When it comes to measuring your PR performance, numbers alone can – for better or worse – easily distort the real picture. For example, Share of Voice is always one of the first metrics Vuelio clients ask for – but what is the quality of the coverage? Brand A may have 10% more than Brand B, but how valuable is it to the brand? If it is mostly negative or passive commentary, then Brand B may have performed better overall.
Key Message Penetration is a great tool for diving deeper into your coverage to measure brand awareness and assess how well your brand messages are being delivered.
Try this simple five-step guide to get started:
1. Establish your key messages
Create a list of 3-5 key messages that highlight the main point(s) you want to get across. These are the messages you want to come to the minds of your consumers when they think about your brand, so tie them back to your brand strategy or a specific product launch, i.e.:
- ABC Vets, pioneers in new holistic pet therapy
- ABC Vets, the charity for pets in need
- ABC Vets, providing affordable animal care to Britain since 1978
2. Set parameters
Once you have your key messages, decide on the channels that would be most valuable based on your target audience. For example:
- What are the preferred media types of your target audience(s) i.e. print, broadcast, online news, social media etc?
- Which publications are your audience(s) reading?
- Which journalists/authors write these pieces?
- Do you have a target reach i.e. regional, national, international?
3. Assess your coverage overtime
Now that you know what your messages are and the format(s) in which you would like them to appear, you can begin exploring your coverage results:
- Establish a timeframe of how often you would like to compare your performance (i.e. monthly, quarterly, yearly).
- When it is time to conduct your analysis, compile all earned coverage throughout your chosen period and ensure it is differentiated from owned and paid-for coverage.
- Using your list of key messages, explore each media item for points of reference. In order to get your final penetration percentage, divide the number of key message articles by the total number of articles and times by 100.
Tip: Your coverage does not have to state the exact words in your list of key messages— it can be any earned content that fits into the category of one of your key messages.
For example, if one of your key message targets is to be a thought leader in your field, then a newspaper that cites a statistic or factual quote from your brand would count as message penetration.
4. Evaluate performance – which key messages landed best? Where?
Within your analysis, note down the parameters of when your key messages perform best/worst. For example, which key messages are most mentioned? Which media types/publications/journalists come up the most? What is the reach?
Using this data, compare the types of media that your key messages are performing best/worst in with the media that is most engaged with your target audience. For example, if the publications that are most often driving your key messages are highly engaged with your target audience, you know your brand awareness is performing well in the right places.
Reminder: You can use this type of evaluation (as well as things like sentiment and mention types) to explore the true quality and brand value of the coverage that is measured in your quantitative data.
5. Build out your KPIs
Once you have completed a comprehensive analysis, you should have a clear, qualitative and quantitative understanding of how well your key messages are being delivered to your target audience(s).
With this information, you can create a data-led set of KPIs on:
- Your realistic and achievable penetration percentage
- Which target publications, platforms, journalists etc. are delivering your messages
- Who/what/when/where you would like to generate more awareness
As these analyses begin to accrue over time, you can use the former reports as benchmarks for the next. This way you can see how your key message penetration is progressing month on month, year on year.
Want to know more about this data or how media insights can support your PR and communications? Find out more.