A plan to adopt a standard PR industry unit for measuring media coverage
was launched at the conference by National Dairy council marketing
manager Peter Crowe and former PRCA chairman Quentin Bell.
The proposed system uses existing media readership and viewing/listening
data to arrive at a figure which represents the percentage of the target
group exposed to the coverage.
‘If we want to be taken seriously we must be able to substantiate our
means of measurement, and an industry standard in this regard is far
more desirable than just an agency standard or a company standard,’ he
PR industry representatives are in active discussions aimed at securing
access to print and broadcast industry surveys such as BARB, NRS, ABC
and RAJAR which can measure consumer exposure to PR campaigns, he said.
Crowe stressed that the initiative is designed to complement rather than
undermine the more sophisticated content analysis and evaluation systems
already available. ‘Clearly standardisation in this qualitative area is
impossible,’ he said.
He added that the second stage of the initiative would involve setting
out agreed guidelines for best practice on evaluation.
The proposed data service, tailored for use by PR professionals, could
be made available for around pounds 250 a year and ‘could be viable with
only 400 subscribers,’ said Crowe.
The plan was developed in response to client interest by a working group
consisting of Crowe and Bell, Norwich Union communications director
Raymond Wilson, and PR Week editor Stephen Farish.
Before it can be adopted it will go through a consultation process
involving PR industry bodies and evaluators. Bell also urged PR people
to write to PR Week with their views.