Top 10 media evaluation questions
The good news is that the latest PRCA Census reports that the use of AVEs has finally fallen to 7%. The bad news is that the most common measurement option of the industry is now yet another vanity metric – impressions. Just like widely discredited AVEs, impressions are a wilfully optimistic indicator, rather than a solid reflection of what audiences actually read and engage with. Their obvious failure is to treat all content as equal, when it’s clearly not.
The value and credibility of PR depends on being able to link activity to real business outcomes. An ‘impression’ may be considered an outcome of sorts, but it doesn’t add any real value. Creating opportunities for audiences to merely see content is only the start of the PR value chain. Far more important is demonstrating that the content actually influenced audience behaviour and business success. By asking the right questions, in-house teams, agencies and senior leaders can gain access to business intelligence that will improve communication planning and strategic decision-making.
Here are our top ten questions which will unlock key insights about the role of online media coverage in shaping audience attitudes and, more importantly, their actions:
- Do I really need to pay for evaluation of every single piece of media coverage we achieve, regardless of whether it’s actually been read and had a measurable impact?
- Does this book of press clippings tell me anything about which media are really most influential in reaching my target audience and interesting them in my organisation, product or service?
- How does the audience impact of my PR campaign compare directly with a campaign my competitor recently launched?
- Forget ‘reach’ and ‘impressions’, what is the size of the audience who have not only seen, but also read and engaged with content?
- Can I use independent data sets – such as Google analytics, online search volume, sales figures or TV viewing audience – to verify that my PR has actually influenced audience reaction?
- Is traditional positive / negative sentiment analysis adequately reflecting the whole range of emotions that reveal how PR is fundamental to creating ‘brand love’?
- Can I find out more about the demographic profile of the audience that is not just getting a fleeting impression, but is actually reading my content?
- How do I know which key messages have been delivered to the audience that was sufficiently interested to read my content?
- I need to demonstrate to my boss/board that the PR budget has a financial ROI. How can I do that without using discredited AVEs or mere ‘Impressions’?
- How can I analyse coverage across multiple languages and markets to get a comprehensive view of our global PR effectiveness without spending a fortune?
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