PR Metrics that Matter-Source Quality

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

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. Yesterday we covered Sentiment and Tone. Today we’re going to briefly discuss the how Source Quality and Reach impact your measurement results.

Reach refers to the total number of different people or households exposed, at least once, to a medium during a given period. Source quality is a reflection of a media outlet’s authority in a specific area of interest, plus the credibility of their information.

Reach can be an element of Source Quality, but may be insignificant depending on the target audience and demographic niche you’re focused. For example, if you are targeting a very narrow interest group with your key messages, and the media sources serving that interest group have a very low circulation or audience value relative to mainstream media, automated measurement may discount that Reach as being “low”. This would be a mistake.

pr measurement source quality

Niche media sources may have low circulation, audience, or follower numbers, but the total sum of the audience may be equally small. Therefore, the reach for that source would actually be high. Again, this illustrates the importance of checking your measurement methodology and having human analysts making proper inferences from the resulting outputs and measures.

We’re interested in hearing your thoughts, concerns or failures related to Source Quality and Reach. Tomorrow we will focus on why identifying Key Messages before measurement, and locating their placement within your media results is so important.