May 21, 2013 Leave a comment
After a media campaign, or in a periodic evaluation of press management, any head of a communications team usually wonders what results have been obtained during a certain period of time and what should be improved. With this issue in mind, we would like to share with you several guidelines used by our clients to create Communication Reports, which will allow you to familiarise yourself with the current situation of the company and define a future media strategy. In other words, now is the time to analyse whether your media strategy is on the right track, or conversely, whether it needs to be changed for future campaigns. This is the structure we propose:
A good way to begin the communication report is by creating an “Executive Summary”. This summary is to give an overview of the volume of global appearances of your business. Ideally this summary should compare one time period with the same time period. However, this may vary for each company, since this comparison can be made with data you wish to highlight: yearly, quarterly, or half-yearly.
An effective approach to this opening section is to create a numerical breakdown of appearances by media type: internet, newspaper, magazine, blog, TV, radio, etc.,as the first exercise for studying your strengths and weaknesses, and where to draw from when creating new work guidelines for the future. Did I have fewer appearances in magazines this year? What caused this? Have my appearances in press agencies gone up 300%? What have I done to continue the themes of my work?
Usually these summaries contain a recount of the total appearances in press, including both online and offline, but how you calculate this information depends on your individual tastes. From our point of view, it´s more practical to create a total recount of the number of times that the press has used information related to your business, because that way in this first section we can see in a single viewing, on a global scale, the results obtained after all the work done previously.
Analysis of yearly trends
Now it´s time for your PR report to go into a bit more detail by creating a “Trend Analysis” in which previously mentioned aspects will be examined more closely. For example, if a number “X” has appeared at some point during the quarter, it´s good to look at which months have produced the highest number of appearances and if this has coincided with any event, launch, presentation, if they have any specific cause (stemming from any action by the media), if they have been spontaneous (media or users who talk about your brand). This second category of media appearances shows that your business has gained equally in importance as in reference.
Continuing with this analysis, we should consider that at the present time, even though you may be analysing a trimester, it’s helpful to show the evolution of appearances throughout the year and then concentrate exclusively on this period. This way you will see which data have been chosen, but you also have the option to see your evolution for the rest of the year.
While realising this graph, one good option would be to include a clarification of the reason for these publications. In other words, if our volume of appearances in the media was due to the launch of a product, who mentioned it, or on the other hand, if there was a crisis.
The tone taken during appearances is a characteristic that is extensively analysed by companies. Sandra de los Mozos, our director of Customer Care, has told us that the vast majority of our clients create a favourability report which shows the tone used to talk about them.
It’s good to routinely make a classification of appearances in order not to find yourself in the awkward position of having to create it when the time comes to create the communication report. One of the tools of ComSuite gives you the option of classifying the nature of the appearance as “positive, neutral, or negative” when you log a media appearance, showing you the image you are projecting to consumers in these communication media.
This is convenient during crisis cases or simply for negative comments or publications. You already know these will produce negative results, but what is the impact of this information? What types of media are echoing this? It’s a good way to know which type of media you need to take special care of during these moments of “information attack”.
We’re going to close this first entry about the creation of communication reports here. In the second part of our post we will expand these guidelines. If you’re interested, you can tell us your thoughts on which is the most effective format for creating a Communication Report.