News Cycle Monopoly: Clinton vs. Trump


Todd Murphy Vice President Universal Information Services news monitoring and PR measurementBy Todd Murphy, Vice President, Universal Information Services

As the November presidential election draws ever closer, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are slugging it out to win position in the polls. Our team can measure public relations as a result of our comprehensive news monitoring services. From that data we took a closer look at the past week, August 28th through September 2nd (12pm EDT), 2016. What we found was a rare news cycle monopoly. While Clinton was out fundraising millions of dollars, and answering questions related to the Clinton Foundation and emails, Trump monopolized nearly every media channel with some key image events (Highlights of Donald Trump’s Immigration Speech and Mexico Trip, NY Times 8/31/16)

An analysis of presidential election media exposure

Total U.S. Media Mentions

  • Hillary Clinton=119,990
  • Donal Trump=199,488

Share of Voice (a breakdown of the percentage each candidate was mentioned in relation to all election news)

Presidential Media Analysis by Universal Information Services



The graph below shows how total mentions of “Trump” dominated the news cycle from the past week, with “Clinton” comprising only a fraction of headlines.

Election Headlines analyzed by Universal Information Services



The graph of headlines clearly shows the bump Donald Trump received from his trip to speak with the Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto (Aug 31 and Sept 1). So why, or rather how, did Trump so dominate the media for the past six days? We thought that story sentiment may have played a role, so we looked at the overall tone of all exposure for each candidate.

Measuring positive stories vs. negative stories

While Donald Trump stumped with public speeches, and owned the media for two days related to his Mexico visit, Hillary Clinton was out of site as the media recounted emails and the Clinton Foundation. It doesn’t take a media measurement professional to know that discussing who might pay for an immigration wall attracts more eyeballs than old news of emails and paid access. But when it comes to generating positive media coverage, neither candidate converted well. So while Trump may have owned the overall exposure since Sunday, both candidates received more negative publicity than positive publicity.

Clinton Media Sentiment by Universal Information Services


Trump Media Sentiment by Universal Information Services


Measuring outcomes

Translating measured media exposure into actual outcomes and ROI is the goal of any media or PR campaign. We can point to Trump’s improved poll ratings this week as evidence that his media exposure has helped. It may be the old saying of, “There’s no such thing as bad PR”

played a roll in his ratings bump. Or it may just be who ever gets more media is more on the mind of those being polled. Either way, tracking how the media handles each candidate next week may lend perspective to the outcomes of this week’s polls. Share your thoughts on measure the media and our political media coverage.

Leave a Comment