Posts filed under ‘Media analysis & monitoring’

Linking Media Coverage to Business Outcomes

Can we show a link between media coverage and desired business outcomes? A new study (pdf) from the US-based Institute for Public Relations has some interesting case studies that in several instances illustrate corresponding trends between increased media coverage and a desired business outcome occurring.

For example, they speak of a campaign on the importance of mammograms with the desired business outcome being an increase in the number of relevant medical procedures undertaken. Looking at the number of articles published on the issue and comparing it to the number of medical procedures, a correlation seems to exist. This can be seen in the above graph which shows in blue the number of press articles on the issues and in red the number of medical procedures undertaken (over 2 years in the US).

The authors of the study readily admit that they are making a jump in assuming “cause and effect” but what they are looking for is a “preponderance of evidence” that supports a correlation between media coverage and business outcomes.

What I find interesting is the jump from an output measure (clips) to a business outcome. Further, that they were able to find communication campaigns where a clear link was made between communication objectives and business objectives – as often there is a large gap between these two elements.

Read the full study “Exploring the Link Between Volume of Media Coverage and Business Outcomes”(pdf) By Angela Jeffrey, APR, Dr. David Michaelson, and Dr. Don W. Stacks


November 15, 2006 at 9:50 pm 4 comments

Metrics: You are what you measure!

An interesting post from the Metrics Man on the “Media Measurement Catch-22” as he puts it. His main point is that “you are what you measure”, in other words, you will focus you efforts on achieving the metrics you set, and further:

If all you measure is media relations (primarily clip tonnage), that is how the PR profession will be valued.

Read the full post and if you are interested to learn more about the concept of metrics and how they influence our work efforts, consult the Hauser and Katz paper “Metrics: You are what you measure!” (pdf)


November 1, 2006 at 9:45 pm Leave a comment

Media monitoring to behaviour changes

Can we make the logical step to “output” with media monitoring – measuring changes to knowledge, behaviour or attitudes? With traditional media monitoring we cannot. And that’s the missing link of most media monitoring – how can we tell if the media exposure led to a change with a given audience? Polling of audiences and making an informed assumption linking their media use with changes observed is possible – but cost and complexity are the main deterrents for many organisations.

But with the online environment, there are some interesting developments in the ability to link media exposure with an actual behaviour change of an audience. Take this example: people who read an article online and then link to it in their blog have made a behaviour change – a simple example. If we could show the path from media exposure to the triggering of thoughts, comments, actions and ideas we are heading in the “outcome” direction. David Phillips of Leaverwealth blog is working in this area and is developing software to summarise content of RSS feeds under subject headings and show the path to the original stories and posts. This uses a statistical/mathematical technique, Latent Semantic Analysis which extracts and represents the similarity of meaning of words and passages. Now, that’s much more valuable than clip counting.


July 11, 2006 at 5:39 am 3 comments

Media monitoring – what is it worth? Part 2

Some further thoughts on media monitoring:

Michael Blower at the Media evaluation blog writes about audience reaction to the media as an “outtake” indicator with the new “BBC most popular stories” tool:

“For too long media content analysis has been driven by media output. This new tool makes it possible to do something which, up to now has been an expensive luxury – see an exact measure of media out-take.”

I find this a refreshing point of view from a media evaluator, moving the focus from “output” to “outtake”. If we consider “outtake” to mean understanding, reaction and favourability to a message, such website tools can provide a feedback – albeit not complete – on this level of measurement. I guess there must be a web-based tool that can collate and prioritise the popularity of news stories (based on visitor traffic) from the main news sites. Googletrends does this with search results and links it to news stories as I wrote about previously, a step in this direction. Of course we have to factor in the limitations of web metrics including pass-word protected content of news sites.


July 7, 2006 at 12:23 pm Leave a comment

Media monitoring – what is it worth?

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.


July 5, 2006 at 8:11 am 3 comments

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