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Evaluating the media: Just emptied the bath...arhh where's the baby gone?

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

Friday, February 12, 2010

Just emptied the bath...arhh where's the baby gone?

I like a lot of stuff included in the COI's Standardisation of PR Evaluation Metrics document. In particularly I like the idea of the cost per reader/listener/viewer and how this takes the value of the campaign and divides it by the number of thousand audience. A nice clean revenue to return comparison which with widespread adoption and best practice could become one of the preferred forms of PR measurement. My only possible concern is that it will involve a degree of budgetary disclose which some may be uncomfortable with.

However my big headache is with 'Reach', or as it also seems to get called 'Impact'. Now I might be just being a bit slow but it makes reference to this being as a proportion of target audience, ie how many people reached within a certain target audience. Take an example. My target audience is pregnant women in Newcastle. I choose the wrong day to run my story and only get one item in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle. I can't find on their site how many pregnant reader they have; though it might be privileged information...

This is my problem with target audiences. They are a wonderful concept but I can't see how you can get them unless you undertake expensive MR. I admit I don't know very much about TGI but I suspect they won't be able to tell me much about pregnant women's reading habits in Newcastle!

Hence the title of this post- evaluation techniques are evolving and whilst many measures are flawed they have currency for their legacy. The COI document refers to a candid approach to methodology. If people are expected to adopt new techniques it needs to be clearly communicated, its worth explained, along with the processes and sources required.


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