Archive for the ‘Measurement’ Category

ASOS Feels The Digital Love

Thursday, September 29th, 2011 by Julie Wilson

ASOS, Very and are the three most loved digital brands, a study by Tamar has revealed.

The BrandLove25 report explores the degree to which consumers demonstrate their support and enthusiasm for a digital brand through their social interaction, and ranks companies on a number of different metrics including numbers of Facebook fans, Twitter followers and revenue.

Joining the companies in the top ten are:;;;;; and

Whilst it is of no surprise to see ASOS and Very feature in the top spots, both companies having been amongst the first fashion retailers to adopt and embrace social media effectively into their marketing strategies, credit has to be given to for achieving such a respectable position.  In just five years since launch, the online fashion retailer has firmly established itself as one of the UK’s top online providers of women’s fashion, picking up a number of industry awards along the way and, as this report shows, positioning itself firmly at the heart of consumers.

What makes a brand engaging could be said to lie in the eye of the consumer but there are five key principles to which companies should adhere if looking to achieve the social medial top spot:

1. Know your customer and identify their wants and needs

2. Stay true to your brand and ensure your voice conveys your personality

3. Maintain consistent participation and invite consumers to be a part of the conversation

4. Address the balance – commercial message delivery versus general interest

5. Provide real added value

Speaking on the results of the report Tanya Goodin, CEO of Tamar said:  “In the current climate many ‘traditional’ bricks and mortar brands are struggling but pure-play digital brands are powering from strength to strength.  However, this second edition of our Best-Loved Digital Brands league table shows that, even within the digital sector, some brands are performing much better than others.  The size of social media communities give an immediate and very visible way of measuring the ‘love’ customers feel for brands and reported revenue gives us a clear indication of how that ‘love’ translates to sales.  The brands here have demonstrably capitalised on the seismic shift from ‘bought’ to ‘earned’ media and are seeing stellar financial performance as a result.  Digital brands who don’t make the Top 25 table need to look at the stars appearing and take note.”


Low take up of magazines’ digital editions

Monday, August 22nd, 2011 by Mark Perry

Hidden away in the latest ABC issued last week were interesting facts relating to digital editions of magazines.

With the growth, in particular of tablets and e-readers, you would have expected it to be a strong market.

It seems that where they are available the digital versions represent about 1% of total sales accroding the Press Gazette. The top sellers are Men’s Health (1,746), Hello (1,165) and Stuff (981).

Magazines such as House & Garden, Autocar and Cosmopolitan sell around 300 copies each and Vogue just 185.

While these are just optimised versions of the established print editions, there are magazines launching, such as Football Espana, which are solely as electronic versions having the look and feel of a traditional magazine. It will be interesting to see how well they do without the legacy of having had a print edition.

About Mark Perry

Mark has more than 25 years’ experience in PR and corporate communications. He is a founding director of B2B consultancy Melville PR.

What does Google’s +1 button mean for brands?

Friday, June 3rd, 2011 by Jenny Mason


Google has got social, with the release of a button to allow its new +1 function to be added to websites.

Since its launch in March, +1 has let those signed into their Google profile endorse search results and share their recommendations with their social networks. Now, users will be able to recommend content directly from websites with the +1 button.

Google is billing +1 as a tool to help it provide more relevant results to its users. From a consumer viewpoint, its benefits are clear – but what does its launch mean for brands?

With +1 playing a role in determining organic rankings and users only likely to +1 something they feel is worth recommending, its launch will serve as a reminder to companies of the importance of maintaining a regular stream of engaging and relevant content on their websites.

The +1 button will also be a welcome addition to the measurement toolbox, serving as an up-to-the-minute barometer of a brand’s online reputation.

The function is, of course, not without its limitations. A user’s public Google profile is not always synonymous with its true social network and, as stressed on Social Media B2B, this is particularly the case for companies trying to communicate with a B2B audience. For these brands, the launch of other sharing buttons – such as LinkedIn’s last November – may have been a more significant development.

With +1 seen as a direct competitor to Facebook’s ‘Like’ button, it will be interesting to see which social networks users begin to favour when sharing content. +1 may offer a similar functionality to that of its rivals but, with its impact on search, it has the potential to be even more powerful.

About Jenny Mason

Jenny joined Staniforth in August 2007 and is now an Account Manager in the B2B team.

PR measurement – Barcelona style…

Monday, May 23rd, 2011 by Jon Clements

The Barcelona Principles of PR measurement – launched nearly a year ago – made a bonfire of a long-cherished method of proving the value of PR activity: Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE).

That the principles sanctioned other (seven, in fact) approaches to measurement was overshadowed by the curt dismissal of AVE and the collective shudder that (I assume) rippled across many parts of the PR industry:

Principle Five states: “They (AVEs) measure the cost of media space and are rejected as a concept to value public relations”. And as for the mystical “multiplier” – used to demonstrate how much more valuable editorial was against advertising – the “butchers of Barcelona” said: “Multipliers intended to reflect a greater media cost for earned versus paid media should never be applied unless proven to exist in the specific case.” Well, good luck with that one.

Fronted by AMEC (The International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication), the Barcelona Principles led to the more practical Valid Metrics guidelines and a useful matrix outlining the plethora of measurement metrics. Naturally, AVE was not welcome at the new metrics party.

But, it wasn’t long before the topic was raised: “AVE is dead. But what will replace it.” It even became the title of a CIPR seminar, at which Dr Jon White – FCIPR and CIPR approved trainer –  questioned whether the Barcelona Principles had taken the debate on AVE forward at all.

Ahead of the 3rd European Summit on Measurement, that kicks off in Lisbon in a fortnight, PR Media Blog asked David Rockland, a Director of AMEC and partner at Ketchum and CEO of Ketchum Pleon Change:

1. Following the Barcelona Principles and the valid metrics guidelines, what more needs to be done to make PR measurement and evaluation completely robust in the eyes of the industry and its clients?

At this point it is about further adoption, such as inculcation in all industry awards programs and academic curricula, as well as getting much more specific about a number of areas, many of which will be covered in Lisbon.

2. Has AMEC tried to measure or evaluate the response by the industry to both the above (in other words, practicing what it preaches)?

To a degree we have in terms tracking changes in awards programs, adoption by various PR professional organizations around the world, as well as the extent that the Barcelona Principles have become ingrained in the lexicon of our industry.

3. Dr Jon White recently said at a CIPR seminar on the death of AVE that the Barcelona Principles hadn’t really progressed the debate on measurement. Is that fair to say?

As for Jon’s comments, I think you can view them in two ways. First, that the Principles codified what had never been really stated and broadly adopted before. So, you could say it wasn’t about the debate on measurement, but about setting baseline standards and approaches that no one in academia, professional organizations, etc. had done in such a broad fashion. When it comes to AVEs, I would fundamentally disagree – nowhere had the industry collectively said “no, AVEs are not the value of public relations.” However, where Barcelona alone fell short is the answer the question – “if no AVEs, then what?” That answer came out in the valid metrics work after Barcelona and presented at an AMEC/CIPR/PRCA conference in November, 2010 where those better approaches were demonstrated. But in truth, AVEs are and were broadly used because they are simple and cheap, even if they are wrong. Replacing them with a single silver bullet to demonstrate the value of PR, no matter what the program, is unrealistic. The challenge now is to create a mindset shift in terms of really doing thorough analysis and measurement, as most other marketing disciplines have been doing for decades.

One of the laudable – and long overdue – goals on the agenda for Lisbon is to “prove the value of communications to CEO’s and Finance Directors and help them put a proper value on their PR spend”.

While we await the conclusion, some of Dr Jon White’s hypotheses make sense now, namely:

– There needs to be greater clarity between communicators and clients about what a campaign needs to achieve.

– Challenge the brief: the actual problems facing the client are not always those that end up in the communications brief.

– Setting precise objectives mean the issues of measurement and evaluation tend to fade away.

– Methods for measuring the outcome of PR campaigns already exist and doing some post-campaign research is better than doing none at all.

A campaign launched 12 years ago by what was then the IPR, the PRCA and PR Week produced a handy tool kit and a set of principles. It even spoke of “weaning both practitioners and clients away from AVEs”. But – as suggested by this blog post from UK PR firm, Hopwood – AVEs are not going to go quietly.

UPDATE: As well as including a link to an excellent PR Week piece on the AVE debate, I’ve just recalled a phrase that -once upon a time – I’d heard used with clients when explaining the likely success of PR activity, which went something like: “With advertising, you pay; with PR, you pray.”

Not sure how convinced a marketing director or CEO would be when the PR consultant blamed a lacklustre campaign on the “absence of divine intervention”.

UPDATE #2: You can make your views on measurement heard at the Lisbon summit next month – complete the survey here.

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

Sliding newspaper circulation? Not in India

Thursday, May 12th, 2011 by Mark Perry


Who said newspaper circulations are falling? Well, not in India they’re not.

Circulations on the sub-continent have seen a solid growth over the last year according to the recent Indian Readership Survey.

The growth is put down to rising literacy rates, increasing population and low cover prices – some as low as 3p.

Some of the circulation figures are mind-boggling compared with what we are used to in the UK. The Hindi daily Dainik Jagran gained an extra 120,000 readers in the last quarter of 2010 and now has an average issue readership of 16.07 million.

Despite having 29 regional languages, the English language newspapers such as the Times of India, with an average readership 7.42 million, are seeing a surge in sales. This is helped by English speakers wanting to improve their use of the language –  seen as vital to being successful in the business world.

The circulation boost may not yet be threatened by electronic versions as the internet penetration is still relatively low on the sub-continent 8.5% in 2010 compared with 82.5% in the UK.

There is some way to go before the internet is widely available which means that the Indian newspaper circulation growth could continue along with the forecast 100 million population rise by 2020.


About Mark Perry

Mark has more than 25 years’ experience in PR and corporate communications. He is a founding director of B2B consultancy Melville PR.

Does your PR make business sense?

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 by Jon Clements

It’s the blood curdling moment that awaits – I would contest – every person who has ever worked in PR: having no results to share with the client.

What is, however, much worse is not knowing what results the client actually wants.

Sometimes it’s the agency’s fault for not asking and rolling out what it considers to be a bright and shiny campaign with a vague notion of “getting media coverage”; otherwise, it’s the client’s fault for not being specific enough about campaign objectives or what post-campaign success looks like. Sadly, for the agency, the client is always right – and you can bet it’s not the client getting their coat!

The marketing communications process needs to be a collaborative one – between client and agency – if it is going to succeed. And that includes making a clear and unambiguous agreement on what the campaign needs to achieve; in other words, what OUTCOME is required.

A fabulous discussion of this took place in the #measurepr Twitter chat yesterday, (transcript here) headed up by Seth Duncan, Research and Development Director at Beyond Analytics.

Duncan divides outcomes into two: business and PR. The former, he says, must be “recognisable and make sense across an organisation” while the latter can constitute any part of the PR lifecycle or “funnel”, which includes awareness, knowledge, interest, preference and action. Business outcomes should connect most directly with the final PR outcome – action. This concept is illustrated simply and effectively in the work of the post-Barcelona Principles taskforce.

But that doesn’t mean the outcome needs to be measured in pounds and pence. Duncan cites non-pecuniary outcomes such as lowering employee turnover or achieving changes in legislation. If that’s what success looks like for the company, then both the organisation and the agency needs to be clear about it from the start.

Then, there’s that acronym – KPIs. I’ve never liked the phrase “Key Performance Indicators” as – from the perspective of PR delivery – performance could be understood as output (what material was generated by a campaign) rather than actual results (outcome). And I’ve sometimes wondered whether clients, when asking for KPIs, have a clear picture of what KPIs they need. Again, it’s a collaborative process.

Alternative phrases for KPIs put forward during #measurepr were “validated metric” and – c/o my ever-helpful Twitter friend and PR specialist, Judy Gombita – “Key Success Indicators”, which seems to make the most sense as a measurement criteria.

As Duncan emphasised: “For a KPI to be worth collecting, it has to be correlated with some goal/behaviour.”

If outcomes are the Holy Grail of PR campaigns, then they’re too important not to be specified, agreed and have their own measurement budget allocated up front by agency and client.

How else will PR make business sense?

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

Google Analytics Data Goes Missing

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 by Rob Brown


Web analysts pouring over on-line data from the US mid-term elections will be amongst the many people across the globe scratching their heads when they open their Google Analytics accounts.  Sites have been registering no visits at all for November 2nd.   A quick look at the hits for this site yesterday evening showed over 200 unique visitors but this morning Google Analytics, which tracks and reports on website visitor numbers for hundreds of thousands of organisations, showed zero.  Not even the people posting comments had visited the site according to the data.

Whilst this will be a major headache it looks likely that the issue lies with the web reporting rather than the data collection.  The fact that data was appearing yesterday and is now missing supports that theory and a look at the Google Analytics status dashboard shows that there have been already been two issues this week with web reporting.  The report on Monday’s bug says “Starting Oct 25th, a 24hr delay with processing in sampled reports was identified in some accounts. No data has been lost and a fix is in progress.”  It therefore looks likely that the data will be restored.  Today’s information appears to be displaying normally.

So far however there has been no word from Google on the latest issue and political analysts and businesses around the world will be in a state of some turmoil until Google’s Web Analytics software restores the data.

Update 12.15pm UTC

Google Analytics has resolved the issue.  The status dashboard now says “The problem with Web Report should be resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support.

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown has worked in PR for over 20 years and for over fifteen years held senior PR positions within three major global advertising networks; Euro RSCG, McCann and TBWA. He launched his own business ‘Rule 5’ in MediaCityUK, Manchester in November 2012. Rob is the author of ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (2009), blogs for The Huffington Post and is joint editor of 'Share This Too' (2013).

Kurrently searches Facebook conversations

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010 by Patrick Chester


Brands can now monitor public Facebook conversations through new search engine Kurrently. Kurrently is a search engine exclusively for Facebook and Twitter, and it works in real-time. For Twitter it’s not so special, but for Facebook, it allows brands to monitor exactly what’s being talked about in user profiles.  

This is revolutionary, as in the world of social media monitoring, Facebook has always been a “walled garden”, or a closed online network, for monitoring brand reputation. Twitter, blogs and forums are easy to access, and brand conversations can be recorded and packaged to clients (media monitoring services already do exactly that). Facebook is much more difficult to monitor however, as the social network covets its user data as much as its users covet their privacy. Kurrently will allow businesses to find out exactly how their brands are being talked about on Facebook. It will be a real boon for marketers, but perhaps to the detriment of online individual privacy. 

For everyone who is not in marketing or PR, it’s a good way to check out scandals ignored by the main press but which often catch fire on social networks (try searching for a well-known footballer, it’s hilarious).

About Patrick Chester

Patrick is an account executive at Staniforth. He also runs a book review site at

Social media ROI – is it a Euro, buck or pound?

Sunday, February 7th, 2010 by Jon Clements

Return on investment from social media?

Step forward, please, the social media alchemist who has struck gold…

The leading voices in social media practice and debate are certainly giving it their best shot: Brian Solis’ recent guest post on Mashable paints a daunting picture of senior executives’ views on ROI from social media, including the bar chart below lifted from a study by Bazaarvoice and the CMO Club.

In short, the marketing decision makers remain unconvinced; so, if selling social media is the way you’re aiming to pay for dinner tonight, be prepared for a light salad rather than roast beef.

Solis suggests that measuring social media ROI in 2010 will hinge on real business metrics, such as revenue, rather than the nebulous numbers offered by volumes of followers on Twitter.

Though it’s been around for a while, Oliver Blanchard’s take on the ROI question (presentation below) still hits the spot, although the influence of other elements in the marketing mix make it difficult to evaluate the effect of social media in isolation.

Olivier Blanchard Basics Of Social Media Roi

View more presentations from Olivier Blanchard.

In our experience as a business using social media for our own purposes, as well as advising clients on theirs, there is a significant investment of time in order to make it work. Equally, the definition of a “return” has not been limited to pounds and pence, though that is the ultimate objective.

So what has been our return from social media? In its purest, measurable form of generating income, we have developed an ongoing relationship with a blue chip company that began with an exchange of views on this blog. But there have been other returns too, that oil the wheels towards our destination.

This has included using social networks to develop new contacts in a range of fields whose knowledge we have been able to call upon when pitching for new business. Through listening to networks such as LinkedIn, we’ve been asked to quote for work, opened doors with decision makers where they otherwise may have remained shut and we’ve fostered true partnerships with our suppliers by providing recommendations and referring them to opportunities spotted online. Monitoring Twitter has helped us to protect and enhance client reputation, especially when influential people on the network have a grievance.

Granted, none of this is a guarantee of instant, financial success. But would we rather have it or not have it? In tough times (and, let’s face it, one measly tenth of a percentage point growth doesn’t make for a recovery) every tool in the new business box has to be sharpened, and social media is now one of them.

To borrow from Solis again, “Defining the “R” in ROI is where we need to focus, as it relates to our business goals and performance indicators specifically”.

In business, the “R” is beefing up the bottom line. But there’s more than one way of getting there and building a presence within social media can mean you leveraging a little help from your friends.


About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

White Christmas should do it

Monday, December 8th, 2008 by Rob Brown

Before I go any further fairness dictates that if you really want to know whether it will be a white Christmas this year you might want to go to Metcheck, the Weather Channel or BBC Weather.

This weekend The Guardian ran a fascinating spread.  ‘The Most Popular Story in the World’ tackled the subject of search engines and editorial.  Not long ago Charlie Brooker wrote a piece debunking the various 9/11 conspiracy theories.  The Guardian web-site was overun by the masses.  The following week Brooker decided to open his column with the line…Miley Cyrus, Angelina, Israel vs Palestine, iPhone, 9/11 conspiracy, Facebook, MySpace and Britney Spears nude.  The effect on traffic was unspectacular.

Search engine optimization (SEO) and that is essentially what all this is about, depends on using more than just lots of popular keywords.  They might have some impact on hits but visitors will ‘bounce’ (leave the site) as quickly as they entered.  Here at PRMediaBlog towers we’ve had several articles that have resulted in spikes in visitor numbers so we know at first hand what many of the drivers are.  You don’t just need keywords, you need inbound links too – if you have a blog by the way and you are interested in SEO feel free to link to this article!

The content shouldn’t just be link-bait either.  It needs to be engaging in its own right, plus Google and other search engines rank sites so track record is very important too.

So why is White Christmas in the headline?  Well headlines are important and it is just over two weeks to Christmas.  That’s about when long range weather forecasts start to get accurate so that’s when the searches should gather pace. PR has always used the calendar to provide hooks for stories so why should digital PR be any different?  I’ll keep you posted in the comment section on how this blog post does for visits.  I might even let you know if they all bugger off to the weather sites.

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown has worked in PR for over 20 years and for over fifteen years held senior PR positions within three major global advertising networks; Euro RSCG, McCann and TBWA. He launched his own business ‘Rule 5’ in MediaCityUK, Manchester in November 2012. Rob is the author of ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (2009), blogs for The Huffington Post and is joint editor of 'Share This Too' (2013).