Sunday, October 18, 2009

Measuring media there a perfect solution or just "make do"?

We measure media results several ways. I've shared some of them below. We're still searching for that perfect solution however, and very open to new and improved ways of measuring success.

There's no point talking measurement if the goal of media relations isn't clear. For the most part we find a typical institution or firm in financial services wants to either overcome an issue or build their profile - in order to deliver better business results.

Some examples include:
- Creating a positive reputation in consumer media that accurately reflects a fund's ethos and member offer    
- Generating coverage that helps establish an asset manager's credentials among potential mandate clients
- Eliminating or redressing media perceptions (and continued reporting) that an organisation is less than committed to the market or a sector
- Generating greater understanding of the depth of expertise.

Knowing the end goal we can have a more constructive conversation about how to measure progress towards it.
Number of articles
There's the simple (and not elegant) count - number of articles. Yes, our clients are still very interested in sheer volume. It's an effective albeit crude measure of the effectiveness of public relations activity, particularly over time. Each year we can show most clients who are looking for proactive, brand-building coverage, an increase in the previous year's number of articles. Bearing in mind all these articles are positive, it's one way to track whether or not we have 'momentum' for a client.

Content analysis
This is really the only way to work out the overall tone (positive, neutral, negative) and focus (key messages or not?) of coverage. Unfortunately it's also time consuming and therefore expensive. Many financial services executives on limited budgets would rather have their consultancy spend time generating coverage than analysing the content - depending of course on volumes and how many issues are being managed.

Proactive versus reactive calls/activity
It's all very well us making all the calls, but we really know you have an effective media profile when the journos call you. This isn't an end game in itself - it's just a lead indicator, or input KPI, that tells us all whether   our client is achieving a level of media interest that's self-sustaining.

Impressions - ideally target audience
Advertising agencies make very good use of measures like TARPs - target audience rating points. We track potential impressions using a methodology developed inhouse. Since we started tracking impressions we've seen some extraordinary results - so much so that some clients don't want to spend limited marketing dollars on advertising because their public and media relations efforts are far more cost effective at generating impressions among the target audience.

Advertising has an important place in the marketing mix, and always will. It's just that increasingly we find financial services institutions want to push more of a message out to their audiences than an ad can deliver. This is particularly true in Australia's highly intermediated retail and institutional wealth management sector.

Reputation studies
Media opinions do seem to lead onto reporting tone. And reporting tone does influence clients or consumers, investors and shareholders, business partners and employees. I tend to think if we're not measuring both the audience's perceptions and the intermediaries' (such as media and bloggers) perceptions then we probably don't have full information about exactly how (or whether) media relations efforts are having the desired impact.

Any thoughts out there on the Holy Grail of media coverage measurement?

1 comment:

  1. Dear,
    I want to make 1 guest post in your site, if you permit me. The post contains 350 words above and it is totally unique as it is written by my content writers.

    Please contact me at ericasmith568(at) soon. Moreover, I will place your link in one of my finance sites.

    Erica Smith


Thanks for reading. Constructive and relevant comments welcome!