RMP Media Analysis

What’s in a Name? Brand Recognition

In PR Vendors on October 1, 2014 at 12:00 pm


Brand recognition is a key goal for marketers. Public Relations professionals protect, build and support the brand reputation.

Easy recollection of the brand with positive associations by customers is the perfect marriage of Marketing and Public Relations well executed.

What happens when you have more than one brand in the stable? Many acquisitions see the acquired company brand absorbed into the acquirer. In some cases both brands are listed i.e. Oracle MICROS (a recent acquisition), ExxonMobil (kept two strong brands and includes both logos),  Citigroup (Citibank and Travellers Group – kept elements from both).

GTCR purchased Vocus, owns 97.4% of Cision, acquired Visible Technologies and now has the task of identifying the combined entities in some fashion to their consumer base.

VocusPR VocusOutMarket

Vocus’ Marketing Suite has been spun-off as OutMarket with a new management team and new brand. This was a strategic move which allows the Cision & Vocus products to focus on their core competency – Public Relations. With the addition of Visible Technologies the PR and Marketing products will both benefit.

Initially we saw Vocus/Cision, now we see Cision-Vocus. My two cents: I’m going on record that the Cision brand will win out in the end.

-Peter Granat has stated the headquarters for the combined Cision-Vocus will be in Chicago with operations in Maryland (Vocus’ original headquarters).

-Peter came from Cision and discusses the culture at Cision in his interviews. The Vocus “culture” is out the door with Rick Rudman’s exit in June.

- Cision has been the benchmark Public Relations vendors reference in their sales pitch for years. Vocus has as well, but the pivot to Marketing eroded that some.

- As an organization Cision has marketed the brand across all channels in line with emerging opportunities. Just look at the visual impact of the Cision corporate blog vs. the Vocus corporate blog. One might argue there should only be one combined blog – but I expect that is in the works, just not a high priority right now. Although it would be an impactful way to demonstrate the integration.- just sayin’

-The Cision brand simply seems like it has the staying power this powerhouse of giants needs to be successfully recognized.


Industry Thoughts: Recent Mergers & Acquisitions

In PR Vendors on September 24, 2014 at 12:47 pm

KnotThe Public Relations / Corporate Communications vendor space has seen serious consolidation this year. The most recognized of which is the Cision/Vocus tie up through GTCR. Peter Granat has pushed further with the acquisition of Visible Technologies last week. Exciting things happening there – would love to talk to Peter and share his thoughts first hand.

WPP purchased Precise who was on the market earlier this year which is going to be interesting since WPP owns Kantar Media as well. The Financial Times broke the news in January that Exponent, the private equity firm which purchased Gorkana Group in 2010 for 25M pounds are looking to sell the media monitoring company. No further public word on that at this time.

With all this movement and as part of a related series on measurement I asked a few thought leaders how they see the consolidation impacting the space. Here are their thoughts:

Critical Mention – Dave Armon, President

“It’s an exciting time for the public relations and marketing services sector. It’s clear that we are in a growth market, and that there’s a ton of innovation and investment that will benefit professionals with better tools and platforms. Critical Mention is participating in this growth by providing the TV and radio layer to the vast majority of media monitoring and business intelligence platforms through our API.”

moreover Technologies – Mark Denn, Managing Director

“When there are two big players in a market both fighting for the same revenue with similar offerings the obvious thing is for one to buy the other. However in a saturated market where there is more than just the big two to choose from, beware of  the dangers of acquisition which may lie ahead. What happens if most clients have used both at some time, and actually have already chosen their favourite. What if they feel they are both as bad as each other. How will they feel when their current supplier is acquired and disappears into the horizon. Bullied?? Maybe.

Time to look around. When a market has more than just two big players there is plenty of opportunity for the client. Don’t be bullied the time is nigh for a change.”

PRIME Research – Mark Weiner, CEO

“It [GTCR Acquisition] creates an opportunity for PRIME as more companies move to automation. It leaves more space for research based consultation which is what we provide. Data will become more “commoditized” which will leave it open to the human analysis quality.”

Salience Insight – Angela Jeffrey, US Strategic Director

“We are seeing consolidation throughout the industry, which will likely improve and strengthen product/service offerings clients.  It will be interesting to see if the new owners [GTCR] will strengthen customer service and deep analysis, or move toward all automation.  The jury is still out, of course!”


PRIME Research – An Introduction

In Measurement on September 2, 2014 at 2:46 pm



Most public relations and corporate communications prospects and clients I speak to don’t know who PRIME Research is let alone have an opinion about the work they perform. However that is not to say they are an unknown, after all I’ve been following PRIME for years ever since I met CEO Mark Wiener at an industry event when I first started my company, RMP Media Analysis.  As an organization they participate and sponsor industry events and speakers regularly. From their own website, in their own words, here is how PRIME pitches their services:

PRIME Research is a global leader in strategic communication research, making a difference at over 500 companies and brands around the globe.

100 project managers and 600 analysts in nine research centers in the Americas, Europe and Asia/Pacific constantly monitor, analyze and consult on communication trends in more than 35 markets around the globe in 15 business sectors in 64 languages. The company seeks to marry the speed and consistency of technology with accuracy, insights and guidance provided only through human expertise.

Looking at these stats alone it is apparent that the company has a true global reach. Many measurement organizations touting a “global” reach have a few people sprinkled in India or Asia or Europe (England mostly). Not many come to mind that have a true global reach though in the same league as PRIME.

For years PRIME has been “under the radar” largely due to its focus in the German automotive industry where it got its start. In Germany measurement is a high science – PRIME started as an academic institute and that academic experience has molded the company. Their push into the US was prompted by an automotive client seeking to expand its scope of analysis internationally.. From there the company has continued it’s expansion over the years filling the need clients have.

According to Mark clients look to PRIME when “..they are evolving faster than their current provider. This is the primary reason clients reach out to PRIME.”

Beyond Simple Listening

PRIME employs a consultative approach. In this way RMP Media Analysis  is very similar and Mark asked me why I would choose to write up a competitor. We both leverage the automated side of technology to facilitate the human analysis which is a key differentiation in the market when executed properly. The answer is very simple – An educated consumer helps move measurement forward. When a consumer moves beyond simple listening they are ready for measuring and evaluating outcomes. That helps the entire industry.


PS: This is Part One in a Two part post featuring PRIME Research. After speaking at length with Mark Weiner there was just too much good stuff to share in a single post. You can find PRIME here www.prime-research.com or email them here info@prime-research.com for more information.


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