TOP Talk

Are You Effectively Telling Your Earned Media Measurement Story?


Multi-color, adjustable control board


The most important thing to remember about any reporting is the data you’re sharing is more than graphs and numbers — it’s the story of your success. 

How you tell that story matters. If you only have 10 minutes to prove your earned media program’s value to the C-suite, every data point and slide is critical. This is your time to shine, and you don’t want to miss the opportunity to truly showcase your hard work and its positive impact on the business. 

Reporting doesn’t have to be dry or confusing. Keep your audience engaged with these effective measurement storytelling best practices.

Create and Control the Narrative

The data tells your story, but you control the narrative, the delivery, and the conversation between your team and leadership. Dedicate some time to walk your stakeholders through the report. Without added context, important figures, stats, and other key details can be easily overlooked. 

How you present your data can make all the difference, too. It’s important to consider how your audience will best receive the information through the lens of what matters most to each individual. For some, that could be a high-level overview of your earned media program (as simple as a bulleted list). Others may find more value in a powerpoint deck that shares deep insights into how the earned media program helped to advance specific business goals like leads and market awareness. Clarity, confidence, and directness will always complement your story, whatever route you take. 

T1 Tip: Don’t forget creative visual aids. Include pie charts, graphs, or images to illustrate the key data points.

Not sure where to start with earned media measurement? Download “The Complete Guide to Earned Media Measurement” here.

Keep It Simple and Direct

Whether you’re presenting to the C-suite or to a conference room of your peers, you don’t want to let your storytelling detract from the earned media value you’re delivering.

Streamline your reports to ensure you’re driving home the key points and not losing your audience in a deluge of data. This doesn’t mean you should cram your quarterly report into two slides, but you should cut down on any extra fluff and keep it concise.

Be selective about which data points you choose to present. Some stats may be more valuable than others (especially those aligned with your team’s predetermined critical KPIs) and you may have to sort through it all to mine the gold. 

T1 Tip: Each measurement report should align with and track against your current KPIs. Include a KPI-overview section of your report listing out the goals you met (and the ones you didn’t). This is a direct way to boast about your major wins and be transparent about the areas for improvement.

Don’t Look Back (for Too Long) 

Data is often used to reflect on the past and highlight previous wins. But remember, its real value isn’t what it shows about your brand’s past, but how that data can help you improve your brand’s future. Your reporting should make that connection. 

Pull together a list of deep insights, actionable recommendations, and clear next steps. For example, if the data shows your brand has been losing share of voice (SOV) over time, your reporting should include a course of action to reverse that trend, like increasing your company news release cadence or offering up more executive-level interviews. 

Make the Positive Connection

In terms of return on investment, earned media programs are often not as black and white as their counterparts in sales and paid media. That’s why telling the whole story of earned media coverage with engaging visuals, content, and storytelling is a critical step to draw that connection between your program and business impact.

In “The Complete Guide to Earned Media Measurement,” we dive even deeper into data storytelling’s best practices, tips, and processes to show off your earned media program’s biggest wins. Download your free copy here: 

The complete guide to earned media measurement - download now.

Kathy Wilson

About Kathy Wilson

Identifying and showcasing the unique and authentic elements of a company’s story – those “aha!” storylines that set a great company apart from the merely good ones. Then developing a strategy that leverages a variety of storytelling channels, whether it’s traditional media, social campaigns or visuals, to bring that company’s value proposition to life. 20+ year PR veteran.