The Importance of Benchmarking Media and Why 2021 is Different

Media content analysis continues to be one of the most popular forms of PR research and evaluation. It involves deconstructing traditional and social media content. Text, video and audio content is converted into data representing individual messages as well as the names of spokespeople, opinion-leaders and influencers.

Once in data form, the researcher detects trends and insight and proposes action. Media analysis includes:

Quantitative analysis (frequency and reach);
Qualitative analysis (tone/sentiment and message delivery);
Comparative analysis (your performance versus other measures); and
Business Impact (how PR shapes revenue generation, efficiency and cost avoidance).

Without the context of comparative analysis, one can pursue what seems like a proper PR plan. Set measurable objectives, develop data-informed strategy and tactics, and evaluate performance…and get everything absolutely wrong.

Imagine this: a communicator sets an objective to improve 20 percent vs the previous period by generating 500 positive stories per month, 80 percent of which include at least one key message, with 20 percent appearing in top-tier media.

Even all objectives are achieved, though, you may fail miserably. Why? Because competitors aren’t idle. They may have generated 1,000 positive stories/month, for example.


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