Media appearances are one of the quickest ways to establish brand recognition and position brands in the national discourse. Brands always have opportunities to get on TV and radio, but engaging with the 24-hour news cycle requires a specialised approach.
Access to broadcast opportunities requires an acute awareness of current affairs and popular culture, and the PR industry as a whole is in dire need of a way to measure the return on investment for these efforts. In this spirit, Broadcast Revolution has launched the Impact evaluation model.
Phil Caplin, Founder of Broadcast Revolution, explains that “For too long, PR professionals have relied on the number of pieces of coverage and weekly reach to report successes of broadcast campaigns. This risks the overstatement of the success, and more importantly, it doesn’t treat broadcast with the respect it deserves. Our new model recognises that broadcast is a key strategic part of the communication mix, asking the tough questions at the start to ensure campaigns are set up and evaluated for success.”
How Does the Model Work?
Until now, evaluation in the Broadcast PR sector focussed on volume of coverage and reach as the key metrics.
Impact will evaluate and benchmark the performance of a client’s broadcast output against a clear set of 17 pre-agreed qualitative and quantitative criteria, including objectives, desired outcomes, messaging, types of media, and reach. For the first time, Impact allows clients to be given a score out of 100 to demonstrate the effectiveness of their campaigns.
A score of fewer than 49 points indicates areas for improvement, while anything between 50 and 70 points shows a good campaign. Campaigns that score 70 points or over are strong and set the benchmark as an example of an excellent broadcast campaign.
As part of Broadcast Revolution’s commitment to support the major broadcasters’ drive and targets for 50/50 diversity representation on air, Impact will also consider diversity as part of its scoring framework.
The Theory Behind the Model
To mark the launch of Broadcast Revolution’s Impact scoring system, we invited a panel of esteemed experts to discuss the issues and need for reform in broadcast PR. Our Founder Phil Caplin was joined by Steph Bridgeman (Founder of Experienced Media Analysts and Co-Creator of Impact) and Richard Bagnall (Co-Managing Partner of global media intelligence specialist CARMA International and Chair of AMEC).
Bagnall explained, “the primary issue broadcast PR faces is the confusion of busyness with value because all parts of a business must generate value at the end of the day. Particularly in times of economic uncertainty when the need to save money is paramount, a lack of clear return on investment in the PR industry has left us at the mercy of budget cuts.”
However, by utilising new platforms like Impact, Bridgeman explained we are able to “count the things that matter” and abandon vanity metrics in the industry, thus forging ahead with a path of meaningful change. The days of bolting on a radio day will become a thing of the past. Impact will ensure that broadcast becomes an essential component of the PR mix, with the ability to analyse results and be reflective so that PRs are informed and critical of what could be done better.
Broadcast has traditionally been an afterthought which has fundamentally inhibited its success, and Impact will ensure this will no longer be the case. Instead, the model will display why it needs to be an integral ingredient incorporated into every campaign’s planning stage to ensure it is the best it can be. Caplin explained that this model will reinforce the idea that “quality coverage is far more important than quantity coverage”, something that is long overdue.
Ultimately, Impact will give PR professionals the “ability to compare apples with pears”, as Bridgeman noted, which will facilitate better broadcast.
Beyond the Launch
Stay tuned as the team behind the evaluation has model has confirmed that there are plans to expand the use of the model to encapsulate the full spectrum of PR activity both inside and outside of broadcast, allowing all PRs to measure the Impact of their campaigns with an evaluation system that not only provides insightful data but stands up to client scrutiny.