PR Measurement: Outsourcing VS. In-House

In this corner, weighing in at a monthly investment that provides consistent, timely data – we have … OUTSOURCING!!!

In this corner, weighing in at an added burden that doesn’t “cost” an extra fee  – we have … IN-HOUSE!!!!!


When it comes to the choice between in-house PR measurement and outsourcing there does not seem to be a clear winner across the board.  The right fit is dependent upon some key factors that each business and agency must consider.  So, let’s take some time to weigh the options more closely: Who will be the winner for your PR program?

4 Key Questions to Ask 

  • How much media coverage do you regularly get?
  • How much time/manpower is needed to track coverage, analyze results, and create reports?
  • Who are the internal team members responsible for handling measurement? What are their salaries?
  • How does the amount of salary applied to internal measurement compare with the cost of an external measurement provider?

How Much Does Internal Measurement Really Cost?

Once you have answered the key questions, you can use that information to determine how much internal measurement is costing you.  To figure out the cost you will want to calculate the hourly salary that team members are paid to provide coverage tracking, analyze data, create reports and develop data-driven counsel.  Be sure to also calculate how much time and money is spent for training and managing quality control as well.

Let’s say you determine that it takes 20 hours a month for a PR staffer who earns a $40,000 salary to track, analyze and create reports.  This costs your organization approximately $384/ month.  Then you determine that it takes an additional 10 hours a month for the PR intern who earns $12/hr to sift through automated media coverage reports and pull out all non-relevant info.  This costs an additional $120 per month.  Finally you figure out that it took 1 week of training for your measurement staffer and 1 hour of training for your intern.  The training was done by another PR staffer that earns a $55,000 salary, costing you around $153/month for all measurement related training.  Giving you a total cost of around $647/month that was spent on PR Measurement.

This of course is going to look different for everyone depending on the variable answers to the questions above.  Take time today to closely evaluate how much internal measurement is costing you.  Once you have done that, the next steps are to take a look at the other pros and cons that play into this decision, and to evaluate outsourcing costs by talking with several vendors.  We will take a closer look at these steps next time.  But until then… here is a little more info on the subject as shared in Bulldog Reporter’s Daily Dog’:  Easily Weigh the Pros and Cons of Outsourcing PR Measurement.






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