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Evaluating the media: October 2006

PR geekiness - the tools & techniques to gain insights from PR exposure

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Advertising slant on PR measurement

At a meeting with some people from the advertising industry I attempted to explain the chalenge of PR measurement. They were happy with idea of measuring their media – when you advertise if the sales go out it was a success; great result….cause and effect linkage.

With PR it’s all a bit different and success is less quantifiable and the impacts often intangible. Its really difficult to represent PR’s ability to get a bad news story dropped when measuring featured coverage? Often PR is a long-term thing and efforts take time to bare fruit, much in the same way that a relationship builds.

Media evaluation is about finding a way of representing the efforts of the PR function. Commonly this is by measuring media output as this is the most likely PR output. However getting lots of coverage is not the key requirement and the real target for PR is the enhancement of reputation.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

AVE comment in PR Week

Good to see that our fellow CIPR Partner PR Week has run an item on PR Measurement this week which has told us that 74% of PR people now use evaluation compared to 38% two years ago (research from Metrica). The catch is that the use of AVE’s has increased - by 10% in two years and is not far off being used by half of the respondents.

I really feel this is an issue which needs to be sorted out – is it healthy for the industry to use a metric so widely discredited?

There are times when I just want to say that as this is the most widely recognized and adopted measure which reflects the many quantitative factors associated with media coverage, why don’t we just hi-jack the whole data stream and rename it PR value?

Unfortunately many of the PR and measurement grandees have gone too far in the opposite direction leaving almost half the industry to feel ostracised with their ‘flawed’ practices.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Traditional media fights back

It seems the case with all things, but no sooner has a survey conclusively proved a point then another (in this case two days later) proves exactly the opposite. The case in hand relate to the previous posting and the increasing importance of online as a method of news collection. But now Lexis-Nexis has found that during national events people turn firstly to television, radio and the press, before online sources.

The study found that half of the respondents said they would refer to the television during news events, while 42% would refer to the radio. One quarter would refer to the Internet as a source of news and 6% would refer to blogs and other user generated news sources.

eMarketeer.com covering the report featured the comment "In the future, more than half (52%) of the consumers surveyed anticipate they will continue to mostly trust and rely on traditional news sources," Lexis-Nexis reported. "However, more than a third (35%) expect they will trust and rely on both emerging news and traditional news in the future, and more than one in ten (13%) anticipate they will trust and rely mostly on emerging media."
The report did indicate that for everyday news and entertainment stories online news sources are expected to increase in importance. For those who thought that printed newspapers would soon be replaced by their online version it is notable to consider the most recent research by Pew Research Centre for People and the Press which found that for the crucial age bracket 18-29 a firth of respondents read a printed newspaper compared to 7% who looked at the online version.

Obviously news credibility is still a factor and when there are stories of national importance the traditional media is where people will look.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It's official - more time spent online than reading the press!

So the last it looks like the inevitable has happened. The BBC today covered a story about a Jupiter Research study which has found that people in western Europe spend more time online than they do reading their newspapers and magazines.

This really is something which the PR community needs to appreciate and embrace. Undoubtably there are many within the industry who fully appreciate the importance of online exposure and there are also specialist agencies which will only deal with online public relations. However online exposure is viewable by almost all sectors of society, meaning that when you are assigning resources to target different media there will be a mismatch if you do not fairly consider online sources.

Research undertaken by Media Evaluation Research in their recent White Paper highlighted the priorities which PR gives to different media. From this sample it was found that press was almost universally regarded as the most important media source. The research results by Jupiter are saying that the public take a different view and if you equate time spent reading from the source as a measure of importance then online sources are the leading influencer.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Evaluating the press to make you millions

Every weekday morning I try and not dose through the business news on Radio 5 Live Wake Up to Money, and this morning I caught a snippet on a US firm of stock brokers choosing their share investments based on the favourability of their press headlines. It sounded like an interesting idea and worth further investigations. I went to Listen Again on the BBC’s site and found it was in the newspaper review section and was from an article in the Times. I looked on the Times website and couldn’t find it and so resorted to going and buying a copy. Not since my press-cuttings days have I been so thorough and even resorted to a scan of Factiva, but its source continues to allude me.

It’s a funny world trying to track back to the sources in the media – not always that easy, even though you presume the technology has to make it fail safe. I have now emailed the show and if I can establish any additional details I will update you.