PR Metrics that Matter-Sentiment

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

This week is focused on North America, as it relates to Measurement Month around the World. Universal Information Services is participating in an awareness and education campaign organized by AMEC, the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication. These events are sponsored by membership companies and work to better educate public relations professionals on reliable methodologies for measuring PR and media.

Each day this week Universal will spotlight a specific metric. Since there are dozens of meaningful metrics an organization can measure, mostly determined by their goals and anticipated outcomes, we will focus on only five key metrics. Five days, five metrics.

Sentiment Analysis: Identifying and categorizing opinions expressed in a piece of text or story, especially in order to determine whether the writer’s attitude towards a particular topic, product, etc., is positive, negative, or neutral.

pr-metrics-that-matter-sentimentToday we look at Sentiment analysis. By measuring the tone of a media mention, analysts can help indicate potential feelings towards a product, service, or organization. Although the specific definition of sentiment might vary depending on the organization doing your measurement, we train our professional analysts to view stories in the same manner. Cross-coder training is critical when judging sentiment so that there is no deviation in metric values due to personality differences in people.

While there are many services offering automated sentiment analysis based on keywords or phrases, those solutions are generally only 60% accurate. When preparing a measurement report that needs a higher level of reliability, a trained analyst is necessary to determine the nuances between “it was an awfully good movie” and “it was an awful movie”.

Having access to the text, video, or audio of the actual media placement is critical so you or your analysts can determine the true context of the mention. Some “negative” news stories highlight great solutions and therefore would represent a positive story to that solution provider if there were presented in a positive light.

Please share your thoughts, concerns or failures related to sentiment analysis. Tomorrow we will focus on Media Source Quality and Reach.

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