In competitive PR, to beat the competition you have to always know the score!

PR pros know that it’s a competition to consistently get your message to the public: you have to fight for it! Just like any competition, knowing your own strengths and weaknesses and those of your opponents is the key to good competitive PR – this is where PR measurement comes in. Reliable metrics support competitive PR strategies and ongoing benchmarking so that you always know the score. But which metrics should you consider and where do they fit in? Keep reading for three PR measurement tips that will strengthen your competitive PR strategy to help you stand out from the crowd and smoke the competition.

1. Use Metrics to Define PR Success

Let’s say that you’re preparing for a product launch in a new market. A few of your competitors have a presence, but your company has little experience in this market. Spend some time determining what PR success looks like for your campaign. A good place to start is by running PR metrics on competitors’ campaigns that you’d like to emulate. The Meltwater News Analyze tab lets you create any number of statistics to quantify the outcome of campaigns or look at overall mentions. Consider looking at metrics like article volume, potential readership and article sentiment for your competitors’ products. Where did they fall short or missed opportunities? How can you learn from the successes of competitors? Don’t forget to consider how your campaigns affect higher-level marketing and business goals. Are you on the hook to help increase sales/donations/membership? How can your campaign affect these goals? Once you’ve identified KPIs and defined success, then you can outline a competitive PR strategy to get you there.

At the end of the day, competitive PR is as much about beating others as it is about learning from them.


2. Avoid Broad Metrics: Be Specific!

For your upcoming product launch, you create a statistic to analyze a competitor’s campaign using the name of their company and product. The most useful insights come from well-tailored metrics…don’t fall into the trap of overly broad metrics! The Analytics tab in Meltwater News not only includes different graphs, charts and tables, but also sorts and filters data with a few clicks. A single competitive statistic can be viewed through several lenses, giving you a very detailed view of the campaign’s results. Try looking at the campaign results using several of the following filters:

  • By market or geography. Specify a market down to the state or province level to support regional or market-specific campaigns. If you shoot too broad, you’ll miss out on region-specific nuggets that could help strengthen your campaign.
  • By readership/circulation. A competitor might have more press overall, but not all placement was created equally! Sort or filter by readership to identify which high-traffic sites picked up your competitor and which journalists to pitch for your launch.
  • By industry publication. Does your campaign only cater to industry insiders? Limit metrics to hand-selected industry publications to see how you measure up in the publications that matter most for your campaign.
  • By positive/negative sentiment. Look at the sentiment breakdown of a competitor’s pick up to help guide your messaging and outreach. What features or messaging did the most negative and most positive articles focus on? How can you craft your campaign to avoid negative press and increase positive mentions?
  • By competitive share of voice. Create statistics for several competitors and for industry news, and then pull them into a multi-statistic to measure share of voice in that market. Make sure to be market and publication-specific as needed. Where do you want your campaign to fit on this graph?


The more detailed you are, the more informed your strategy will be…and the greater chance you’ll have for a successful campaign.

3. Use Metrics to Set PR Benchmarks

Competitive PR is a framework that helps inform your PR program on an ongoing basis. Gaining a competitive edge is a good first step, but to maintain that position you have to identify what’s working, where you’re gaining ground on the competition and where you can improve. Meltwater News makes this easy by saving any statistic and market or industry specific source selection you make. Just log in and adjust the time period to see updated data. Using a competitive PR framework will help you continually adjust your PR program so that you have the best chance of success now and in the future.

For more specifics on how to set up these kinds of metrics in your Meltwater News platform, please reach out to your Customer Success Representative.

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