Measuring Media Share of Voice and What it Means to Your Company

Measuring Media Share of Voice and what it means to your company

It’s no secret that companies have been cutting media clips for years. But just cutting clips alone only reveals half the picture if you don’t know how your competitors are faring and if you’re getting ROI from PR.

Another common measurement barometer is only looking at impressions – don’t make this mistake. Impressions are great, but there could be a larger impact on securing coverage in a publication with 3,000 readers that your potential customers read, than in a publication with 1,000,000 readers that your potential customers don’t read.

It was these gaps that led Marketing Works to create our Share of Voice (SOV) product.

What is share of voice?

When we measure SOV, we analyze the percentage of all the earned media coverage a company receives within their industry as compared to their competitors. While analyzing SOV, we consider the following to be earned media:

  • Bylined/contributed articles
  • Feature articles and blogs
  • Mentions
  • Quotes
  • Syndicated media (i.e., releasing a news release over a wire)

Why is share of voice important?

SOV is important because, as the saying goes, knowledge is power. Constant monitoring of media coverage enables a company to act proactively instead of reactively. It shows them their impact on leading the conversation and staying top of mind versus competitors.

It also helps companies stay aware of what topics and issues are trending in their industry so they can get a jump on their competitors. For example, if we notice a client is receiving increased coverage for their response to recent legislation, we could then advise them to increase their knowledge sharing surrounding the legislation.

Additionally, measuring media SOV is a great indicator of a company’s reputation and visibility. Why is that important? A Weber Shandwick survey found that executives estimate 60% of a company’s market value can be attributed to its reputation. Furthermore, buyers are now as much as 57% of the way through the buying process before actually engaging with you, making visibility more important than ever.

A great example of the importance of SOV can be found in our annual SOV analysis for Helios. The analysis is used to determine annual benchmarks, which we then use to provide recommendations for future media relations initiatives and knowledge marketing. In the case of Helios, the insights provided by our SOV analysis proved wildly successful. These were some of the results:

  • Media presence improved by 28% from the previous year
  • Helios secured significantly more media coverage than all competitors
  • Helios successfully secured a mention in a national story by the New York Times
  • Quotes from Helios’ experts more than doubled from the previous year and it was the most quoted pharmacy benefit manager of all competitors
  • The number of instances where reporters reached out organically for typical commentary increased over the previous year.

How is share of voice measured?

The Marketing Works SOV solution looks at a client’s industry (including the client and their competitors) and tracks the media coverage they earn throughout the year. This is done at least twice a year to make strategic adjustments as needed. The most vital aspect of measuring SOV is ensuring we are constantly aware of all new media coverage of our client or their competitors.

When we discover new coverage, we analyze the article for the data we need and enter it in to our coverage database. The data we compile includes:

  • Quantitative – number of overall placements
  • Outlet priority – how valuable the media placement is to our potential customers
  • Outlet type – industry/national media, local media, syndicated, etc.
  • Qualitative – the quality of the placement (e.g., a feature article or just a brief mention)
  • Tonal – the tone of the placement (positive or negative)

In the end, SOV is a very useful metric that clearly demonstrates the tangible value of PR.

Is your company measuring its media footprint? If not, drop us an email and let’s get started today.

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