Let's get real. Your coverage did not “Reach” 2 Billion people.

CoverageBook's Estimated Coverage Views explained.

James Alexander

“It's a big gripe of mine seeing PR saying potential reach is X million or even X billion people. As a brand manager and allocator of budget, you can't take a lot from 'reach data'. We like using the 'Estimated Coverage Views' metric in CoverageBook. It's more realistic which means it's easier for me to compare PR against other areas of marketing”

James Alexander, Head of Culture & Entertainment, PR & Influencer Marketing, Diageo

A fictional, but depressingly common real world conversation...

PR pro:

We just got coverage on x publication!! Go us. Let’s share with the client right now. They’re going to love it...


Awesome news. I’ve never heard of that publication/influencer. How many people read/follow that publication or social account?

PR pro:

20 million uniques a month!


Cool. So can we expect to reach 20 million people to see the page we got coverage on? Our traffic is going to go nuts right?

PR pro:

Mmmmm. Not sure. But 20 million uniques a month right!


That’s not really answering my question. What are the chances all 20 million readers will actually see our coverage amongst all the other stuff they publish?

PR pro:

Mmmm. 20 million uniques a month? Opportunities to see, reach, mmmmm UNIQUES! (mumbles to self...) Oh just be happy with 20 million! I don’t have access to this publication’s analytics. How am I supposed to know how many people might see just that article?!


I don’t think 20 million people will see this coverage. That seems unrealistic to me. I’m not sure I trust what you’re telling me. I get you don’t have access to the exact number of people that read or saw the post. Can you estimate it? This numbers seem kind of ridiculous.

PR pro:

20 million uniques......I need help...

CoverageBook estimated coverage views metric

Introducing CoverageBook's ‘Estimated Coverage Views’ metric.

As well as publisher monthly traffic figures, we’ll also predict how many people could see your coverage clip and social posts over their ‘life-time’.

Our unique and popular ‘estimated view’ formula considers the article placement, the size and influence of the site and how many shares the clip has received on social networks.

Reliable reach numbers you can be proud of.

FAQs on how this all works...

How does CoverageBook know how many people will read a specific page or post?

We don’t. The only people that would have some idea is the publication or social account owner. Only they have access to stats on how many people saw a page or social post. Even then most analytics tools will miss people who are using blocking tracking tech. i.e. more people than you think.

This makes it hard for people who work in earned media to share how many people saw coverage. You could try asking every publication and influencer you get coverage on to share their page / post level analytics with you. Which quite frankly is not going to happen. This is very much unlike paid media teams who can tell you how many impressions an ad got. Jealous? Don’t be.

There is a way to estimate it. Using what we do know.

  • How many people follow, subscribe or read that publication (outlet) you got coverage on?
  • Where on that site did the coverage feature? The homepage? Somewhere else?
  • How many people socially engaged with the page or post that included the coverage? How could this amplify + help reach more potential readers?
  • What is normal for social engagement based on different audience sizes & platforms? Using our own data + published research studies. E.g. RivalHQ’s excellent annual benchmarks survey shows us that people with higher follower count numbers tend on average to reach a lower % of their followers with each post. People with fewer followers reach a higher % of their followers.
  • What do published academic studies say about share dynamics? We have factored in some learnings from some excellent research studies.
So Estimated Coverage Views is a guess?

Yes. It’s an educated prediction of how many people are likely to read the article or social post. We’ve been working on this algorithm for 5 years now. It’s getting better and better. And we have a huge & growing coverage data set to benchmark & adjust from. We believe it’s a step in the right direction to giving you a more credible view on the awareness impact of your coverage. We’d still very much encourage you to explore other measures of impact.

Do you provide estimated views for social posts?

Yes. We now support Twitter, Instagram, Twitch and FaceBook posts. We hope to add support for LinkedIn and Medium soon.

I’ve been asked to benchmark earned media awareness with paid channels. Will this help?

In short yes. Paid teams will tend to talk in terms of “ad impressions”. So if you’re looking to compare your earned media with paid. You can compare the estimated coverage views from your coverage with the numbers of impressions generated from paid media campaigns. For extra brownie points you could even work out how much you invested to achieve those earned media impressions. To get to a cost per 1000 impressions. That’s a typical approach to measuring ROI from paid media.

What do you mean by 'prediction'?

When you add coverage we’ll generate a prediction of how many people are likely to view it. Ever. So if it’s just gone live the number may look big. But note that we are attempting to estimate how many people might see it over its lifetime. Of course most social posts & articles have a fairly short lifespan in terms of the attention they can attract. We have attempted to factor this into our algorithm.

Isn't this just another made up metric?!

Yes. but...it’s heart is in the right place. PR teams have a bad reputation & habit of sharing huge reach numbers as the sole impact of their work. By encouraging teams to move to Estimated coverage views as an alternative it’s one more step towards bringing some credibility and realism back to PR metrics. For some it’s become a valuable “proxy metric” to benchmark their work. Something to give a high level overview of coverage or campaigns that are working or not working. And dig deeper. Of course we’d love to see more teams looking to demonstrate actual impact. Revenue. Changes in opinion. Use this excellent resource from AMEC to help guide you.

Daniel Brewer

“Coveragebook allows me to record results in an accurate, consistent and presentable fashion, providing legitimate stats at the click of a button and saving me hours each month.”

Daniel Brewer, Performance Comms

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