When reporting on earned media performance, volume of coverage is often the first metric PR practitioners explore. However, the figures alone can provide a distorted view of real performance – which is where insights come in.
Insights add intelligence that quantitative data rarely offers. When the whole story is visible, you are able to fine-tune the specificity and efficiency of your communications strategy while enhancing goals in the right places.
High volume, low value
A common mistake that we often see on the Vuelio Insights is that bigger is better. Having sky-high earned coverage or the strongest share of voice may sound impressive, but it does not guarantee positive results or valuable content.
You could easily perform better overall on a low-volume month when factoring in metrics that our data experts offer — such as mention type, key message penetration, impact score, link to website and many more.
Volume of Coverage: Greater Anglia (1 June – 31 July)
In this example we can see that in July, Greater Anglia received a significantly higher volume of coverage than it did in June. An initial, deeper insight can be deducted by referring to sentiment. With Insights expertise, we can also deduce that over 95% of this volume increase was published by media outlets with a fourth-tier source ranking (a broad range of news sources, newswire sources and sources with a local or regional focus). On the other hand, volume in the top three tiers stayed almost exactly the same in both months (reputable national and regional media with established reliability).
Mention Types: Greater Anglia
A sample of top-tier publications show that while more coverage was produced in July, Greater Anglia had a stronger volume of positive headline and main body mentions in June. As there were more passing mentions in July, this means the overall value of coverage was stronger in June despite the volume being lower.
Low Volume, High Value: Network Rail
In the same way that high volume does not equal high value, low volume doesn’t mean low value. For example, while Network Rail has a strong share of voice among competitors, it has received relatively low national coverage (245 publications) in relation to the ‘levelling-up’ plan or debate over where to place the next Great British Railways HQ.
However, 39.5% of this coverage was a headline mention, 55% wrote about Network Rail in a significant section of the article and only 5.5% was a passing mention. As over half of Network Rail coverage in relation to strikes was a passing mention, this means that the quality of this low-volume HQ coverage has had more of a valuable impact on Network Rail’s brand than the negative impact of high-volume strike coverage.
Alongside this upsurge in headline mentions, Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, was the second-most quoted speaker to have a statement featured in industry-related national online news between 5 July – 18 August.
With these additional insights, we can see that this small section of coverage (that only consumed 23% of total volume between July-August) is significantly more valuable for Network Rail’s brand than other high-volume content.
Furthermore, the top speakers metric is ideal for internal reporting as it is a direct reflection of successful PR efforts made by the communications team, as well as the national media response and overall impact on the audience.
Expert Opinions Create Expert Results
While many platforms offer a broad perspective on brand performance, working with data experts provides greater depth and detail on the ways in which you are achieving your results. With a strong set of insights based on your specific KPIs, you can guarantee full transparency on your outcomes while also creating a reliable foundation for efficient, targeted and successful strategy in the future.
Want to know more about this data or how media insights can support your PR and communications? Get in touch.