Measuring publicity results

Posted on: September 7th, 2009

When I started writing this post I thought I liked graphs a lot; probably more than most people but as I found out, not nearly as much as Craig Robinson who in the space of 10 minutes has become my personal hero.  Unlike Craig, who once audited his life into a range of magnificent pie charts, my interest has remained strictly professional.

Last week I caught up with Jye Smith and he asked how I measure PR.  In this instance I explained to him how I measure publicity results as a component of PR.  I was glad he asked because it gave me an excuse to bust out some charts.

At Stellar* we use Stellar* Analytics, our measurement and reporting tool (shameless plug – tick).  Below are the core measures that come into play when we’re looking at publicity results (I’ll save the social media charts for another time).  Just note that when I refer to coverage, I’m talking about a print article, a radio segment, an online news piece etc.  Key publicity measures include:

  • Volume:  how much coverage was generated eg. press clips, broadcast segments, online articles
  • Frequency: how many times within the coverage a brand name, category or product was mentioned
  • Reach: in crude terms, how far the coverage went based on circulation or audience figures
  • Sentiment/Tone:  analyses if the coverage was positive, negative or neutral
  • Message:  the key messages that were communicated, much like content analysis
  • Share of Voice: how much coverage Brand/Product A got compared to Brand/Product B
  • Medium: the different media segments that generated coverage eg. print, broadcast, online etc
  • Type: what type of coverage was generated eg. a feature, column, mention, review etc
  • Category: the category of media the coverage appeared in eg. capital city daily, national newspaper, supplement, trade mag, online news
  • Date: when the coverage appeared
  • Location: the location of the media outlet if specific to an area eg. by state
  • Outlet: ranks the media outlets by volume of coverage
  • Journalist: ranks the reporting journalists by volume of coverage

The following charts highlight some different publicity results over time.


1. This shows that the majority of coverage for the client has come from product reviews or basic brand mentions.


2. This shows the same results as the above but over a period of one year.  The chart shows a spike in product coverage heading toward Christmas which correlates with an increase in press features such as Christmas buyer guides etc.  It also shows that the client leverages value ads off the back of its media spend.


3.  This shows that the coverage in regional / suburban press significantly outperforms other media categories.  There’s also a spike in lifestyle and trade publication coverage in January as a result of a specific campaign around a new product launch.


4.  This chart shows that over a two month period, Audi outperformed competitors in terms of share of voice in the media.


5.  This charts shows how different products in the same company are performing over time in the media. The significant spikes are the result of product launches or specific media sampling campaigns.


6. This chart shows the rise and fall of reach, based on circulation, over time.

When you build up a body of data like the above, you get to clearly see the results of your efforts and you get insights on how different elements are performing which in turn allows you to adjust your strategy and invest where you need to.

Posted by Renee Creer

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