More so than ever, brands are requiring agencies to provide tangible ROI and deliver impressive value to their business. The world of COVID has certainly amped this up too, as every business watches each dollar spent, and wants it to work hard for their organisation.

To ensure both parties are set up for success, from our vast learnings, we have found that it’s best to create metrics at the commencement of a campaign. These metrics or ‘KPIs’ should ultimately ladder back to the client’s business objectives and move the dial for them.

As mentioned, the current climate, is certainly seeing most businesses operating with an extra level of caution… If this describes your entity, and you’re still sitting on the fence, find out how actionable metrics, paired with a killer PR strategy, will take your brand to the next level.

What is the difference between a vanity and actionable metric?

Vanity metrics are indicators that don’t illustrate real impact on business success. It’s no longer acceptable to just measure campaigns by the number of media pieces, potential media reach or follower growth, for example. Sure, 30 earned media pieces over a 2-month campaign period may sound impressive, but did it result in new customers or opportunities? It’s important to be as targeted as possible, to ensure the brand is getting in front of their target audience.

An actionable metric on the other hand is an indicator that offers more insight and ties into the goals of the business. It is often quite specific and will provide a structured vision for your team and suppliers.

So, how do you change vanity metrics into actionable metrics?

Great question! A few examples include:

  • Page views –> source of site visitors, shares, bounce rate
  • Time on site –> time on page, scroll depth
  • Followers –> engagement rate
  • Views –> purchases
  • Impressions –> CTR
  • Marketing spend –> ROI

Other actionable KPIs that we use at Agent99 include – website traffic spikes during key coverage times, sales uplift, increase in speaking opportunities for our thought leaders, increase in a subscriber base, or social media following (followed by CTR or conversions), increase in client enquiries and measuring share of voice compared to top competitors. These are just a few examples, but delving deeper into the impact of PR is crucial for success.

How do you determine which actionable metrics are right for your campaign?

While some businesses have distinct indicators in mind, you may not have bedded this down. At Agent99, we always host an initial strategy session at the start of any campaign where we identify the objectives. Once familiar with the objectives, we will recommend measurable KPIs that we believe are achievable, based on our experience with other brands and the media industry.

If you’re thinking about activating a PR campaign in 2021 and have more questions around expected ROI, we’d love to chat further! Please drop us a line at

Agent Amelia