If you want your company or product/service name to come up when a potential customer searches either on an online news site or when reading print publications, you need to have a plan. Of course this plan will include developing stories, reaching out to the right media. Knowing whether the results of your plan are effective needs good measurement - which unfortunately is probably one of the trickier aspects of PR.
Less often today, but still used, are advertising equivalents (AVEs) as a measure of PR value. AVEs try to measure PR in terms of the amount of money it would have cost to buy ad space.
However, AVEs have many problems as a measure of quality, for example they don’t really evaluate:
- Whether your company is getting a decent enough share of voice.
- How often you are being mentioned alongside key companies in the sector.
- Whether you are being mentioned by key media/bloggers that cover the sector.
Share of voice was primarily used for advertising and seen as a a company's, product's or service's advertising weight expressed as a percentage of a total market over a given time period. Now it can be used for social media and PR.
The share of voice in PR is usually defined in terms of number of clippings, rank of publications in terms of reader quality and circulation figures, solo mention vs. mentions with competitors etc.
Here are our five top tips to kick off your share of voice activities:
1. Know your competitors.
List the companies/products/services that you compete with. Know who you come up against in tenders and if you are a new company, know who the major players in your sector are.
2. Know what your customers read.
Do you want to target data centre managers, then maybe look to specialist data centre publications or websites.
3. Tier the publications/websites.
Find the ones with the highest circulations, most suitable reader profiles, check out their online credibility.
4. Set up a benchmark.
Understand who owns the share of voice and plotyour position against theirs. This could mean who gets mentions the most in your target publications.
5. Keep measuring.
Once you start monitoring share of voice, you will start to understand what stories your competitors are putting out andwhat gets them the valuable space. You can then develop your own strategies to grab more space.