Univeral Amplifier

Universal Amplifier

Amplifying the topics that power today's PR professional

Media Measurement: Impact, not Just Values

Historically, media metrics have measured the dollar amount of a placement as if it were advertising. They’re very useful in determining what the cost would have been had you been paying for advertising. However, media values are actually just one piece of the puzzle – they do little to demonstrate the TRUE impact of a particular placement. A good impact score allows you to improve the dissemination of your company’s information across a broad swath of media by showing you exactly where your strengths and weaknesses lie, allowing you to then adjust your strategy.

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Here are some factors to take into consideration when trying to glean the true impact of your media footprint:

  • Tone/Sentiment – Favorability matters. The publicity value of your placement might be $1M, but if that article mentions you in an unfavorable way it surely offsets that $1M worth of visibility by the damage it can inflict. In an era when something as innocuous as a Reddit post can create a public relations nightmare, regularly monitoring your tone across diverse sources of media is crucial – just ask Applebee’s
  • Qualitative Drivers – Sure, you might be mentioned in the New York Times. But is it the coverage you want the world to see? Say you need to highlight your new green initiatives in the press, for example. If you’re only tracking media values, or even number of mentions, you won’t be able to measure the impact of those initiatives with media values alone – quantitative metrics don’t tell you what the article is “about.” A metric that incorporates a score for hitting your qualitative drivers is one that shows whether or not your campaign is succeeding.
  • Publication importance – A score that takes into consideration the readership/viewership of an outlet is more complete than one that doesn’t. You might be hitting all of your qualitative drivers and you might be described favorably, but is your coverage being seen by anyone? The true PR value of targeting major, national news outlets for your coverage is not accurately measured in dollars, but in impact. Just ask Discover Boating, whose PR efforts are like a rising tide literally lifting all boats in the marine industry by aggressively pitching stories to outlets like CBS and Fox.

Tone, qualitative drivers, and publication importance are the bedrocks of understanding your media’s true impact. You might be able to get media values from your metrics, but you’re not necessarily getting insight. True insight comes from a comprehensive and rigorous analysis that includes a measure of your media impact.

Check your methodology to see if you have accounted for these factors, and give us a call. We’re always happy to talk reliable PR Measurement. Also, leave your comments with any key qualitative measures you like to track.

2 Comments on “Media Measurement: Impact, not Just Values”

  1. 1 Drew said at 1:02 pm on February 15th, 2013:

    Insightful comments. Great article!

  2. 2 Andy said at 3:31 pm on February 15th, 2013:

    Very interesting! Some things I never even considered with our PR measurement. I think I am going to fire our current company and go with Universal!

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