First A Little Background
Salience Insight is the combination of the former UK-based Report International and US-based KDPaine & Partners which was acquired in 2012 and the original Salience based in the Middle East. Salience has over 150 consultants and analysts operating in the Middle East/North Africa, Europe and North America and is a subsidiary of News Group.
In March of this year, Salience Insight announced the acquisition of the US operations of CARMA International. CARMA (established in 1984) has the distinction of being the first company to commercialize media content analysis in the United States. The acquisition does not include CARMA International’s overseas franchise operations, which are licensed to operate under the CARMA brand and use the proprietary technology and methodology for media evaluation services.
Angie Jeffrey, US Strategy Director Salience Insight, and Katherine Eickhoff, Social Media Manager/Senior Analyst CARMA, recently spoke with me about the success of CARMA in the media content analysis space.
How is CARMA Moving Media Measurement Forward?
The question should probably be which vendors are emulating CARMA’s methodology. As I stated above CARMA has deep roots in media content analysis here in the US. Building on experience over 30 years CARMA has developed proprietary metrics which are defined here below (straight from their website) and a full outline of the process is available here.
CARMA Favorability Rating: A measure of quality that takes into account the tone, sources, messages, and prominence of a story. As an overall metric, it provides the “average rating per story” across all analyzed stories.
CARMA Weighted Rating: A measure of overall quality that takes into account the tone, sources, messages, and prominence of each story compared to its circulation/audience, to determine the “average rating per viewer/reader.”
CARMA Media IQ: A measure of media impact that takes into account the media reach and favorability of coverage. It is calculated by incorporating the CARMA rating system into a single measure along with audience reach and story volume.
CARMA Index: A benchmark measure of quality drawing on more than 9.5 million stories in CARMA’s research database.
“CARMA research is based on the contention that the media strongly influences the way that people think. We use the CARMA rating system to help companies identify the impact of the communications and public relations efforts.”- Katherine Eickhoff, Social Media Manager/Senior Analyst CARMA
You might think CARMA is giving away the secret to their success by providing this information so openly. However the methodology is only one aspect of what makes this organization so valued with customers. The driving force behind the CARMA success story are the senior analysts. The most accomplished and successful organizations recognize that automation in analysis is a tool, not the end game.
CARMA works one-on-one with customers according to Katherine to “develop a list of specific topics and messages that are important to the client, i.e. the divisions of a particular company, a tag line, a particular service, product, etc. We can then break out the favorability score by these specific topics over a particular time period, determine share of voice vs. competitors, perform correlations, etc.”
Human analysis is essential to uncovering insights and connecting the strategies with the outcomes of public relations and corporate communications efforts. I’ve evangelized this approach since Day 1 of establishing RMP Media Analysis and every successful measurement organization employs some flavor of this “hybrid” approach.
CARMA moves measurement forward by providing truly customized reports based on proven metrics and then making analysis accessible to the customer to explain the entire report or just specific metrics if there are ever any questions. Essentially they provide the customer service to support their metrics and embrace the questions customers present.
***I’ll be featuring Salience Insight/CARMA in a future post as the integration between the organizations continues.***