measuring the effectiveness of interactive media


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A webinar presentation co-hosted by Dan Karleen and Paul Baker for Academic Impressions, April 2007.

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measuring the effectiveness of interactive media

  1. 1. Measuring the Effectiveness of Interactive Media
  2. 2. Introductions <ul><li>Paul Baker, senior communicator, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>EducationPR blog </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introductions <ul><li>Dan Karleen, director of new media products at Peterson’s </li></ul><ul><li>Syndication for Higher Education blog </li></ul>
  4. 4. Overview <ul><li>I. Overview of new media channels/ tools: examples, strengths, measurables, outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>II. Communication planning: setting goals in terms of key audiences, influence level desired, time ranges, best new media tools </li></ul><ul><li>III. Measurement tools: their uses, strengths, weaknesses </li></ul><ul><li>IV. Evaluating outputs, outtakes, outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>V. Discussion & Next Steps </li></ul>
  5. 5. I. Overview of new media <ul><li>We are seeing rapid changes in communication: Video, blogs, podcasts, news feeds (RSS), social networking and bookmarking, New Media press releases </li></ul><ul><li>Students have grown up in the world of interactive media. </li></ul><ul><li>Higher education institutions are adopting interactive media strategically to remain competitive. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Blogs
  7. 7. Blogs <ul><li>Strengths: transparency, immediacy, 2-way communication </li></ul><ul><li>Measurables: # posts, comments, links, visits. </li></ul><ul><li>Qualitative and quantitative (audience knowledge & behavior, attitudes & values) </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: audience engagement </li></ul>
  8. 8. Podcasts
  9. 9. Podcasts <ul><li>Strengths: convenience of subscription, bypasses spam, personal appeal </li></ul><ul><li>Measurables: # subscriptions, downloads </li></ul><ul><li>Quantitative </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: Audience knowledge and awareness </li></ul>
  10. 10. News feeds (RSS)
  11. 11. News feeds (RSS) <ul><li>Strengths: opt-in, bypasses spam, focused content </li></ul><ul><li>Measurables: # subscribers </li></ul><ul><li>Quantitative </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: audience knowledge and awareness </li></ul>
  12. 12. Networking sites
  13. 13. Networking sites <ul><li>Strengths: internal email and messaging, images, videos, & sound, linking </li></ul><ul><li>Measurables: # friends, profile views, comments </li></ul><ul><li>Quantitative and qualitative (comments) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Wikis
  15. 15. Wikis <ul><li>Strengths: collaboration tool, internal messaging, linkable </li></ul><ul><li>Measurables: More search/Google presence </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: more audience knowledge and awareness </li></ul>
  16. 16. Bookmarking and tagging
  17. 17. Bookmarking and tagging <ul><li>Strengths: Linking, networking, new resources </li></ul><ul><li>Measurables: # shared links, fans, subscriptions </li></ul><ul><li>Quantitative and qualitative </li></ul>
  18. 18. Flickr
  19. 19. Flickr
  20. 20. Flickr <ul><li>Strengths: hot site, comments, votes, linking, groups </li></ul><ul><li>Measurables: # views, favorites, comments </li></ul><ul><li>Qualitative and quantitative </li></ul><ul><li>Goals: knowledge & awareness </li></ul>
  21. 21. New media press releases
  22. 22. New media press releases <ul><li>Strengths: links to RSS feed,, photos, video, audio, Technorati, Digg, customizable, </li></ul><ul><li>Measurables: quantitative </li></ul><ul><li>Goals: public awareness and knowledge, media calls, links </li></ul>
  23. 23. Q&A Break
  24. 24. II. Communication Planning as the Cornerstone
  25. 25. Principles <ul><li>Your online efforts should integrate into your broader effort communication. You should not think in terms of two separate and independent campaigns. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider your institutional or departmental goals, and the strengths and weaknesses of current communication strategies. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Principles <ul><li>Set realistic goals for new media tools. Consider the audience(s) of interest to your institution or academic unit; the degree to which you wish to influence audience awareness or behavior; and in what time frame. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider the strengths and weaknesses of each of the above new media comm channels. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Principles <ul><li>You may already have access to more baseline data than you might have thought, from campus marketing surveys, focus groups, interviews, media monitoring, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>If your unit has no baseline data, talk with your campus marketing staff, survey professionals, news office, admissions office, alumni relations, development staff, government relations office. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Examples of measurable outcomes: <ul><li>“Boost the percentage of applications from national merit finalists by 15 points in the next year” </li></ul><ul><li>“Increase the perception of our campus as ‘the high quality brand’ in our state by 15 percent over the next year.” </li></ul><ul><li>“Reduce the percentage of students arrested for underage drinking by 20 percent over the next two years.” </li></ul>
  29. 29. Principles <ul><li>What decisions do we want to be able to make as a result of our evaluations? </li></ul><ul><li>What kinds of indicators do we need? </li></ul>
  30. 30. Indicators <ul><li>Common indicators of reach: percent of target audience enrolled, percent of target audience aware of service, participation rate. </li></ul><ul><li>Common indicators of reputation: number of favorable reviews or awards; number of community partnerships. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Example: Admissions <ul><li>Audience: Prospective students and their parents </li></ul><ul><li>Measurables: More applications from high performing students </li></ul><ul><li>Data source: long-term admissions stats </li></ul><ul><li>Comm channels: blogs, videos, web site, email </li></ul>
  32. 32. Example: Public relations <ul><li>Audience: The news media, legislators, parents, other key audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Measurables: Favorable perception, willingness to collaborate </li></ul><ul><li>Data sources: surveys, focus groups, opinion polls, clipping library </li></ul><ul><li>Comm channels: RSS, videoblogs, podcasts, YouTube, </li></ul>
  33. 33. Example: Government relations <ul><li>Audience: state legislators </li></ul><ul><li>Measurables: Amount of change in awareness or visibility of an issue, key stakeholder groups engaged in an issue, legislation passed. </li></ul><ul><li>Data sources: liaisons, lobbyists, legislative research bureaus, news clips </li></ul><ul><li>Comm channels: web site, RSS, email </li></ul>
  34. 34. Q&A Break
  35. 35. III. Measurement tools for new media <ul><li>Overview, strengths, and weaknesses of each tool </li></ul>
  36. 36. Technorati
  37. 37. Technorati <ul><li>Strengths: almost immediate blog tracking, “buzz,” top searches, top tags </li></ul><ul><li>Qualitative and quantitative </li></ul><ul><li>Weakness: limited to blogs </li></ul>
  38. 38. Google alerts
  39. 39. Google alerts <ul><li>Strengths: keyword and phrase tracking, very customizable, includes news media and discussion groups as well as blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Quantitative and qualitative </li></ul>
  40. 40. Google Trends
  41. 41. Google Trends <ul><li>Strengths: Analyzes a portion of Google web searches to compute how many searches have been done for the terms you enter, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. </li></ul><ul><li>Weaknesses: limited to Google News </li></ul><ul><li>Measurables: spikes in media coverage </li></ul>
  42. 42. Blog stats
  43. 43. Blog stats
  44. 44. Blog stats
  45. 45. Blog stats <ul><li>Strengths: # visits, post views and favorites, referrers, out-clicks </li></ul><ul><li>Measurables: topics of most interest to your readers, both in views and in comments </li></ul><ul><li>Goals: engage readers in dialog, boost search rankings </li></ul>
  46. 46. Flickr
  47. 47. Flickr <ul><li>Strengths: networking, comments, communities </li></ul><ul><li>Measurables: # views, favorites </li></ul><ul><li>Weaknesses: More recreational than scientific, but some qualitative and quantitative information </li></ul>
  48. 48. Feedburner
  49. 49. Feedburner <ul><li>Strengths: lots of kinds of stats </li></ul><ul><li>Weaknesses: just one of many measures of RSS feed reach </li></ul><ul><li>Quantitative, not qualitative </li></ul>
  50. 50. Evaluating outcomes <ul><li>Your communication evaluation should: </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly identify the evaluation criteria. </li></ul><ul><li>Map communication flaws as well as appropriate practices. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide innovative responses for the organization to improve its communication. </li></ul><ul><li>These criteria are generic but their application to your organization will be unique. </li></ul>
  51. 51. Qualitative and quantitative outcomes <ul><li>Paul began blogging and podcasting to reach new audiences, increase awareness of WCER research, increase WCER’s web presence </li></ul><ul><li>Cross promotes each comm channel </li></ul><ul><li>Podcast has subscribers and has received favorable reviews </li></ul>
  52. 52. Qualitative and quantitative outcomes <ul><li>Blog has subscribers, inbound links, comments </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia entries appear in Google searches </li></ul><ul><li>WCER web site ranked higher in Google ranks </li></ul>
  53. 53. Outcomes <ul><li>More email newsletter subscription requests per month </li></ul><ul><li>New professional contacts with education media and business </li></ul><ul><li>Conference speaking engagements; WCER presence at more K-12 events </li></ul>
  54. 54. Drawback <ul><li>Caveat: this all takes time away from other responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Maintaining a blog can take up to 20% of one’s time </li></ul>
  55. 55. Ball State U. student blogs <ul><li>Goal: to better portray campus life to prospective students and their parents </li></ul><ul><li>Ball State asked 12 students to blog in fall 2005. </li></ul><ul><li>Promoted the blogs with postcards mailed to high school seniors. A few months later the student blogs received more than 11,000 visits per day and resulted in press clips. </li></ul>
  56. 56. <ul><li>To evaluate blogs’ effectiveness, staff interviewed prospects and parents during campus tours and summer orientation. </li></ul><ul><li>“We have not tried to quantify our ROI but can say confidently that the value we have received has far outweighed our cost,&quot; says Ball State’s web content coordinator. </li></ul>
  57. 57. Q&A Break
  58. 58. Next steps <ul><li>Talk with your communications team about your overall communication strategy. </li></ul><ul><li>Weigh the benefits and costs (mostly person-hours) of implementing some or all of the new media we have discussed today. </li></ul><ul><li>Take advantage of existing baseline data </li></ul>
  59. 60. Contact us <ul><li>Paul Baker Wisconsin Center for Education Research [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Dan Karleen Peterson’s [email_address] </li></ul>