Media Measurement

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Fresh Ideas from BurrellesLuce. Although we’re at the forefront of PR - leading innovation in media monitoring and measurement - we don’t know it all. That’s why we are out there exploring and learning alongside you. Fresh Ideas from BurrellesLuce gathers our resident experts and industry insider guest bloggers to share their thoughts on media, public relations, and marketing and provide you with a place to share ideas about what matters most to you. Together we can ensure breakthrough communications.
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Measurement Week Interviews: Kim Stokes

Sep 19, 2014

flickr user Iain Watson under CC BY

This week is AMEC’s International Measurement Week, and to honor it, we reached out to some of the top measurement experts to get their take on measurement dos and don’ts, common mistakes, and how they found themselves a member of the Measurati. Check out our latest newsletter for measurement insights from 11 other experts in the field.

Let’s hear from today’s featured expert, Kim Stokes, managing director of digital and social media and deputy director of digital integration at Marina Maher Communications.

What is your “measurement moment,” the time you knew your career was becoming measurement-focused? 

I conducted a conversation landscape analysis on behalf of a client which revealed such a telling nuance in the organic conversation that they changed their whole marketing strategy around a specific product.

What is your proudest measurement moment? 

I think I have had consistent moments of “aha” – both among my team and with clients when we have been able to cull great insights from social media driven data.

What is your most important piece of measurement advice?

Don’t use measurement just to measure results – measure all the time, particularly in advance of planning and then to course correct along the way.

What’s the most common measurement mistake you encounter?   

Thinking of measurement as something to look at retrospectively.  If you use data correctly, it can be predictive.

Tell us a breakthrough story, in which you took your client from metrics to KPIs. 

I had a client that was very hesitant to have a social media presence, as they didn’t feel that their core audience was engaging in social media channels.  We conducted an audit of the online conversation and we discovered how far behind they were against their competitors.  More importantly, we identified white space for them to own as thought leaders.

What do you see as measurement’s biggest challenge ahead?

The platforms, algorithms and audience behavior changes by the minute.  You have to stay on your toes, and even when you do you can be thrown for a loop.  The best you can do is respect data for its amorphous and ever changing nature.

Bonus question: You just won the lottery. What’s your dream job?

I am in it. Although speaking Mandarin and dancing salsa every day would be the icing on the cake.

Categories: Media Measurement

Measurement Week Interviews: Lisa Binzel

Sep 18, 2014

flickr user Quinn Dombrowski under CC BY

This week is AMEC’s International Measurement Week, and to honor it, we reached out to some of the top measurement experts to get their take on measurement dos and don’ts, common mistakes, and how they found themselves a member of the Measurati. Check out our latest newsletter for measurement insights from 11 other experts in the field.

Let’s hear from today’s featured expert, Lisa Binzel, vice president at Edelman Berland, who has managed media measurement programs for nearly 15 years.

What is your “measurement moment,” the time you knew your career was becoming measurement-focused? 

I was working in the Research & Information Center at H&K in DC.  We had been working for a corporate entity involved in one those “David vs. Goliath” situations. Our client was Goliath … but all the client was seeing was big binders of clips that looked like great coverage. This was a VERY long time ago (cut & paste days), so as I labored over those clip books I could see from the articles that our client was getting hammered in the media.

The “David” had a lot of the discussion advocating their position on this issue that impacted consumers. I just thought it was so interesting that all the account team was interested in doing was sending big clip binders. About that time, I read an article about Katie Paine and the work she was doing – I think it was with the Department of Energy.  I was intrigued. I was in Washington, her company was in New Hampshire … where my family lived. I cold-called looking for a job … and a few months later I was on my way to Portsmouth, NH working for Katie and The Delahaye Group, where I quickly learned it was definitely NOT all about big clip binders!

What is your proudest measurement moment? 

I’ve been blessed to have many. I was fortunate to count several large tech companies among my clients in my early measurement days.  Quarterly presentations of results in Silicon Valley were the norm. The lessons I learned through those presentations – often to groups of 6-10 senior communications managers – was invaluable.  For one: always know everything about any negative coverage – even if it accounts for less than 2 percent of your client’s coverage. Trust me, they will ask.

Second: candy helps. Sometimes presentations can be long and it helps to have your audience awake with a little sugar buzz!  And never take for granted why you’re there. I had been presenting to one client for two years – every six months. During one presentation the most senior executive in the Comms function joined. Midway through the first set of slides he asked – in all seriousness: “Remind me again why we do this measurement stuff? What am I supposed to get out this information?”  Definitely NOT a question I was expecting – but answered through a rapidly beating heart.

What is your most important piece of measurement advice? 

Don’t let it get too complicated and don’t try to do too much with one measurement program, trying to please many audiences. In the end, no one will be happy.  For one of my tech clients, we set up a coding scheme that was very complex – but was meant to provide all the nuance the client was looking for. When the data was coming back, we realized there were problems. It was Katie Paine who took a look at what we were trying to do and said, “You’re crazy … your target audience does NOT read coverage that way, so you are wasting your time trying to make the analysts represent the target audience will all this coding!”

What’s the most common measurement mistake you encounter?

People seeking to measure “awareness” by doing media analysis. Coverage in the media will show you the *exposure* of your story … but it will NOT confirm levels of awareness; for that you need a stakeholder survey.

Tell us a breakthrough story, in which you took your client from metrics to KPIs.

I have a global technology provider making that journey right now. We conducted three phases of research last summer/fall. Phase 1 looked to evaluate best practices in measuring KPIs – what industry experts were advocating. The work of AMEC on the Valid Metrics Framework was a central part of our findings.

We also looked at what other similarly-sized companies – both in tech and other industries – were currently doing for measurement. We interviewed account leads on several large Edelman clients as well as some non-client organizations. The third phase involved interviewing key executives and staff across the global network of the client to uncover what, if any, measurement they were doing and what was on their “wish list” for showing the success of their programs.

Synthesizing all that research led to KPI recommendations and a pilot program. The implementation phase that was to kick off in Q1 this year was put on hold as the company went through some reorganization and revisited its communications priorities in light of a changing marketplace. Calls and meetings are underway now to restart the implementation of KPI tracking across both regional headquarters and local subsidiaries. Check back with me in six months and I hope to have an update for you.

What do you see as measurement’s biggest challenge ahead?  

With the explosion and growth of social/digital media, communications professionals are faced with much more content to monitor, track and measure. Finding the right balance (and budget) appears to be a challenge for many of my clients.

Bonus question: You just won the lottery. What’s your dream job?

Twenty years ago I would have said “choreographer for the Rockettes or the Super Bowl halftime show” … now I’m inclined to say “successful advocate for our military veterans.”

Categories: Media Measurement

Measurement Week Interviews: Frank Ovaitt

Sep 16, 2014

flickr user Pink Sherbet Photography under CC BY

Measurement Week Interviews: Frank Ovaitt

 This week is AMEC’s International Measurement Week, and to honor it, we reached out to some of the top measurement experts to get their take on measurement dos and don’ts, common mistakes, and how they found themselves a member of the Measurati. Check out our latest newsletter for measurement insights from 11 other experts in the field.

Let’s hear from today’s featured expert, Frank Ovaitt, president and CEO of Institute for Public Relations. Among his long list of achievements and executive positions, Ovaitt is a member of the PR News Measurement Hall of Fame, was an adjunct professor of applied public relations and public affairs research at George Washington University, and was awarded the David Ferguson Award for contributions to PR education by a practitioner by the PRSA Educators Academy.

What is your “measurement moment,” the time you knew your career was becoming measurement-focused?

Let’s call it “research focused,” which includes not just measurement but a whole lot more in terms of the knowledge we must bring to bear to be the best public relations professionals.  One of my assignments at AT&T was to build from scratch a communications team to serve a new business unit.  Since this team would be 10 people, it struck me that if one was a research person, the other nine would be so much more effective.   As in-house teams became smaller, the need had to be met in other ways, but it seems to me the one-in-ten rule is as valid as ever.

What is your proudest measurement moment?

When a hard-nosed business executive told me to put more money in my budget because he liked how we used research-based insights to create and measure our programs.

What is your most important piece of measurement advice?

Don’t think of measurement as a report card, but as a GPS that tells you if you’re making progress and if there’s a better route.  Measuring public relations always makes it better.

What’s the most common measurement mistake you encounter?

Thinking that measurement is a report card.  Who doesn’t hate waiting for a report card, good or bad?

What do you see as measurement’s biggest challenge ahead?

Continuing to educate so many new practitioners, with new skills and points of view, on what research and measurement can do for them, their work and their careers.  The Institute for Public Relations’ work to deliver the science beneath the art of public relations is never done.

Bonus question: You just won the lottery. What’s your dream job?

Owning and running a small Kentucky horse farm.  Hey, priorities change when you win the lottery!

Categories: Media Measurement

Measurement Week Interviews: Richard Bagnall

Sep 16, 2014

flickr user Randen Pedersen under CC BY

This week is AMEC’s International Measurement Week, and to honor it, we reached out to some of the top measurement experts to get their take on measurement dos and don’ts, common mistakes, and how they found themselves a member of the Measurati.

Let’s hear from today’s featured expert, Richard Bagnall, CEO at PRIME Research UK, SVP at PRIME Research Europe, and Chair of AMEC social media group. Bagnall is also the co-author of CIPR’s Share This Too books.

What is your “measurement moment,” the time you knew your career was becoming measurement-focused?

I’m a poacher turned game-keeper. Before I was working in measurement I used to be a PR practitioner gaining experience both in house and at a PR agency. It was while I was at the agency that I realised how important decent, credible metrics were for public relations.

I was standing in front of a very important client in the 1990s presenting our results which back then were based upon AVEs and other largely meaningless ‘output’ numbers.  The client started to ask me some rather awkward questions about what we had really achieved for them and I realised that the numbers I was presenting just didn’t make any sense.  The truth was I hadn’t given much thought to the meaning behind the numbers up until that point but I knew now that I had to take measurement more seriously.

What is your proudest measurement moment?

Gosh, so many!  Having built a business in the space from the early days I was fortunate to experience so many great things.  Winning important clients in tough pitches was always amazing.  But so too was watching my colleagues, many of whom had been with me since they graduated, blossom and develop into serious and accomplished measurement professionals was an incredible feeling.

And from the measurement itself perspective, nothing quite beats that feeling when a client calls you up to thank you for a job well done when the result of your work has led them to prove their value or improve their strategy successfully.

What is your most important piece of measurement advice?

Just like there isn’t, and will never be, one single number to measure the success of a communications campaign, nor is my best advice just one point. My best tip to anyone thinking about measuring their work is to follow the classic best practice approach which can’t be improved upon:

First – ensure you understand the goals of your organisation

Align your communications goals against these

Then plan you communications objectives by asking yourself what success looks like – what are the targets, what should the KPI’s be? It’s important to do this at the planning stage before the campaign, not afterwards.

Then measure the metrics that matter working through from the key outputs to outtakes to outcomes – such as the metrics chosen tell the whole story.

Finally feed the intelligence gained back into the planning stage for the next campaign. Don’t be afraid of the things that didn’t work – good measurement isn’t only for the successes, but is a strategic tool to be used to improve efficiency in all cases.

What’s the most common measurement mistake you encounter?

That an AVE is either a meaningful number or worse that it’s representative of the value of PR.  It’s neither.  Sadly despite so much hard work by so many people and organisations, the use of AVEs as a metric in our industry is still fairly common, estimated to be at use in about 50% of organisations.  It’s for this reason that ongoing educational campaigns like AMEC’s Measurement Week are so important and deserve all of our support.

Tell us a breakthrough story, in which you took your client from metrics to KPIs.

I was particularly pleased working with one of the world’s largest IT companies based in Silicon Valley on their global communications measurement programme.  Their business was vast and complex with many business units in many different sectors.  Working with their global communications leaders to help them bring clarity to their objectives and measurement programme, to create a measurement matrix and to identify some key metrics not just into KPIs but into some key numbers that their CEO wanted to see was a fabulous experience.

What do you see as measurement’s biggest challenge ahead?

Education, education and education.  As the media has diversified and proliferated and audiences have fragmented, measuring communications has got more complex, not less.  Yet there are so many SAAS platform providers in our space trying to convince clients that their one size fits all approach actually measures anything meaningful rather than is just counting stuff that’s easy to count.  AMEC’s role as a global educator of best practice in communications measurement has never been needed more – especially as the PR community is still slow at embracing CPD.

Bonus question: You just won the lottery. What’s your dream job?

Robert Parker of Parker’s Wine guides.  He gets to taste all of the world’s finest chateaus and vintages and is so powerful that his comments move markets.  What a position to be in!

 

Categories: Media Measurement

Measurement Week Interviews: David Rockland

Sep 15, 2014

Today is the first day of AMEC’s international Measurement Week, and to honor it, we reached out to some of the top measurement experts to get their take on measurement dos and don’ts, common mistakes, and how they found themselves a member of the Measurati. 

Let’s hear from today’s featured expert, David Rockland, Partner at Ketchum and Chairman of AMEC.

What is your “measurement moment,” the time you knew your career was becoming measurement-focused? 

My Ph.D. dissertation was on the economic evaluation of environmental benefits. I suppose that the measurement of things that are not easy to evaluate has always been in my blood.

What is your proudest measurement moment?

Barcelona, June 2010.  I ran the session that resulted in the Barcelona Principles. It brought together the work of probably 150 people and companies and for the first time created a consensus around the good, better, best and ugly of PR measurement.  And, my Mom happened to be in the room that afternoon, as she was coincidentally on vacation in Barcelona at the same time.  Afterwards she told me it was the first time she sort of understood what I do for a living.

What is your most important piece of measurement advice?

Set goals first.

What’s the most common measurement mistake you encounter?

Not setting goals first.

Tell us a breakthrough story, in which you took your client from metrics to KPIs.

Not sure it was a breakthrough, but at this year’s International Measurement Summit in Amsterdam, four organizations that do tremendous good in the world (i.e. UNICEF, CARE, Cleveland Clinic and the Gates Foundation) spoke of how they have adopted the Barcelona Principles. By being smarter about how the communicate they each spoke of saving lives.  Frankly, I hadn’t really thought that good measurement can lead to making the world a better place or helping kids live better lives, but it really can.

What do you see as measurement’s biggest challenge ahead?
Having PR practitioners get over the insecurity that what this field does is somehow less valuable than other forms of marketing and communications. If the sound measurement tools that already exist can be applied more completely, PR as a field can really grow a backbone.

Bonus question: You just won the lottery. What’s your dream job? 

Job? What job?  I would do something that focused on creating economic benefit from natural resource conservation; actually, this is how we manage our farm in Maryland right now.

Categories: Media Measurement

Measurement Week Interviews: Barry Leggetter

Sep 11, 2014

In honor of the AMEC’s International Measurement Week (which runs next week, September 15-19), we reached out to some of the top measurement experts to get their take on measurement dos and don’ts, common mistakes, and how they found themselves a member of the Measurati.

Our first featured expert is Barry Leggetter, CEO of the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), the founding organization of Measurement Week. Leggetter held senior roles in global public relations for more than 25 years with Porter Novelli, FleishmanHillard, and GolinHarris.

Without further ado, let’s hear from Leggetter.

What is your “measurement moment,” the time you knew your career was becoming measurement-focused?

My job interview with AMEC! I had stepped down as Chairman of an international public relations group after more than 25 years in senior roles in global PR consultancy with Porter Novelli, FleishmanHillard and GolinHarris.

In deciding what to do next, a friend said AMEC was looking for its first Executive Director. My three weeks preparing for the job interview resulted in me seeing measurement through a different “lens” – and I was hooked.

As a respected friend said to me once, “there’s no ‘obvious’ career path into measurement”. But there are opportunities! That interview when discussion swirled around the interview table about my thinking was when I knew I had measurement focus because I wanted the job.

What was your proudest measurement moment?

Coming up with the idea that became the Barcelona Principles!

I felt AMEC needed to make a breakthrough in the way it was seen. I felt this could be achieved by putting down a marker on its views why Advertising Value Equivalents was a flawed measure.

My original name for the new initiative was the Barcelona Declaration but under the inspired hand of David Rockland of Ketchum, it developed as the Barcelona Principles. It was a magical moment seeing David lead the session at our International Summit in Barcelona in 2010 where a packed audience voted to adopt the Barcelona Principles. It continues to be an industry-leading measurement framework.

What is your most important piece of measurement advice?

To regard measurement as a vital part of your client service offer and not positioned as an optional extra.

In my experience, measurement and analytics in PR are as important as strategic counsel.

Every PR consultancy wants to retain and grow its existing client base. Client confidence starts with the agency’s ability to prove its program is working. Using measurement and analytics as a routine part of the way you work will give you that proof – often in near real time – which establishes the basis of earning the client’s trust.

What is the most common measurement mistake you encounter?

Fear! There are too many PR agencies and professionals who do not take PR measurement and analytics seriously enough and I genuinely think it is the result of them being frightened of engaging. I urge them to embrace it and see the difference it will make in the confidence they have with clients, or with their senior management team. And AMEC and its members can help.

Tell us a breakthrough story, in which you took your client from metrics to KPIs.

In PR I was European lead for a major electronics company. I tried unsuccessfully for two years to win the client’s support to introduce a measurement component across the whole program.

Fast forward another year and I led the team at my new consultancy team in a re-pitch called by the same electronics company. We used KPIs to establish a Reputation Index and show the European Leadership Team data that they had not seen before. The pitch was won and KPIs were established.

Sound simplistic? Perhaps, but I make the point that it shows what a personal belief in the importance of measurement and analytics can make.

What do you see as measurement’s biggest challenge ahead?

AMEC’s challenge is to be relevant.

We have to put even more resources into our Global Education Program.

We need to continue to bring new thinking forward as we have during 2014 with AMEC’s Social Media Measurement Framework.

We need to be the organization that reflects international thinking in measurement.

When I started with AMEC seven years ago it was UK centric with 20 members. Now it is an international body with 140+ members in 40 countries. Asia Pacific, Latin America and Africa must be regarded next as the huge geographies where we need to have an impact.

Bonus question: You just won the lottery. What’s your dream job?

To write a novel and not just think about doing it!

Image courtesy of AMEC

Categories: Media Measurement

4 Essential Components of a Successful Measurement Strategy

Aug 13, 2014

flickr user Randen Pedersen under CC BY license

Measuring the impact of your PR campaigns is the most important way to figure out what’s working, strategize, and prove the benefits of public relations. Here are four things every effective media measurement strategy absolutely must have.

Financial understanding

To demonstrate the value of your position and your department to the C-suite, you must think like a CEO and focus on the contributions you make to the organization and how you’re leveraging your existing resources. This also means you need to understand the basics of how your organization makes and spends money. Acquiring this information isn’t always a simple undertaking if your company is privately owned, but the information is crucial for setting realistic, productive benchmarks and measurable objectives. Start here if you need a primer on the ins and outs of corporate finance and how they connect to PR.

A framework

Your measurement program must have a clear, cohesive framework for measuring media coverage. To have a framework, you must know your metrics, the data you will need, and how you will collect if. Two excellent frameworks specific to social media measurement are part of AMEC’s Social Media Measurement Framework User Guide, and can also start as a good guide for measuring other media components as well.

For other media, you can integrate other tools like the Balanced Scorecard, the Barcelona Principles, and the Sources and Methods Transparency Table. Remember, these are only tools; you’ll still have to sit down and work out the nuts and bolts of your organization-specific measurement program.

A full range of metrics

When laying out your framework, you must make room for metrics that account for both quantitative and qualitative metrics. Quantitative metrics account for things that have a numerical measure, like impressions, circulation, and pageviews. Qualitative metrics include tone and key message delivery. It often feels easier to measure quantitative metrics only, since it’s easier to automate measuring software. But qualitative metrics give you a more multi-dimensional look into the progress of your efforts.

A better understanding of ROI

The way the industry talks about “ROI” is sometimes disconnected from what ROI actually is. Remember, ROI – or return on investment – is a financial figure. Hence, if you’re trying to calculate it, it should be a dollar measure. True ROI can only be calculated if you have a stated goal and you’re truly calculating all the costs that go into your efforts, and that calculation will depend on so many variables, some of which are intangible, that your result might be cloudy at best. ROI can be valuable in certain circumstances, but don’t get so carried away with all the buzz that you pin your entire measurement process on “ROI” that isn’t clearly defined or manageable.

Breaking it down into more specific metrics can help you get a more precise look at how much your efforts pay off. Other metrics that will potentially have more value than ROI would be cost-per-impressions or cost-per-awareness (here’s how to calculate those).

Media measurement is not easy – especially if you’re trying to do it all yourself. That’s why we keep talking about it. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as calculating how many retweets you got or how many media mentions you have versus how many you’ve earned. But the good news is, it’s possible. Start small, focus on doing it right instead of doing it quickly, and keep learning, and you’ll find your insights gained by your measurement efforts will improve each year.

Categories: Media Measurement

Why Images Impact Your Media Measurement

Aug 11, 2014

Left: early edition Right: Later corrected edition. Image via Twitter user @suttonnick

Last Friday, The Daily Telegraph ran a very lovely picture of the royal family (the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their one-year-old son, Prince George) on its front page. Right above that photo ran a story with the headline “Toddlers at risk from extremists.” Someone overlooked the big picture of the layout and – whoops – all but called the Duke and Duchess religious extremists.

The paper quickly fixed the issue in its later edition, but the image survives online and the impact remains. Had you seen the headlined article online, or read a copy of only its text, you certainly wouldn’t have noticed the issue. While images have always been important, it’s the age of Instagram, selfies, and a “pics or it didn’t happen” mentality, so their value and necessity has arguably increased many fold.

So when we as public relations, media relations, or marketing professionals rely solely on a software to send us text and its metadata for media coverage, we’re not only missing the context of that coverage, but we’re missing the full impact that our audience experiences. And it’s an impact that ultimately affects both our outlook and measurements of our efforts.

If there’s an article with a photo of a celebrity with your product, that article will likely generate more interest and a higher action rate than a story without a photo. But if you’re getting media monitoring coverage that doesn’t even deliver the photo to you in the first place, you’re deprived of a driving factor in the article’s impact. Data just doesn’t give you the higher picture, especially if it’s only quantitative.

In a time when brand storytelling becomes more visual, media coverage isn’t just about the words, but the images the words convey and the images that accompany words. So how do you evaluate whether or not your work has an impact if you don’t even see the full scope of your coverage?

That’s why BurrellesLuce provides not only the full text of an article in its print and online forms, but its accompanying images in both forms as well. Because if you don’t know something exists, you can’t measure it, and if you don’t even know what you’re missing, you won’t even know your measurement is incomplete.

Categories: Media Measurement

In the Office? Use August to Get These Five Things Done

Aug 4, 2014

While the most popular month for vacation is July, August is almost as peppered with vacationers. That probably means that you have a lot of colleagues and clients who are using up their vacation days this month. Take advantage of this quiet(er) period to catch up on the first half of the year and get ahead of the second by doing these things:

Think about the holidays

Perhaps the last thing you want to think about in the steamy summer is the prospect of another polar vortex, but now is prime time to get your product into the pages of magazine holiday gift guides. Late summer is also excellent for developing public relations and marketing strategies for products that receive a big boost during the holidays, like books, sweets, travel, and anything that’s gift-worthy.

Even if it’s not quite time to pitch television shows, newspapers, or blogs about the holidays, use August to form new connections or nurture existing ones with contacts at media outlets you want to work with. Examine potential holiday trends and work out your strategy now so you’re ahead of the game when the season arrives in full swing.

Prepare for all the upcoming industry events

September through October are busy months for public relations and media relations industry events; in addition to the PRSA International Conference in mid-October, PRWeek’s Good Business, Better Business Conference is coming up in mid-September, as is Content Marketing World Conference; there are lots of digital marketing and social media summits in September, October, and November; the Global PR Summit in late October; and PRNews’s Social Media Measurement Conference in early October.

While these may seem like a long way off, it’s only about two months, so use this month to prioritize which events you want to attend by determining what your learning goals are. Getting a head start will also help you draw up a budget for the events and anyone else attending and get approval for that travel budget. Plus, registering early can help save on costs.

Make time for your intern

It’s nearly back to school season, and if you’ve been working with interns on even an intermittent basis, catch them before they head back to the classroom. There are a few reasons to connect more deeply with them now: they may be mentally checking out, there may be more they want to learn, they may have a lot of questions or just want some feedback.

Make sure your investment in hiring, training, and working with an intern pays off for both of you by ensuring they learn all they can. Don’t forget that interns make for an excellent pool of potential future recruits, and that they might have some interesting insights into a lot of the work your organization does.

Revisit your measurement and social media standards and procedures

Use whatever down time you have to do some constructive retooling or critical thinking about your organization’s measurement procedures and/or social media standards. Since the world of measurement changes yearly, examine what you’re measuring and evaluate whether you’re getting the information you need. There are lots of new resources to use to up your measurement game, so seize the opportunity to improve while you have the time.

Take a vacation

You’re probably tired hearing this from us, but take a vacation. Just a day or two off will do. Since August tends to be a quiet month in a lot of sectors, you’ll miss less if you’re out. Plus, taking time off from work and the digital world is really good for you.

Categories: Media Measurement

You’ll Never Believe What Upworthy is Doing With Their Online Measurement

Jun 25, 2014

Forget the number of pageviews and visitors to your site – you may soon be measuring in “attention minutes.”

Just last week we discussed Contently’s content marketing survey and the gaps in content marketing management. One of these biggest gaps came in the form of marketers choosing the wrong metrics for their goals and relying on the aforementioned pageview and visitor number to measure the success of their content. Why don’t those metrics work? They’re mostly used for buying and selling ads, not measuring brand awareness or engagement.

Upworthy announced on Sunday that they are changing how they measure their engagement. Instead of visitors and pageviews, they’re going for “attention minutes,” which measures “everything from video player signals about whether a video is currently playing to a user’s mouse movements to which browser tab is currently open – all to determine whether the user is still engaged.” For those with coding resources available, Upworthy is even making a sample of their code for attention minutes available for others to work from.

This change means that Upworthy can monetize their audience’s attention instead of their clicks. So while five different video posts may get the same number of visitors, those watching the duration of a 12-minute video will be far more engaged with the site than those who stay to watch a seven-minute video.

Upworthy’s not the only one basing a lot more on engagement instead of clicks: The Financial Times just announced that it will sell its display ads based on how much time its audience spends with content. While The Financial Times’s commercial director of digital advertising Jon Slade admits it’s still an experiment, he says he wants to prove “that the longer you show somebody a piece of brand creative, the more resonance that piece of content has with an audience.”

Of course, this doesn’t mean that this shiny new metric is infallible; for sites that publish short, quick-read posts, attention minutes would not be as effective a tool in measurement or content differentiation. But that’s OK – no one measure is effective for every kind of content, which is exactly why the innovation of attention minutes is important and very relevant to the PR industry’s measurement conversations.

If AMEC’s recent Social Media Measurement Framework User Guide has made anything clear, it’s that measurement is not one metric; it’s a spectrum of interactions and intertwined metrics that measures outcomes, not outputs, and is a process that should be specially tailored to each organization and its goals, contents, and channels.

Categories: Media Measurement

3 Measurement Gaps in Content Marketing – and How to Fill Them

Jun 18, 2014

flickr user Pawel Loj under CC BY license

When 90 percent of surveyed marketers say they’re uncertain that their key metrics are effective in measuring business results, you know you’ve got a measurement gap.

That startling statistic came earlier this week when Contently released its State of Content Marketing survey, which sampled 302 marketers split evenly across B2B and B2C businesses. Though social media metrics and measurement are hot topics in marketing and public relations communities, it seems the boots on the measurement ground aren’t sure what to do.

While that headlining stat does suggest a large swath of uncertain marketers (albeit in a pretty small sample), there were other statistics toward the bottom of the report that were far more telling:

Marketers are choosing the wrong metrics for their goals

The report showed that only 11 percent of marketers stated ad monetization as a goal for their content. Yet 69 percent of them measure the success of their content by pageviews, a metric which – the study points out – is primarily used for buying or selling ads.

That means that many of the more than 72 percent of marketers who identified brand awareness as the goal of their content are measuring that goal with the wrong metric. There is a world outside of the pageview. But multiple metrics does not cohesive measurement make – it doesn’t matter how many metrics you’ve got if you don’t have the right metrics.

Shares are overvalued

Luckily, many (65 percent of respondents) of the marketers who measure pageviews also measure for shares and likes. Unfortunately, a quick look at the next page in the report shows that shares and likes may not mean that much after all, since research from Chartbeat shows that there is zero correlation between reading an article and sharing it.

Lack of awareness

Nearly 50 percent of marketers said they wished they could measure how much real attention people are paying to their content, even though simple analytics like bounce rate or time spent on a page (which only 45 percent of respondents measure) are great basic indicators. Not to mention that how much attention people pay to content is exactly the type of thing Chartbeat measures.

How to fix it

Measurement is not easy, and the reason many of these simplistic, sometimes irrelevant metrics persist in measurement programs is because they are free and easy to obtain. Unfortunately, they’re just not effective measures of everything.

We need to start thinking of measurement as a spectrum of interactions instead of a slice of numbers. That’s why the debut of AMEC’s new Social Media Measurement Framework User Guide is so important; it looks at the stages of the marketing funnel over different channels and encourages users to think critically about their objectives, channels, and resources as it relates to their content and marketing process.

The difficulty of tracking measurement and conversations is why marketers and PR pros also need social listening programs to ensure they don’t just count the shares, but listen to what’s being said about their content so they can start tracking tone and sentiment in responses as well as in their media mentions.

Here are some BurrellesLuce resources to get you started on developing your measurement processes:

PR and the P&L

Finding Meaning in Measurement

Navigating the Terrain of Paid, Earned, and Owned Media

The Infographic Guide to Measuring Your Public Relations Efforts

Measuring the Success of Your PR Campaign

Up Your Measurement Game with AMEC’s New Social Media Measurement Guide

Categories: Media Measurement

Up Your Measurement Game with AMEC’s New Social Media Measurement Guide

Jun 11, 2014

It’s one thing to know we should be measuring our social media communications campaigns – and it’s quite another to know just how to do that. Today marks the start of AMEC International Summit on Measurement, and with it comes something big: AMEC’s Social Media Measurement Framework User Guide.

The guide provides an example of how to apply the framework. It does not focus on developing a single metric for measuring communications progress; rather, it is a guide designed to look at multiple metrics across different stages of campaigns and assess outcomes, not outputs, to make results meaningful, credible, and useful.

Within the user guide are two frameworks: the Paid, Owned, and Earned Framework and the Programme, Business, and Channel Metrics Framework. Both frameworks use the same five stages of the marketing funnel to measure outcomes and help PR pros better understand how each channel impacts the goals of your campaign:

Exposure: Potential audience exposure to content and messages

Engagement: Interactions that occur in response to content on an owned channel

Preference: Ability to cause or contribute to a change in opinion or behavior

Impact: Effect on the target audience. Can include but not limited to any financial impact

Advocacy: Are others making the case for you about something? Includes positive sentiment such as a recommendation, a call to action or call to purchase, suggested usage or change of opinion.

The framework is broken down into six steps:

Plan with SMART objectives. Remember, all your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Select a framework. Decide whether the Paid, Earned, and Owned framework or the Programme, Business, and Channel Metrics framework best fit your campaign.

Populate. Populate the framework with the metrics that matter to you and that represent a balance and broad view.

Data. Identify what data you will need, some of which you may need to obtain from specialist providers. Be sure to be clear how you will collect it and where it will come from.

Measure. Ensure the data covers all appropriate fields and determine when and how often you will need to measure the data.

Report. Put your results into reports that best suit your audience, whether that be charts and graphs, written reports, or videos.

Also, make sure to check out page 10 of the user guide, which gives 10 top tips for using and making the best of the frameworks.

How do these frameworks and models help your measurement processes?







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Categories: Media Measurement

3 Reasons Not to Rely Solely on Software for Measurement

Jun 9, 2014

The Secret Service is in the market for a social media monitoring and analytics software that can, among other functions, detect sarcasm in social media posts.

Yeah. Because computers are renowned for their wit.

As The Washington Post reported, the Secret Service wants to automate their social media monitoring process and quantify their social media outreach and lots of other things public relations pros and their organizations want.

“More specifically, the orders ask for a long list of specific tools, including the ability to identify social media influencers, analyze data streams in real time, access old Twitter data and use heat maps.”

Is a computer program really the best way to detect sarcasm? Machines don’t have a sense of humor and are notoriously poor at correctly identifying sarcasm and irony; when given a pool of sarcastic tweets, computers identified sarcasm successfully only 65 percent of the time. And that’s when all the tweets were already sarcastic. So why search for a computer program to do a mediocre job when you could hire human analysts to do the job with more accuracy?

Here’s what we know at BurrellesLuce: Software makes an excellent first tier for sorting through data, but there are things computers just can’t do as well as humans. Here are just three reasons that computers are not the pinnacle in measurement:

  • Qualitative analysis improves predictive models: A human will produce more targeted results when going through a random sample of captured data. Those results will improve your predictive models for recurring situations.When you have a set of captured data, a human going through a random selection will produce more targeted results that can be used toward a predictive model for recurring situations.
  • Accuracy through qualitative measurements: When assigning tone, a majority of software programs default to labeling something “neutral” when tone is not clear. If increasing positive coverage is your goal and you know you’re using a program that defaults to neutral, you’re already starting at a deficit and looking at potentially skewed results.
  • Cost vs. Price: If you’re relying solely on a computer sort tone, there will be false positives and false negatives that a human must sort through. The resulting cost in personnel is – more times than not – much higher than outsourcing the original work to a company like BurrellesLuce, which has a dedicated workforce which specializes specifically in gathering and analyzing that data.

So maybe it’s more a question of why are we willing to cede tasks at which computers do not excel to computers? Maybe this is just the next step toward cybernetic revolt. Or maybe it’s time for us to integrate technology with the advanced machines that reside in our heads. CC John Connor.

Categories: Media Measurement

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