public relations kpisWhen it comes to public relations KPIs, it’s pretty safe to say the industry doesn’t have the best track record.

Marketing does a little better than we do, but they’re not perfect either.

And communicators are still a bit too dependent on measuring outputs (e.g. look at this great story we got!) versus business outcomes.

As organizations demand key performance indicators tied to business goals such as leads and sales, marketing and PR will need to adapt.

But which marketing or public relations KPIs would you use to measure your success and why?

And how do you design measurement so it captures the right metrics to demonstrate the value of your marcom programs?

That’s what we’ll be talking about with Marissa Ricciardi, founder and CEO of The Ricciardi Group, on our next #SpinSucksAMA, October 14 at 1 pm ET: Which Types of Marketing and Communications Programs Work Best When Your KPIs are Leads and Sales?

Introducing Marisa Ricciardi

To say Marisa’s had an impressive career is a bit of an understatement.

After serving as the chief marketing officer of NYSE Euronext and vice president at Goldman Sachs, she founded her own agency, the Ricciardi Group (RG).

In less than five years, she has built a client roster that includes Fortune 500 companies such as Adobe, Google Cloud and BNY Mellon, and emerging technology brands such as Crux, ComplySci, and General Assembly.

Marisa was named “Marketing Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2017.

In April 2018, she was distinguished as one of Inc.’s “10 Leading Ladies Changing Business as Usual”, and RG was named “Financial’s Top 12 Agencies of 2018”.

And in September 2019 RG was named to the Inc. 5000 as one of “America’s fastest-growing companies”.

These days Marisa and her team help early-stage CEOs strategically allocate venture capital and collaborate with CMOs as they navigate the complex marketing landscape.

We’re fortunate she’s able to share her expertise with the Spin Sucks community!

We asked Marisa a couple of questions to give you a taste of what you’ll be hearing on our next #SpinSucksAMA.

Establishing Marketing and Public Relations KPIs

Q: What are the three biggest measurement challenges marketers and PR pros have when it comes to demonstrating value to the C-Suite?


Every C-suite is different, so as a marketer seeking to demonstrate your value, one of the first things you need to do is figure out what your peers in management value most.

It’s important to stay in tune with what the board is looking for at any point in time and ensure you’re helping the rest of the management team be successful in accomplishing that.

Second, definitions are ALWAYS hard.

My first piece of advice when dealing with KPIs and metrics is to keep it simple, intuitive, and immediately understandable.

Don’t start creating fancy new lead stages, lead types, etc. to solve for every possible scenario.

Instead, focus on what is going to create and add value for your teams—marketing, sales, customer success, and management.

Once you have figured out what will drive real value for your teams, tightly define each metric.

Make sure every stakeholder understands each intuitively–only through shared understanding will you be able to effectively communicate your value.

Third, be very clear about the WHY.

As marketers, we have to focus on not just the bottom-line, but on the brand, as well.

Some management teams will view brand building as crucial to the business’s success.

Others will find it a waste of time and prefer pure performance marketing.

But the reality is you need to focus on both.

To effectively communicate the value of both brand-building and performance marketing, you need to be able to clearly and effectively communicate the why.

Why are we spending on brand building?

Why is brand so important?

And why are the most profitable brands in the world also those with the most recognizable and trusted brands?

Demonstrating the Value of Marketing and PR

Q: How can marketing and communications professionals address those challenges and demonstrate the value we bring to a business?


Never back down from these challenges.

Instead, face them head-on, and seek out your peers for their input, collaboration, and alignment.

The larger your organization, the more complexity there is in aligning the stakeholders that can make or break your programs.

Ensure you are constantly approaching your peers in the spirit of collaboration–attempting to understand their needs, the value, and outcomes they need to drive and how marketing can help make them a reality.

Only by working with and for your peers in management will you drive the outcomes the business needs.

#SpinSucksAMA—How to Sign Up

So how do you develop and measure meaningful marketing and PR KPIs?

You’ll find out in the next #SpinSucksAMA.

But in order to sign up, you need to be a member of the free Spin Sucks community.

If you already are, we’ll be sharing an RSVP form and more details about the webinar.

If not, here’s how to join.

Once you’re in, you can RSVP to the webinar, add your questions, and also join in the conversation with our smart, helpful, and fun group of communications pros.

See you there!

Martin Waxman

Martin Waxman, MCM, APR, is a senior advisor to Spin Sucks and runs a consultancy, Martin Waxman Communications. He leads digital and social media training workshops, conducts AI research, and is a LinkedIn Learning author and one of the hosts of the Inside PR podcast. Martin teaches social media at McMaster University, the Schulich School of Business, Seneca College, and the UToronto SCS and regularly speaks at conferences and events across North America.

View all posts by Martin Waxman