PR attribution

The Client

Our client is a U.S. humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance and disaster relief, including volunteer support, blood donation, and fundraising.

The Challenge

In 2020, the organization tasked its communications team with a tangible business goal: to boost the organization’s total fiscal fundraising and blood collection over four months.

For this to work, the team needed to implement a strategy for:

  1. Affecting growth in fundraising and blood collection using earned media, and 
  2. Demonstrating their role in achieving the results.

Our Solution

The communications team turned to PublicRelay for a data-backed PR attribution strategy to:

  1. Demonstrate their impact on engagement – the audience behavior most often associated with increased donations. In other words, the team wanted their earned media coverage to facilitate increased interactions with the organization via their website, mobile app, and volunteering.
  2. Establish their role in increasing brand credibility – the key dimension of brand health and reputation associated with audience engagement.
  3. Pinpoint the reputational drivers that contribute to concepts associated with brand credibility within their earned media coverage, thereby enabling them to focus their messaging on the drivers with the most impact.

Using PublicRelay’s human-augmented technology, the communications team received a highly accurate and nuanced analysis of the organization’s earned media coverage during the four-month period.

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When interpreted alongside the organization’s reputation survey results, measures of engagement, total fiscal fundraising, and blood donations, PublicRelay’s insights revealed that:

  • Earned media coverage in priority publications is positively correlated with improved brand credibility and increased engagement with the organization.
  • Engagement stemming from the organization’s earned media coverage can be directly attributed to increased fundraising during the period.
  • Though blood donations could not be directly tied to the organization’s earned media coverage in 100 priority publications, there is evidence to suggest that coverage in smaller local publications may have a greater influence on blood donations, performing 50x better than priority media on the blood services website.

With this approach, the communications team:

  1. Achieved their business goal of increasing total fundraising,
  2. Could present their CEO with data-backed evidence of their impact on the outcome, and
  3. Attained nuanced insight into their earned media strategy that they could apply to future campaigns.

Want to learn more about how PublicRelay’s PR attribution strategy can help your team connect your work to business results? Get in touch with our team at

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