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Standardising Media Measurement

Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.” – H. James Harrington

Media coverage and the impression it leaves may differ markedly from individual to individual. The closer an individual is to the subject matter, the more it will affect their responses and behaviours, which are primarily driven by the agendas they hold.

Take any business ‘crisis’, in itself a subjective notion. The reactions and behaviours of the individuals who work for the business will differ, as will those of its individual customers, and those of its potential customers, others in the same industry and members of the public as a whole.

It is impractical to measure the perceptions of every individual and expensive to accurately survey even a subset of the population.

Influence and Insight Given most business / organisation ‘news’ is disseminated through some form of media channel, the way that information is presented to the audience, by a journalist or any commentator, professional or amateur, provides insights into how the news might influence its audience’s perceptions and behaviours.

Media measurement agencies, such as Mediamine, apply a standard analytical methodology to provide an independent, objective review of media coverage. It benchmarks progress and informs decision-making; it doesn’t, and can’t, place a credible financial value (such as AVE) on coverage but that’s a story for another time.

There have been a wide range of metrics and measures applied to media measurement over the years; however, there is now general agreement among the global PR and Communications community that a standardised approach to media analysis is critical to its long-term value and credibility.

In 2010, PR and Communications leaders from around the world identified seven measurement principles that underpinned reliable media analysis. They met in Spain and so the Barcelona Principles were born.

Standardised metrics in action Find out how the New Zealand Taxi Federation tracks its media engagement against industry disrupter Uber here.


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