Measuring the impact of your media relations for case
Measuring the Impact of Your Media Relations ProgramsRebecca B. Anderson <br />
Five Good Reasons Not to Measure PR<br />It’s imprecise <br />It’s difficult to isolate the impact of PR from other marketing and communication channels<br />There’s no silver bullet metric that can tell the whole story<br />It takes time and resources <br />It may shine a light on poor results<br />
Five Better Reasons To Do It Anyway<br />It doesn’t have to be perfect to be useful<br />How else will you know what works?<br />You’ll gain credibility by being transparent<br />You’ll be in a stronger position to ask for more resources<br />That which gets measured, improves<br />
It Starts with Strategic Planning<br />“Strategic thinking involves predicting or establishing a desired future state; determining what forces will help or hinder movement toward that goal state; and formulating a strategy for achieving the desired state.”<br />--Cutlip, Center & Broom<br />
Or Put Another Way…<br />Fire—Ready—Aim!<br />or<br />Ready—Aim—Fire!<br />
Evaluation</li></li></ul><li>The Final Step: Evaluation<br />Measuring outputs vs. outcomes<br />Outputs are useful as a launch pad: the number of press clips, total impressions, etc. <br />Outcomes are more meaningful but it’s harder to isolate channels<br />Competitive measurements can provide great directional feedback<br />Setting annual benchmarks enables us to see if we’re improving year over year<br />Devising a measurement equation<br />A + B + C+ D = understanding progress<br />No single tool will tell us all we need to know<br />Every measurement tool is squishy<br />Identify metrics that correspond to your specific program of work<br />
Media Metrics to Consider<br />Total number of clips/stories<br />Relatively fast and easy to calculate, but doesn’t consider the issue of quality over quantity<br />A decent foundation upon with to grow, but relatively meaningless in and of itself<br />Audience impressions<br />Looks at total circulation, viewership, listening audience and/or online eyeballs<br />Assumes all recipients actually read, see or hear a particular story<br />Doesn’t account for the reputation or influence of the media outlet<br />
Media Metrics to Consider<br />Cost per impression<br />Calculated by dividing total impressions with the cost of your PR initiatives<br />Helpful for understanding the efficiency of your program. Are you delivering more impressions for the same dollars? <br />Tonality<br />A basic three-tiered designation of positive, neutral and negative can get you started<br />More sophisticated and expensive tools use sliding scales to give weight to elements such as headline, story length, etc.<br />Insight comes from the patterns that emerge over time; the goal is to increase the positive and decrease the negative<br />
Media Metrics to Consider<br />Stature media penetration and frequency<br />Many organizations have core media lists that represent the most critical media targets<br />Tracking year-over-year penetration of your “short list” can help determine the effectiveness of your pitches and the strength of your relationships with these key media<br />Message pull-through<br />Particularly useful during periods of crisis or issue management<br />Helps you understand if your key messages are surviving the media funnel<br />
Media Metrics to Consider<br />Share of voice vs. competitors<br />One of the more meaningful tools, but requires more rigorous approach to media content analysis<br />One way to approach is to benchmark against just one competitor rather than a set<br />Compare total volume of your brand references to those of your competitor(s)<br />When tracked over time, demonstrates your share of voice with key media<br />Spokesperson penetration vs. competitors<br />If expert spokespeople are part of your strategy, this is a way to see if you’ve gained status as a “go to” source for the media<br />Evaluates how often your experts provide commentary vs. other sources<br />
Media Metrics to Consider<br />Inquiry/application spikes<br />Some PR has the power to drive immediate action. Tracking key press coverage against corresponding spikes in inquiry or application activity can help reveal the types of stories that “move the admissions dial.” <br />The insight is in understanding what press creates that kind of impact, then duplicating<br />Brand tracker<br />Positive brand recall impacts your organization. Tacking a few questions to an existing brand tracker study can be an easy and cost-effective way to measure how well your brand is known.<br />Brand awareness is built by multiple marketing and communication channels, not just PR, so isolating earned media in this mix is difficult<br />
Prior to 2008<br />Distracted communication director without time to focus on media relations<br />Lacked organized or pro-active PR program<br />Very re-active, operated more of a news release factory<br />Lots of briefs(events, weddings/obits, new hires)<br />Not nearly enough “brand building” coverage<br />
Introducing a New Mentality<br />Re-focused position on earned media and eliminated the distractions <br />Developed and executed a strategic PR plan each year<br />Measured the effectiveness of the plan annually<br />Communicated about the results of our work<br />Nurtured a culture around “earned media”<br />
Goals<br />Raise our profile as a means to…<br />Drive enrollment<br />Generate momentum for capital giving<br />Attract quality faculty, administrators and trustees<br />
Strategies<br />Focus on Charlotte exclusively in first years<br />Saturate a small, targeted list of key media<br />Take time each week to shake the trees<br />Pitch 1:1—no more news release blankets<br />Train key faculty to serve as media experts and celebrate the heck out of them<br />
Queens’ Measurement Equation<br />Clip count<br />Blurbs vs. feature stories<br />Frequency in/on the most influential media<br />Increased use of Queens’ faculty as experts<br />Share of voice in Charlotte Observer<br />Cost per impression<br />
Results Since 2008<br />By the numbers<br />Increases in both quantity and quality<br />400% increase in TV coverage in year one<br />200% increase in feature stories in year one<br />Nine appearances on Charlotte Talks in year two<br />Six front-page Observer stories in year two<br />Connecting it back to goals<br />Anecdotal buzz about our momentum <br />Largest freshman class in history<br />Prestigious incoming class of trustees<br />Best two fundraising years in Queens’ history<br />
Other Positive Outcomes<br />Invited to present to the Board of Trustees, alumni groups, campus community<br />Campus values earned media and partners with us to make it happen<br />Deansdon’t want to be “beaten” by their colleagues<br />Respected for our “chutzpah” for transparent reporting <br />Increased budget for PR program, including measurement tools<br />
Queens vs. UNCC in The Observer<br />Jan. 2010- Jan. 2011<br />
Athletics coverage in The Observer<br />January 2011<br />
Analysis<br />Jan. 2010 vs. Jan. 2011<br /><ul><li>Total hits rose from 109 to 165.
The quality and reach of our coverage continues to increase. A few examples:
Dr. Mohammed el-Nawawy of the Knight School was a featured expert in coverage about protests in his native Egypt by PBS NewsHour, CNN and the New York Times, in addition to local media. The NYT story was picked up by more than a dozen other newspapers across the country including the San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune and Miami Herald.
Our front page centerpiece in The Charlotte Observer was a huge win, sharing our vision for Queens’ future and lauding the university’s contributions and reach.
Dr. Dorothy “Deje” McGavran of CAS wrote a thoughtful column for The Charlotte Observer defending the importance of the liberal arts.
Karen Geiger of the McColl School spoke about race relations and women on WFAE’s “Charlotte Talks.”
A painting by Dr. Jayne Johnson, also of CAS, was featured on the cover of SouthPark Magazine.
Finally, our Martin Luther King Jr. Fun Day events earned coverage by News 14, WBTV, Fox Charlotte, WCNC and The Observer.</li></ul>-MORE-<br />
Analysis continued<br /><ul><li>In The Observer, total mentions went from 40 to 68. In addition to the aforementioned hits, our coverage included two stories about our BusinessWoman of the Year Award, our partnership with Crossroads Charlotte, upcoming MFA anniversary events and David Singer becoming chairman of the McColl School’s Board of Visitors.
UNCC’s Observer coverage rose from 79 to 113 hits. Their best coverage included stories about a proposed CATS light rail expansion onto their campus, an early literacy study by their school of education, the quarterly economic forecast, their new chamber music festival and an $8.8 million gift from Duke and Siemens for their new energy center. </li></ul> -MORE-<br />