Measuring the Impact of ESG Comms with Readership

Eva Casher, Insights Manager

August 2nd, 2023

ESG comms can be really hard to navigate. Especially for brands that aren’t used to telling those types of narratives. With the rise of ESG comms, emerges a new media landscape that our customers lean on readership to navigate. Here are 4 ways we’ve helped our customers measure the impact of ESG comms.

1. Understanding how ESG readership compares to industry peers

Our customers are typically looking to understand how their own ESG coverage compares to their competitors. Aside from measuring the number of mentions, seeing how many people are actually reading coverage tells our customer comms teams if they are actually driving awareness around the work they’re doing.

What percentage of your total readership is driven by ESG initiatives? How does readership of different initiatives compare (for you and for your competition)? What would it cost to drive the same amount of traffic to one of your product pages? (You can learn more about Memo Readership Value.) These are all questions we help our customers answer on a regular basis so they can focus their media strategies and contribute true success metrics to the ESG projects they support.

In a study of over 700 ESG articles about sustainability in 2022, Memo’s Insights team found that across 3 major technology companies, one brand was outperforming its competition in volume and readership. Yet, its competitors were gaining traction when it came to readership around sustainability initiatives.

2. Uncovering sentiment around ESG projects and the brands that launch them

Brands can sometimes catch some heat for empty promises, soft metrics, and vague attempts at accountability when it comes to ESG efforts. Our customers frequently use readership to see if the public engages with positive or negative coverage.

In a study of nearly 500 ESG articles about plastic recycling in early 2023 for a computer manufacturer, Memo’s Insights team found that readership suggested that consumers were most interested in sustainability from lifestyle and purchasing behavior perspective.

3. Seeing what ESG projects and technologies attract the most readers for brands

Some of the biggest brands in the world launch several ESG initiatives (sometime within a single quarter). Understanding what ESG topics drive readership as a whole and what topics are driving readership for their brand can uncover what piques consumer interest most, providing valuable guidance on what ESG messaging they company should double down on.

In a study of over 300 ESG articles in 2022 for a healthcare brand and its competitors, Memo’s Insights team found that consumers were most interested in reading about equity. The topic had the second highest overall readership and higher average readership compared to sustainability. General ESG coverage, which included ESG criticism, company ratings, and ESG investing, saw the highest average readership at 10K.

4. Identifying the reporters and publications that drive readership

What reporters and publications drive readership for your ESG initiatives or general ESG coverage? PR teams are usually dipping their toes into a new media landscape when it comes to ESG. Identifying publications and reporters in the space attracting the highest readership can help them develop targeted PR strategies for future campaigns. Memo developed an entire ESG reporter database for just that.


Readership can reveal a lot about what is important to consumers in regards to ESG. By looking at overall coverage, readership by topic, sentiment, and average readership, brands can better understand the full impact of their own ESG efforts, how their messaging stacks up to competitors, and ROI around big initiatives.

Learn more about Memo’s approach to PR measurement.

Book a demo today to see what Memo can do for you

First name(Required)
Last name(Required) is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy, and we’ll only use your personal information to administer your account and to provide the products and services you requested from us.
Agree to communications

You can unsubscribe from these communications at any time.

By clicking submit below, you consent to allow to store and process the personal information submitted above to provide you the content requested.