Made to Measure?
As with marketing campaigns, it’s important to measure your generated media coverage. Measuring media results helps you to learn what was most effective and push yourself and your team to constantly improve. Tangible results are also key to your case if you want to pitch for increased budget.
What measurement is best?
Media measurement is a well debated topic within the communications industry, and certainly not one on which I’d claim to be an expert. Just like tourism, the PR world is quite fond of acronyms. Here’s a few you might come across in discussions and reports on measurement:
ASR = Advertising Space Rate
AVE = Advertising Value Equivalent (rate card value with a multiplier of between 3-7 applied)
UDV = Unique Daily Visitors
ASA = Average Story Audience
Back in 2010, StopPress.co.nz reported the findings of a nationwide survey into how PR-generated media coverage is most commonly measured. It found more than 60 percent of those measuring PR value used AVE, but 68 percent also said that it should not be the sole method of measurement. One size doesn’t fit all.
Going into bat for ASR
While I’m all up for championing the added value of third party editorial endorsement, we prefer to report on ASR (advertising space rate) rather than the upweighted AVE when measuring coverage of Visa Wellington On a Plate and Positively Wellington Tourism’s monthly media reports. Rate card values are not what most regular advertisers would pay, so in theory there is already a small multiplier built in recognising the added value of editorial. While many in the industry seem to dislike ASR immensely, I contend it’s a more realistic quantitative measurement. We also report on clip numbers and cumulative audience.
Do the costs measure up?
Media monitoring services don’t come cheap and time resource can also be a challenge for small tourism businesses and not-for-profit organisations. But targeted monitoring can return on the investment through evaluating success and driving continuous improvement. Positively Wellington Tourism uses Media Monitors’ online portal to capture and then self-calculate coverage. Such agencies can also provide qualitative reports that examine the quality and sentiment of coverage. While certainly valuable in the corporate and government sectors, this level of analysis is generally beyond the budget of your average tourism business or regional tourism organisation. Your own criticial analysis and reflection on issues is valuable, but in tourism I’d argue the majority of your funds and energy are best directed towards hosting and and building a library of great angles and content.
In the first quarter of 2012/13, Positively Wellington Tourism influenced 382 stories about Wellington as a destination and the Visa Wellington On a Plate festival. These stories had a cumulative audience of 13,826,780 and ASR of $934,914. For further details, read the posts on our June, July and August media report summaries.
What are your thoughts and experiences with measuring your media programmes? Do you use AVE, ASR or NOTA (none of the above)?