Measurement Week Series: Q&A With Kara Eddy, Research Director
AMEC Measurement Week presented by Cision and Vocus hits New York City in just four days. In anticipation of this free, five-day event, we thought it would be insightful to interview some of Cision’s own data and analytics professionals and get you thinking about how measurement applies to your job, campaigns or brand. We continue our Measurement Week series today with a Q&A with Kara Eddy, research director in the Cision Global Analysts division, based in Portsmouth, N.H.
Hi, Kara. For those who aren’t familiar, who are the Cision Global Analysts? How does your team help people measure?
Our business unit, with hubs in Chicago, London and Shanghai, focuses on measurement and insights around earned media for large organizations. I work in the Portsmouth, N.H. office with about 30 other CGA folks—coders, retrieval, analysts—everyone we need to get and keep clients.
We create customized programs targeted to client needs and scope—effectively, we become an extension of the corporate team. We analyze traditional and social media to provide metrics over time and to shape observations and recommendations for the organization.
What should a company know before deciding to measure or leverage data as part of its strategy? Basically, where do they start?
Not to be overly simplistic, but the central question is, what is your objective and what do you hope to influence? PR has to be able to show the value of its efforts to the organization-at-large in order to get a place at the table when it comes to decision-making. The Barcelona Principles provide an excellent overview of practical considerations, and K.C. Brown, general manager of Cision Global Analysts, will also discuss fundamentals in a session during AMEC Measurement Week. [Ed. note: If you’d like to receive a recording of K.C. Brown’s session, please visit our Measurement Week registration page.]
Can you give us an example of a project or program you put together for a client?
While I can’t name specific companies, I can tell you we’ve put together programs that cross a variety of industries and brands. I love it when clients tell us our metrics are an integral part of their self-assessment strategies! While agencies primarily focus on campaigns in the moment, we go beyond that epicenter, giving clients multiple ways to gauge successes and challenges weeks, months and even years beyond launch.
Most clients rely on our key performance indicators (KPIs) to shape analysis. Quality KPIs—PR Recall™ and Net Reach—are favorites. They provide insight into the tone, prominence and likely influence of media coverage on a targeted audience. We can also provide companies better understanding around key corporate or brand messages and the general reputation of the organization.
Do you find that different brands focus on different metrics to prove the effectiveness and ROI of campaigns? Have you noticed any measurement trends across certain industries?
Measurement can vary widely among companies and brands. We do see some common threads. For example, highly-regulated industries like banking, insurance and energy often put more emphasis on relationships with customers and government entities. They are also the companies most likely to ask what’s “good,” “bad” and “average,” and they are very curious about their performance versus peers on KPIs. Among tech companies, well-established companies focus on upstarts and word-of-mouth more, and look to a message house that will help keep them “fresh” in the eyes of the consumer.
Cision Global Analysts work with some big-name companies. Do you ever get to see specific brand or campaign success stories from these companies as a result of your team’s work?
All the time. About a year ago I noticed a reporter who wasn’t on my client’s radar, but who seemed friendly to the company agenda. After providing details to the client, they forged a relationship with the journalist and have gotten a lot of quality coverage in that major media outlet—and a fresh audience for their message.
How has data and measurement changed over the course of your career?
The biggest change has been the incorporation of social media measurement, and the way we look at that data. Our ability to provide actionable intelligence around social media constantly improves. Paired with traditional media measurement, it gives a client a clearer picture of place in the market.
Do you have any predictions for how measurement might continue to evolve for PR and marketing?
One thing I can see happening is the development of more universal metrics—we’re already seeing that trend with social media. Sentiment was great, but organizations wanted the meaning behind the metrics. The demand to provide insight to the marketing manager, PR communicator and C-suite across earned, owned and paid media, with measures that are accessible and understandable to all, will continue to grow.
Can you tell us an interesting fact about yourself?
In my down time I love to garden, read, cook, support my local animal rescue, and tend to my 13-year-old Siberian Husky, Auz.
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