Targeted comms, media trust and vanity PR

In an average day, a PR professional will consider countless metrics both to deliver effective communications and measure the results. One of the most basic is circulation, the number of eyeballs on a newspaper or magazine, plus listening figures for radio programmes or podcasts. While they’re valid metrics that should absolutely be considered - no-one wants to be shouting into the ether - an effective PR consultant will always build a bigger picture.

To some, national coverage is the holy grail - yet more eyeballs doesn’t automatically equal conversion; more eyeballs won’t necessarily achieve objectives. It may, in reality, be more effective to target smaller, niche titles to reach your target audience.

Great PR will not only make sure your brand is heard, but remembered.

Whether the goal of PR is sales, brand awareness, organisational change or something else entirely, it’s the role of the PR professional to advise clients of the most effective approach. For some brands and businesses, maximum eyeballs may absolutely be the best approach, yet for those seeking a more refined set of objectives, all activity must be highly targeted. 

Today’s PR professional must consider much more than straightforward metrics, particularly where media relations is concerned. Trust is a major consideration; in an age of the Trump presidency, fake news and rising mistrust in government and official bodies, trust is key. Do people trust what they read or hear?

Recent research from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism on trust in media brands will have been surprising to some:

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The Daily Mail boasts a circulation of 1,288,889, while The Times’ readership stands at 433,604. With a readership of 1,498,558, The Sun is well ahead of regional titles, yet the difference in trust is significant.

Does a large readership have the same attraction if those eyeballs don’t trust its content? Should your business be associated with that particular media brand?

As trust continues to play a large role in both consumer and business purchasing decisions, target media must be carefully considered - the most effective PR professionals curate media lists based on a series of factors, eschewing a ‘spray and pray’ strategy for a targeted approach. 

Considering the readership or listening figure, combined with its credibility and position of trust, along with the audience profile, is it a good fit for your business or brand? 

Successful PR is always highly strategic and measured - never assume that national coverage will be more impactful than a regional piece; it all depends on the story and the objective. 

Vanity PR will rarely deliver results.