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.
Updated: 7 hours 45 min ago

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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