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  • Writer's pictureThe FF&M team

7 reasons why you can’t prove which direct sales come from PR

PR is highly effective in building brand awareness for your business. However, editorial coverage for your brand may not immediately convert into direct sales: it might take time to do so and it is also hard to prove the exact return. But why? This, potentially million dollar question, is why many people find PR so frustrating, however, we hope the below will help demystify it. Read on to find out why. 

1 Not all forms of PR are measurable

While you can track and measure digital coverage, it’s not possible to measure direct sales driven by certain forms of PR, i.e print coverage, events and VIP product seeding. However, these forms of PR are still highly valuable as they build brand awareness without ‘hard selling’, helping your brand become top of mind when people choose to purchase. 

2 People aren’t necessarily shopping when reading 

A lot of people read newspapers, magazines and digital articles to be entertained or educated and as such are not necessarily in a ‘purchasing mode’. While a particular piece of editorial coverage may not result in a direct sale at the time, it may be the result of one later on, however you can’t fully know this. 

This is why PR is a long game. 

3 Your product might not be an ‘urgent buy’

Consumer lifestyle products typically featured on the shopping pages of magazines are not essential or urgent buys for most readers. So while a placement might not drive immediate sales, it may very well be responsible for a purchase later on.

4 Prospective clients need to see your products more than once

When a consumer sees a brand in several touchpoints over a consistent period, it becomes more convincing to act. So reading about a product once is unlikely to drive immediate sales, but doesn’t mean it hasn’t sown a seed. You may assume one editorial feature didn’t turn the dial but on aggregate, it will. 

5 PR is part of a wider marketing funnel

PR is one of a variety of important marketing tactics for a growing business and as with all options, they work best if they can be used together and not in a silo. Therefore, while you might not be able to attribute direct sales to editorial coverage, PR does work in tandem with other marketing tactics to build your brand’s reputation and credibility over the long term, all of which drives sales. 

6 Not every product is a cult product

Cult products sell very fast and customers are likely to purchase them without interacting with many different touchpoints. However, most products aren’t cult items, so they involve a longer purchase journey. PR is an important element of this journey but it can’t be directly traced.  Cult products can be built via PR but it needs a big hit moment.

7 You don’t have website analytics set up

Without Google Analytics set up, you won’t be able to see from which platforms are driving customers to your website. Setting up analytic tools will show you if customers are arriving at your site from digital editorial articles on top-tier websites, proving the value of your PR efforts. 

PR is an important channel for customers to discover your brand as it is the only marketing that can reach all of the variety of touchpoints (magazines, newsletters, podcasts, speaking events, gifting etc.) building up that drumbeat of awareness. Think public relations rather than just press relations to open out your options when it comes to building up your PR.  

DM us if you’d like some further help to master your own PR, email

We know PR can bring significant value to your business. We’ve explored some of them below. 

1 Build your credibility

Journalists writing for leading newspapers and magazines are considered trusted tastemakers by their readers. When these journalists include your brand in their articles, they endorse your brand, helping readers trust you. 

2 Afford you a press page on your website

Achieving editorial coverage allows you to create a press page on your website with the logos and links of well-known titles featuring you. This gives your brand great credibility in the eyes of existing and prospective customers. 

3 Support SEO with ‘pure’ editorial links

When top-tier newspaper and magazine websites link directly to your website, search engines consider this a vote of confidence in your website. As such, they deem your website more trustworthy and of higher quality, helping you rise up the organic search engine page results. 

4 Enhance your brand awareness

By securing editorial coverage in the publications your audience regularly reads, your brand and its messaging will be seen more frequently. This helps you become top of mind when potential customers decide to spend. 

5 Increase the likelihood of new customers discovering you

Combined together, PR tactics such as securing editorial coverage and sharing products with people of influence create more touchpoints and opportunities for prospective customers to discover you. 

6 Allow you to take part in cultural trends

Only by shaping your reputation in the public domain through PR will you be able to make your brand culturally relevant, increasing the likelihood that your audience will choose you over a competitor. 

7 Become talked about

Ultimately, PR is about driving conversations around your brand. The more your brand is talked about among your target customers, the more likely they are to shop with you when the time is right for them to purchase. 

If you’d like to master your own PR, email

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