How does advertising value equivalency work?
Many clients devote a considerable amount of their budget to PR. Firms can give media placements a dollar value as one way to showcase campaign success.
"One [metric] we use is to find the approximate advertising value for each print/online, television, or radio placement we secure for clients," says Chris Daley of Maroon PR. "This gives the client a clear idea of what it would have cost them if they were to buy an advertising spot within the outlet where the media placement occurred."
Although this can be a time-consuming endeavor, putting an advertising value on each placement along with a circulation number can add another measurement to a media report. If you want to use this metric on an ongoing basis, Daley advises the creation of a chart which gives a breakdown of the ad values for print/online publications, television programs, and radio shows. As you generate more placements and ad values, keep track of them and add them to the chart, which you can use as a reference for future placements in that outlet.
Why do I need to monitor blogs?
"Blogs have burst onto the information landscape by providing individuals an easy and efficient way to get their personal viewpoints into the market in real-time, bypassing the journalist as a fair and balanced filter" says Alan Scott, Dow Jones Enterprise Media Group.
Blogs contain opinions about anything and everything, including your company's products, he adds. They are often misunderstood by journalists, as well as PR pros, because the blogger's goal of promoting a single view is often very different than the journalist's goal of providing a balanced perspective.
Once a viewpoint enters into the sprawling marketplace of ideas, is indexed by search engines, and delivered via feeds to millions of individuals, those thoughts and ideas demand attention by the organizations whose companies, products, and executives are written about.
"If people are listening to the conversations on the Web voiced by independent bloggers, as well as those delivered by premium news sources, you and your organization need to as well," advises Scott.
How can search marketing be used for crisis comms?
As Taco Bell's E.coli outbreak last year demonstrated, search marketing can be an effective crisis-management tool. Buying online ads, sending people to an official corporate response, and integrating online and traditional advertising and PR can effectively defuse an explosive situation, notes Lisa Wehr of Oneupweb.
"Take some preventative steps," she suggests. "Establish an online presence through regular, optimized, and distributed press releases. Create a corporate blog and/or podcast series. Regularly search the online buzz on your company, and answer any serious issues rapidly."
If you see bad news coming, such as a bad financial quarter, set the groundwork early by well-placed opinion pieces on challenging industry trends, adds Wehr. Lay out your long-term strategy to address them. Be available to analysts, while alerting your pay-per-click team that you may need to buy ads to get your message out.
Most importantly, optimize all your communications to appear high in search-engine results. You don't want journalists finding the opposition's message first.
Send your questions to: email@example.com. Please contact Irene Chang if you are interested in contributing to PR Toolbox or to suggest ideas for future columns.