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Evaluating the media: December 2006

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

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Are AVE’s and OTS becoming outdated?

Acronyms apart (and PR seems to love them) there is a view that these measures of output are becoming increasingly out dated and irrelevant. Jim McNamara pioneered the concept of output, outtake and outcome, probably one of the most incisive observations on the world of media measurement, although it often seems like organisations have become entrenched in the measurement of output only.

Sure it’s relevant, but in an increasingly online dominated world the difficulties with establishing accurate audience and value data is making output measurement fundamentally unsound.

Instead, organisations interested in data driven PR will need to look beyond simple output and consider the measurement of outtake. Tools like the BBC’s News Most Popular Now indicates a comparison of the stories people are opening and reading (a metric which would be almost impossible to get for newspapers). Other tools which exist include tracking a stories usage within the blogosphere as a measure of media buzz, in addition to a track on other consumer generated media.

The internet posses many challenges to PR measurement. It also presents new opportunities and I am optimistic that the community will embrace the potential of this new environment to the eventual benefit of PR.

Very happy Christmas, one and all!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

PR regulation

The favoured worst case scenario is again raising its ugly head in the form of regulation of the PR industry. The FT ran an item this morning on an FSA investigation into 4 mergers this year to see if there was any signs of insider trading. Two of the obvious characteristics of today’s deals are their increasing value and the number of people involved. Keeping share-sensitive information confidential is imperative and as Mark Shipman a professional investor said on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Wake up to Money this morning, the regulation of parties involved including the PR element could become a reality.

Self-regulation has been seen by many as the best model for the sector and if there is any sign of impropriety involving a PR firm then would this not be most suitably dealt with via the CIPR’s new found teeth?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Future Media

It is often said that the move to new media is being ignored by many in PR. On the 8th December the CIPR hosted a round table discussion chaired by Colin Farringdon and David Phillips.

It is easy enough to say that less people are reading newspapers and more are getting their news online, but the main point of the discussion was to understand what that means, particularly for those in PR.

Larry Weber from Racepoint Group made the point that it would be in about 18 months time (mid 2008) when online/new media would no longer be in the minority in comparison to traditional media. In other words, the majority media in a year and a half will be online and the traditional mainstream newspaper and TV stations will be in the minority.

Blogs are a thing which can make anyone a journalist and in principle everyone has an equal chance of being heard. PR’s role is to struggle to get their client heard. Into this new media world, where all the rules are different, it is difficult not to think it will be a bigger struggle and it will be good content that will win out.