News & Insights

6/03/2020

Favourable news coverage is not a ‘great outcome’ – so let’s stop calling it thatby Eric Robledo

I’ve decided to start this blogpost with a cranky headline. Much like Dr Bruce Banner before turning into The Hulk in the first Avengers movie, I will also let you in on my secret: despite not showing it, I am always angry… whenever I hear someone call news coverage “a great outcome”. It’s not… And calling it that can cause us to drift away from our objectives.



Don’t get me wrong, favourable news coverage does make me happy, especially whenever my team and I have been working hard to attain this. My point is the outcome of our PR strategy and activities – the actual communication outcome – is something that can’t be seen in any news coverage analysis. Positive coverage does not automatically mean positive reputation. That is a far-fetched assumption, especially if we’re only looking at earned media to asses reputation. To understand the outcomes of our campaigns, we must look beyond.

To begin with, communication happens not when news is published or advertising is displayed, but when our target market reads or listens to what we say or is said about us, and when they understand, accept or respond to the stories that involve us. Likewise, it also happens when we listen, understand, accept or respond to the messages from our target audience – that is, if we accept the notion of stakeholder capitalism. 

But even if we are still passionately attached to the old paradigm of shareholder capitalism, where the sole role of PR is to persuade a target market to think or act in a desired way about a brand or product, the real communication outcome can mostly be observed through market research, using techniques such as surveys, focus groups and in-depth interviews, among others, not by running news coverage analyses and making fancy-looking graphs with the clips achieved.

This approach to measurement and evaluation has been proposed by the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) since the publication of the Barcelona Principles in 2010 (updated in 2015), and more recently, with the appearance in 2016 of the Integrated Communications Measurement Framework. The framework distinguishes between Objectives (SMART ones), Output (our story and messages communicated to our target audience), Out-takes (immediate reaction of our audience and information recall of a story, organisation or product) and Outcomes (effects in the attitudes, opinion and behaviour of our audience towards a story, organisation or product). At least a version of this is worth considering for structuring an integrated communications program or campaign.



Let’s go back for a minute to the fancy-looking graphs. To clarify, these graphs with news coverage segmented by prominence, favourability, audience, reach, themes, message cut-through, visual impact, etc. do have a role, an important one even. They help us to stir a program in different directions if needed, and they might even be useful for generating KPIs. But if we’re aiming to have in place a sound strategy across all media with measurable communication objectives that can aid the organisation’s business goals, it’s critical to consider news coverage for what it is – which is, output, not outcome.

It’s also important to note for anyone that made it this far down in this cranky blogpost that a clear taxonomy of concepts is not an end in itself. The ultimate benefit of referring to news coverage for what it is is that it allows us to look at the big picture, which is first and foremost, our communication objectives. What is it that we’re trying to do? Is it increasing brand awareness among a specified segment of the market from 10% to 15% in the next 12 months? Is it to replace A for B as the most associated brand attribute, assuming A will help the organisation to increase leads or conversions? Is it to decrease from 20% to 15% the percentage of people who are currently not considering buying our products in the near future? Is it to lower from 60% to 20% in three years the amount of people with a specific misperception about our organisation and its services? All these are examples of the right questions to ask whenever communicational objectives are discussed and agreed on in writing.

Only once these communication objectives have been achieved, can we truly say that our integrated program across all media teams has jointly achieved a “very good outcome”.

Stay Connected

If you wish to stay connected to Honner and receive future blogs, simply enter your email address below.

Subscribe
Filter by :

Latest News And Insights

Honner Blog 29/10/2019

Trick or treat? Time to shine a lantern on open banking

February 2020 will be the stroke of midnight for open banking in Australia.  From this time forward, banking, and in the longer-term the broader Australian economy, will be transformed as the control of personal financial data moves from data holders to consumers.  But despite a tremendous amount of work by government and other stakeholders to build a robust and secure framework, the success or failure of open banking may hinge on effective communication. 

READ MORE   >

Honner Blog 25/10/2019

Is your ‘story good to tell’ in an evolving marketplace?

Four companies announced their intent to list in recent weeks and at the eleventh hour, all four IPOs had been shelved. 

READ MORE   >

Honner Blog 21/10/2019

Why pursue a career in financial communications? - Thoughts from a PR grad

Are you on the brink of entering the workforce and haven’t considered working in financial communications? Our latest blog by Account Coordinator Jacqueline Coleman explains why working in this fast-paced industry is not as scary as you’d think.

READ MORE   >

Honner Blog 9/10/2019

It's a wrap - Honner's quarterly media roundup (Q319)

M&A remains on the agenda in the media industry as publishers and broadcasters look to offset pressure on advertising revenue. Meanwhile new digital publications continue to emerge. We cover the latest developments, insights and industry moves in our latest Quarterly Media Roundup.

READ MORE   >

Honner Blog 22/07/2019

Ten strategies to ignite your content at the publishing stage

In the fifth key phase of Honner’s 8 Step #ContentMarketing model we look at different strategies to push out winning content. These include serialising your content, publishing under your CEO’s personal brand and A/B split testing. 
 
 

READ MORE   >

Honner Blog 1/07/2019

Nine strategies for creating winning content

As marketing content reaches critical mass, marketers need to work smarter to achieve content that cuts through. In the fourth key phase of Honner’s 8 Step #ContentMarketing model we look at strategies to bring valuable and engaging content to your audience.
 

READ MORE   >

Honner Blog 24/06/2019

Growing to greatness – Have regional newspapers found their white knight, and why should brands care?

Antony Catalano’s purchase of 160 regional and rural newspapers from Nine Entertainment raised hopes of better times for publishing outside the big smoke. Our latest blog looks at the challenges Catalano faces in turning the business around, and what the deal means for financial services brands seeking national reach in the media.
 

READ MORE   >

Honner Blog 17/06/2019

Finding your authentic voice: Step 3 in the Honner Content Model, to Connect, Converse and Convince

When the Honner Content Team pulled together an outline of what a firm needs to do to transform its content marketing process, we recognised the need to elevate the idea of authenticity to be a major element of the process. Here are eight strategies that bring a more authentic style to your content marketing process.

READ MORE   >

Honner Blog 11/06/2019

It’s a wrap – Honner’s quarterly media roundup (Q119)

Your Money closes, Anthony Catalano buys 150 regional newspapers from Nine, and Apple launches its subscription news service—and that’s just the start. Find the latest in news, insights, quotable quotes and industry moves in Honner’s latest Quarterly Media Roundup.

READ MORE   >

Honner Blog 3/06/2019

Think like a CEO when planning your content: The 8-step Honner content model to connect, converse and convince

Ideation and Mapping is the second key phase of Honner’s 8 Step #ContentMarketing model. This is all about turning your insights into concrete content ideas that are aligned to the business’s objectives.

READ MORE   >

Displaying results 11-20 (of 102)
 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10