Media monitoring – what is it worth?

July 5, 2006 at 8:11 am 3 comments

Prompted by a client asking me to look at how they evalute their media relations, I’ve been examining closer at the whole media monitoring subject. I’ve followed the debate on the new media monitoring system proposed in Canada (called “PR Measurement” “MRP” – it’s actually PRess monitoring and not Public Relations measurement) and I see that K D Paine has some wise comments in this area. What do I think? – the amount of time, budget and resources spent on media monitoring is completely out of proportion. For me, media monitoring is an indication of efficiency (number of messages placed, supported and received) and not an indication of effectiveness (did our message reach our given audiences and change knowledge, attitudes or behaviour).

Instead of spending time to manually analyse clips or budgets to pay for monitoring software, I would prefer to see media relations professionals tackling the harder questions – what was the effect of a given media campaign on their target audiences? Media monitoring conducted jointly with surveying target audiences is an interesting solution.

This can work particularly well with targeted campaigns; my colleagues at Benchpoint in the UK recently did a joint media analysis (with Mantra International) on the retail sector linked with surveys of the target audience (customers). The problem of isolating the effect of a given media campaign/event/activity is not simple as I have written about previously but at least – at a minimum – you will have indications as to the influence of the different media and be able to make reasonable assumptions – with supporting evidence – about your media work and its impact.

There are interesting developments in this area which I will write further about in the coming days.


Entry filed under: Media analysis & monitoring, PR evaluation.

Special issue focusing on public relations measurement and evaluation Media monitoring – what is it worth? Part 2

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. David Jones  |  July 5, 2006 at 1:47 pm

    Hi, Glenn. Let me clarify a few things regarding the Media Relations Rating Points system and the PR Measurement blog.

    Our system is called MRP and not PR Measurement. The MRP system does exactly as you say. Gives you a way to measure the efficiency of your media coverage outputs.

    The PR Measurement blog is something that the Canadian PR Society’s MRP committee set up to further the discussion and debate about PR measurement as a whole and to point MRP users at and hopefully draw in measurement experts like you to further the conversation about measurement in PR.

    MRPs are not the end game of measurement. They are a simple tool to allow for some rigor in “measuring efficiency” as so many practitioners do it in so many different ways. The next step of analysis and measurement of that coverage’s impact on your business is clearly what’s needed if we’re going to advance as an industry.

  • 2. Glenn  |  July 6, 2006 at 8:07 am

    Hi David, thank you for clarifying those points. I didn’t realise your blog prmeasurement had a broader agenda – looking at the “About” page I see a clear focus on the MRP system. Regardless, the debate and questions that are generated by the blog are certainly a valuable contribution to the ongoing discussion on PR evaluation.

  • 3. David Jones  |  July 6, 2006 at 11:00 pm

    It’s true the about section does focus on MRP. I’ll need to clarify that.


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