Friday, September 29, 2006

Web 2.0 Media Acknowledged at PR Conference

Jim Macnamara, Chairman and CEO of CARMA International, the last speaker of the IPR measurement conference ended his comments with a sentiment not expressed by too many others during the 1 1/2 day meeting. Namely that Web 2.0-based communications such as blogs and wikis, he said, represent a fundamental change in communications because they are a two-way conversation. "It's only matter of time before we see [something such as] 'Wikinews' dwarf" the major media outlets of the world in impact, he said.

Such communications media are rewriting the rules of PR and media relations with new networks of communicators and connections being created, he said.

Bridging versus Buffering

Jim Grunig, professor emeritus at the University of Maryland, talked about where PR measuring has been and where it's going.

Grunig spoke about PR as a strategic management function not a messaging, publicity and media relations function.

He also talked about the concepts of Bridging (the public relations approach focused on interpersonal relationships) vs. Buffering (the mass marketing/advertising approach) to PR. More can be found in a paper he authored. The bigger the organization, he said, the more likely they were to use the latter, less-personal, more advertising-centered approach to PR.

Media Measurement Can be Tied to Financial Outcomes

Day two of the Summit on Measurement conference started with a case study from United Technologies and its study on measuring media relations messaging on financial outcomes.

The areas of communications that they rate themselves on include: Employee Relations, Customer Relations, Management Strength, the CEO, Corporate Culture, Brand and General Communications, Innovation, Capital Structure, and Cost Control.

They measure tangibles like financials and intangibles like leadership, human capital, technology, reputation, familiarity, favorability etc.

One side comment made that I found interesting: According to Jon Low, a partner at Communications Consulting Worldwide, the company who authored the study, "CEOs are enamored with innovation, but we've found that it's not a factor in [the company's] revenue growth;" it is the second lowest factor, he said.

8 Methods of Content Analysis

Inspired by the measurement bug, I was looking through some earlier notes of mine and came across this list of "methods of content analysis" originally published by The Institute for Public Relations. The list is theirs; the notes are mine.

1. Clip Counting (volume counts) -- called the "most basic and perhaps most antiquated"
2. Circulation and Readership Analysis -- reported in "total circulation" or "total readership and includes number or readers, demographic profiles of readers and other lifestyle data
3. Advertising Value Equivalence (AVE) -- reportedly the dollar value of media impressions based on how much it would cost to take out an ad in the publication where the article was published. It is said to be "generally discredited by PR practitioners and leading researchers" however the PR folks I've been talking with all say their clients often ask for it and they give 'em what they want.
4. Simple Content Analysis -- counts of documents about certain topics
5. Message Analysis -- counts of documents that include specific messages
6. Tonality/Sentiment/Favorability Analysis - assessment of the entire article and individual messages in the article
7. Prominence Analysis -- Importance of the hits based on publication name, day of the week, word count, location of article in publication, presence of art work, size of headline. Each element gets a weight and roles up to a score for the article
8. Overall Quality of Coverage -- combination of tonality, prominence, message inclusion and volume counts

Thursday, September 28, 2006

People like Pie charts

Here's the answer to the proper way to decide on how to visualize data. (Note: This link takes you to Comedy Central, which seems to make you click again on the video in the playlist on the right. Annoying)

Attendees at the Summit on Measurement

The 100 or so attendees at the Summit on Measurement conference could be broken down into the following groups: 1) PR agencies (DeVries, Fleishman Hillard, Ketchum, Millward Brown Precis, Ogilivy, Overkamp, Porter Novelli, RF Binder, Roper, MWW, KDPayne); 2) measurement vendors (Biz360, BurrellesLuce, Carma, Cyberalert, Cymfony, Delahaye, Echo Research, Factiva, PR Newswire, VMS) 3) end-users (Cephalon, E&Y, DaimlerChrysler, Florida Dept of Agriculture, GM, The Hartford, MetLife, Nortel, Shell, Southwest Airlines, Raythenon, Rockwell, United Technologies, SoCalEd, and several colleges and universities 4) academics

P&G Case Study Purports to Show PR ROI Beats other Methods

Mark Weiner, President and CEO of Delahaye, Bacon's presented a case study focused on PR
marketing mix modeling
(MMM) about a P&G new-product release in which he said the PR spend on the product had the best ROI of the four types of spends. For every dollar spent, the following sales were generated, he said: TV ($1.31), trades ($2.13), price promotions ($0.78), PR ($2.70). I'm not entirely clear how they got such exactly ROI figures, but that, it seems, is the MMM at work. (This was the first question that was asked by the audience. A: It's all in the data! which is able to show trends and very small, but meaningful spikes over time -- using regression analysis. For example, Mark said, they compare weeks where there were PR placements to weeks when there weren't PR placements.

The case-study was put together by three groups for
client P&G
, according to Mark's co-presenter, (the literally, fast-talking) Jim Allman, CEO,
DeVries PR
, a N.Y. boutique firm. He said the team that does the modeling is a 3rd party, not part of Delahaye or DeVries. "Delahaye and the modeler are getting paid lots of money, and the agency isn't," [laughter] he said. Modeling, he said, is very time-consuming and focused on the minutiae of the data.

For its long history as a super marketer, P&G has never tried to quantify PR results before, Allman said.

KD Payne Blogging Summit on Measurement

The inimitable
KD Payne
is also posting about the
Institute for Public Relations
4th Annual Summit on Measurement.

Shell Says it's Always Listening and Measuring the MSM

We heard a case study on Measurement in Reputation Tracking
from Bert Regeer, Head of global planning at Royal Dutch Shell, a company which has had its share of
reputation issues.

He talked about which audiences they measure (financial, community, government, media, NGOs, academics, business partners, general public and employees) in 15 countries. He also listed some metrics they focus on (favorability by country, favorability by audience, brand mapping to characteristics, stakeholder expectations of brands).

Regeer said they have traditionally looked mostly at MSM and are now starting to look at blogs (though I didn't get exactly how they're measuring them) because it used to be that journalists were "sirs, and very well respected" saying that the Blogosphere has greatly changed that.

Study Finds PR Is as Valuable as Advertising

I'm up at the Institute for Public Relations annual summit on measurement in New Hampshire. First up: we're listening to the findings of a study which compared the relative impact of the results of PR (i.e. a well-placed item in a newspaper) and advertising on the public. The study showed that after being exposed to one instance, there is no real difference between advertising and PR. (Huh.)

The study's co-authors (David Michaelson, principal of his New York PR firm, and Don Stacks, of the University of Miami) conclude that in the instance of introducing a new product, PR appears to be on equal footing with advertising in terms of impact. The study found that:
○ There is no difference on a person's intent to purchase after being exposed to one instance of advertising and one instance of a well-placed news story.
○ There is no statistically significant difference on "believability" between advertising and editorial
○ Increased information does not translated into increased believability

Not surprisingly the study's authors seemed pleased with the findings, which they say is one of the first to so strongly justify what they do. (Though some in the crowd of about 100 felt this was similar to other studies.)

Questions came up with how this can be carried over to an online or broadcast studies. Discussion also talked to whether the idealized parameters of the study (point-for-point placement of the advertising claims in the fictional NY Times article) would have meaning in the real world. The authors admitted this was a best-case scenario.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

John Battelle's Searchblog: Google Clarifies Philosophy Re: Content

A good post from John Battelle responding to Google's recent post about its content philosophy (inspired by their recent court loss in Belgium). John is spot-on that this post of Google's is an important one as it seems to clearly state that Google has no interest in becoming a content company and taking away market share from the MSM. Rather, it states clearly, that they continue to see themselves enhancing the online business of the MSM. Symbiotic -- not evil. Now, do we buy it?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Subjectivity Mining Discussion

An interesting coversation taking place
over here about automated sentiment tagging. This is something we're very interested in. It's a bit of a holy grail to do auto sentiment with high precision. The question is: Is good-enough, good enough.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Monitoring Comments on MSM Sites

There is something of a growing trend whereby media Web sites are encouraging their readers to comment about articles directly on the the Web site. Read a story; post a comment. Makes a lot of sense.

I'm told by some colleagues in London that this is becoming particularly popular in Europe. So far I found one paper: The Guardian , which has put comments in its own area .

In The States, I found The Washington Post has comments on articles. CNet's has its Talkback feature, which is a free area requiring a username. USAToday links some of its articles to its blogs area for comment.

What I'm not certain about is whether these comments are being captured by any of the blog aggregators or other search engines. Technically they aren't blogs, nor are they message boards, nor are they necessarily easily captured by the major search engines when they spider the content.

Are these comments falling into the media monitoring ether?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Bloggers Hold Dell's Feet to the Fire -- Business Week

A great article from Business Week Online (spotted by Down Under eagle-eye Factiva colleague Lorraine Worley) credits bloggers with holding Dell and Apple's feet to the -- um -- fire in the wake of the recent laptop-battery story.

Business Week states:

"The cybermedia didn't merely expose the dangers of computers catching fire. They kept the heat on the manufacturers to do something about it and helped the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission [CPSC] conduct an investigation into the burning batteries."

Corporate America Behind the (Blog) Curve

A study from the Institute for Public Relations authored by Robbin Goodman concludes that, in the face of the growth of the Blogosphere, "many senior executives seem determined to doubt the Internet's power to alter business communications." It went on to state:

The survey revealed that only a very small number of top executives are convinced to “a great extent” that corporate blogging is growing in credibility either as a communications medium (5%), brand-building technique (3%) or a sales or lead generation tool (less than 1%). In contrast, most executives are somewhat or not at all convinced of blogs’ growing credibility in these areas, (62%, 74% and 70% respectively).

I ealier posted about another study with similar findings

If those of us who feel that blogging can, indeed, impact others' perceptions are right, more large companies are going to get blindsided as have Sony, Maytag, Kryptonite, Dell, McDonanld's Starbucks and others.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Les Echos Continues to Feature Text Mining Data

The Web site of French newspaper, Les Echos, continues to promote Factiva-sourced text mining data in an ongoing feature tracking the mentions of CAC40 CEOs in the press. We now have our own tab on their corporate news page, Palmar├Ęs

(I love the disembodied floating heads, BTW.)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Google Gives Nod to the Value of Archived News

Google adds a feature to Google News, labeled News archive search, in which it has partnered with several news aggregators and news providers to provide its users easier access to deep archives of news. In a few instances this goes back more than 100 years, but most of the data is from the 1990s through the present, it would seem. News aggregators Factiva, Lexis-Nexis, High-Beam and possibly others provide slices of their deep archives. MSM folks like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Washington Post are there too.

It's a bit too early to digest the full impact of this. But I see it as a nod by information giant Google toward the value of high-quality deep news archives. Google News users have often been stymied by a news search that only goes back a month or so. This will allow users to go further and push traffic to Factiva and the others. Google says it doesn't get revenue when users purchase individual documents from the vendors but that it's doing this as a way to provide more complete information to its users.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Factiva Moderates Event on Securing Trust of Your Brand

Shameless promotion follows...

Factiva's CMO Alan Scott will moderate a Web event with leaders from Symantec, ChoicePoint and others about how security and privacy issues can impact a company's bottom line and the difficulties companies have measuring their true imact.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Chatting Web Strategy with Jeremiah

Several of us in the Product Department at Factiva had a conversation with Jeremiah Owyang, a thought leader at Hitachi Data Systems, this week about his use of one of our text-mining based products. He blogged about it and said some nice things about us.

He also spoke frankly to us about how our product wasn't serving his needs and what he thought we needed to do to make it better. That was the best part of the conversation. Praise is great, but it doesn't help you make better products. Well-thought-out criticism does.

Keep those cards and letters coming, Factiva users. We love 'em.