive Team and comprises of:
  • Bullet pointed list of all releases/content issued (including any conversations/activity that purposely avoided generating coverage) including key messages
  • Bar chart showing how that activity translated into coverage scored against sentiment and compared against regional competitors and national competitors to indicate share of voice 
  • Bar chart showing which publications/sites we have achieved coverage in
  • Bar chart showing month-on-month coverage volume
  • I include a narrative description with the charts to explain particular spikes or important points to note
  • Bullet pointed list of current reputation risks
  • Bullet pointed list of planned PR activity for the coming month
It is usually about three sides of A4 and my aim is to make it easy to skim through so the data can be quickly understood. Social media/web analytics and marketing analytics are picked up by my colleagues in separate reports.

I hope this helps anyone who is thinking about what should be in your communications or PR reports. I'll also write another post shortly about questions you should ask to help you work out what to report. I'd love to hear how you report your PR performance in the comments.


  1. Hi Kate,

    Thanks for discussing such an important topic that, to my mind, differentiates the PR professional from the PR practitioner.

    You mention the Barcelona Principles, and I thought I'd let readers of your blog know that the work by AMEC and the wider Conclave continues. Check out:



  2. Thank you for sharing Philip. I have been following the developments with interest. They are really useful to help us all keep learning and growing and delivering value for our organisations and clients.


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