Text and Image: PR Power Punch

September 27th, 2016
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AMEC Text and Image 20164More and more social networks are adding image recognition to their toolkits. Is this a hot new trend in measurement or have we seen it before? That’s how this AMEC measurement week webinar was described and certainly didn’t disappoint!

PR News Measurement Hall of Famers, Margot Savell, SVP Global Measurement, Research+Data Insights at Hill+Knowlton, , and Johna Burke, AMEC North American Co-chair and BurrellesLuce CMO, teamed up to talk about how, in this world of big data, images (in addition to text) need to be part of your evaluation.

Images are extremely powerful .You remember stories more when an image is associated with it, and therefore, it creates higher return on influence, Margot began.

Did you know that 3.25 billion photos are shared on social channels daily?  By comparison, in 2014, this figure was just 1.8 billion. I’m still trying to wrap my head around all the staggering social media statistics that Margot cited. Because these numbers have skyrocketed, the long-time practice of image analytics in traditional media has become this hot new trend in social media. When you think about how many visual stories are being shared every day, think about what you are likely missing if you’re only looking at text. “Are you really capturing all the data that’s going to give you a complete understanding of how your brand is being perceived in social media? I think not,” declared Margot.

She shared that up to 80% of posts with logos do not mention the name of the brand in the text, according to Talkwalker. In my opinion, that statistic alone should scare you into paying attention to visuals—think about how much you are missing if you’re only monitoring for and reporting on text!

Photo journalism and images have been important since the turn of the century, Johna chimed in, it’s a bit of what’s old is new again with all the eyes on social media now. “People are exposed to more and more information, however they are less informed. Naturally, the human eye is drawn to a headline and an image—the two main factors that determine how people are going to spend their time consuming information and news. So, any program that doesn’t include imagery is really missing out on a huge segment.” Making all these other metrics we talk about incomplete if we aren’t taking these images into consideration.

She went through several examples, straight from the headlines, featuring well-known brands, and discussed the images as they relate to reputation management, crisis communications and more. One of these examples demonstrated color photos on the newspaper section front page (but no brand mention in teaser text) and then black and white photos with the story itself. If you were not monitoring the actual print publication and the images it used, you are not really seeing the whole picture. These examples and analogies really made the concepts come to life for me and I believe they will for you as well. (You can see and listen to the playback here.)

Margot and Johna answered some additional measurement questions, shared off-the-cuff thoughts and even offered some examples of how using vanity metrics (or as Johna calls it, “low-hanging fruit”) give a completely inaccurate depiction and do not contribute to deeper brand insights.

Bottom line? We need to be sure we are making true data-driven decisions that tie-back to the overall business objectives, and that requires us to be completely informed. Johna believes it boils down to listening / watching, reacting and applying the logic.

Please share your thoughts and/or advice on using images with text here in the comments section.

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