RMP Media Analysis

Double Dipping Copyright Fees

In Licensing, PR Vendors on July 29, 2014 at 11:22 am

Chips and DipAt my core I am a rule follower. Always have been, always will be. However in order to follow a rule or set of rules they need to be logical or else I feel compelled speak up. Double dipping is one of those rules I follow without a second thought. Dip your chip once – finish said chip – use new chip to dip again. Simple!

Double dipping is not something you do in polite company – heck, it isn’t even something you do with friends. In business however double dipping is not only practiced openly it is upheld by the law of the land…sort of.

NLA-logo In the UK, the NLA media access Limited (NLA) collects fees from news aggregators as well as the companies using those services to view the news provided to them as part of the service. What? When you subscribe to a service like Meltwater News for example – Meltwater pays the NLA a license fee to provide you with their content. No problem there. However as a Public Relations professional subscribing to this service your company also has to pay a fee to the NLA to view and share that content within your organization, provided to you by your vendor. This is where the details make a difference. If you are a web-only consumer, meaning, you only view the content online and don’t share it…then no second fee is required. If you are creating newsletters to share relevant content within your organization – ding! another fee applies.

In Public Relations, Corporate Communications and Marketing – sharing news stories is essential. While I understand there is a need to protect copyrighted material I question why an industry which is struggling (publishers) to maintain market share and revenues seeks to penalize the very viewership they require.

In early June, a major ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union declared internet users who look at copyrighted material online aren’t breaking copyright by doing so. This ruling however makes no difference in the “double dip” fee the NLA charges – charging the vendor to provide the content and the reader to view it depending on the format in which is is delivered. Oh and did I mention the vendor can only scan and store the content for 28 days… I have to think there is a better way and publishers need to work with the media monitoring industry so both can benefit without making the customer eat a double dipped chip.

Cision Digital Reach – Moving Media Measurement Forward

In Measurement on July 16, 2014 at 12:48 pm

At the end of June Cision put forth an improved concept of their Digital Reach value. The idea is to answer the question of how valuable a site or post is through the number of social shares it garners.

Using an unnamed paid third party vendor (Compete?, Neilsen?, Alexa?, ComScore?, Other?) and various free API’s Cision has employed a statistician to develop a methodology which incorporates unique site visits with social sharing.

Heidi Sullivan, Senior Vice President of Digital Content, reviewed the feature with me which is incorporated into over a quarter million CisionPoint media outlet profiles. She explained “Instead of focusing on a small panel of users, we’re measuring links that have been shared across the entire social web and we are thus able to provide a comprehensive global figure. Additionally, our methodology allows us to provide reach figures for sub-sites, which are often not available through other UVPM (Unique Views Per Month) providers. We look at a sample of sites and examine the relationship between each site’s UVPM and corresponding social media share counts. From that sample, we develop a statistical model that mathematically expressed the relationship between a site’s UVPM and its social media share counts.”

Facts about Digital Reach:

  • Users can request a site be added by contacting customer services or Cision support (support.us@cision.com or 800-588-3827) who will turn the request around in about 5 days.
  • There are over a quarter of a million sites currently being tracked
  • The data is surfaced in a few charts right now, but will be expanded in the next few months – see below current and Beta versions Heidi shared.
  • Figures are updated monthly, ensuring data freshness (I recommend that you account for that when you compare month over month values)
  • Cision’s measurement team can also take this data into account in customer custom reports.

The visualization of data is important to the ease of use component of measurement. Here Cision has a few basic charts to start out with:

Cision Analyze1

Standard Analyze chart demonstrating Reach over Time


Standard Analyze chart demonstrating total breakdown for a defined period.


Here we see a couple of BETA charts which are only available to a few select clients for review at this time:

Analyze Beta 2

Analyze Beta 1

Is this the Answer to Impressions and AVE?

According to Heidi: “Digital Reach reflects the way users are actually viewing and sharing content on the web. The concept of “reach” in media measurement is increasingly intertwined with online sharing activity. Social activity such as tweets and Facebook status updates drive a growing portion of web users to the content they choose to look at every day and measures true “action” inspired by a story or site

According to me: No. Nor do I think that is what Cision intended. It might be the leap that some people make though.

It is however a step in the direction of identifying real influence and reach of an article or post. As for AVE it’s like comparing apples to oranges. AVE attempts to place a dollar value on a piece to provide Public Relations teams with an understandable metric when speaking to the business. I mention AVE because this article on Gigaom about Cloud Marketing  closes with “Advertising Currency – Can you believe digital audience measurement still hasn’t shaken out and can’t be compared with TV or print yet?” Why no, no I can’t.

The real golden egg is to understand customer’s recollection to determine reach of content. More on that in a future post.

Does Digital Reach hit the Mark?

As Heidi and I discussed this feature we agreed that this is only one of many pieces of the puzzle to a meaningful measurement program. If boiled down to its lowest denominator this too is only a count. The value is in what this count has the potential to tell you as a corporate communicator in public relations:

  •  Knowing who is sharing your content or your competitor content or industry trends that is being re-shared helps PR figure out who to have conversations with for future campaigns, thought leadership etc.
  •  Knowing how many people viewed a related article or post can provide guidance on where to spend efforts to maintain or increase awareness about the brand.

Kudos to Cision for recognizing and acting on the impression conundrum public relations and corporate communications professionals face; this is certainly moving the conversation forward.

Public Relations Media Measurement Is Easy & Straightforward

In Measurement on July 15, 2014 at 11:18 am


Not hardly.

On the other hand if you agree with that I want to speak to you. Now.

In Public Relations there are those who understand the benefit of meaningful measurement and those who simply don’t. This is not for lack of ongoing education efforts by the PRSA, IPR, AMEC, tweetchats like #measurepr and #solopr as well as a host of practitioners working one on one with customers.

Those who get measurement are looking for insights. They want to know if an article, blog post or broadcast

a) was impacted by their efforts

b) carried their messages

c) influenced their end customer and to what end. This is not a small task.

d) increased awareness of the brand

e) addressed a crisis situation with or without bias

Those who are trying to obtain meaningful measurement are typically moving away from counts and on to insights. Counts are a way to show potential reach. This does not however answer the “So What?” question that the business side of the organization is seeking. Want to get a seat at the table? Work on providing business insights that are actionable.

Those who don’t get measurement are looking for counts. How many times was my executive mentioned, how many times was my competitor mentioned, how many clips mentioned us this month, how many people saw our coverage? – So What?

I’m out to uncover and discover which vendors are looking to seriously move the measurement needle for Public Relations and Corporate Communications.

My next post will be on Cision’s Digital Reach. Which vendor would you like to see a post about on this topic? Do you feel your company is moving the needle? Let me know and I’ll write it up.


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