Measuring media relations: What can we learn when we measure the Share of Conversation?

Share of conversation (SoC) is a measure which filters earned media coverage by only looking at volume which is relevant to a specific topic. This adds an additional layer to the Power of Voice (PoV) metric that I wrote about in another blog. SoC is especially useful when you’re comparing your media share with companies that work across multiple verticals or have several product offerings that are not competitive to your business.

By taking advantage of the SoC metric in your reporting tool stack you will be able measure the media ownership of a specific topic, which removes the taint of competitor coverage that is irrelevant to the messages and topics you’re focused on.

In addition, by looking at specific conversations, it helps you see the overall relevance of your coverage, how far your media messaging is cutting through the noise and improving perception of your brand.

Building Share of Conversation

The best way to measure SoC is through media scraping tools such as Meltwater or Cision. This requires you to create a Boolean search string which includes a library of key words on a specific market e.g., 5G or Cloud. Then you’ll write this out to include [brand name] AND [key words] in [Media links].

You compare this with your competitors and, with some refinement, the output will be your SoC. It can get even more interesting when you compare your SoC to your PoV coverage, revealing interesting insights about how your competitors communicate with the media

The next step is evaluating how you want your messaging to go forward.

Key message pull through

One other great way to use this tool is to measure your key message pull/cut through. By comparing your SoC coverage vs. total coverage you can see how you’ve been able to stay on message with the media landscape. This is especially useful if your brand receives a lot of organic coverage and you’re looking to influence how you’re mentioned in the media.

Reputation enhancement

SoC can also be a useful tool in tracking your reputation.

If a company you’re tracking has been involved in a cyberattack, for example, you’ll encounter the issue of huge volumes of coverage with a negative sentiment. SoC can help to track negative versus positive/neutral coverage , giving you a more rounded view on how the brand is being discussed in the media.

Messaging research

You can expand your messaging research further to look at multiple topics across the competitive landscape. This gives you the opportunity to see which companies have dominance over specific topics. You can then decide if you want to orientate media activity to try and contest ownership over a topic or build out a niche around a new topic which is growing in interest in the media landscape.

SoC is one of dozens of potential metrics that help you go deeper than Share of Voice or Power of Voice when analysing your media performance. It provides an interesting set of data from a reflective

evaluation perspective, but is even more valuable when used to help evolve media strategy mid-programme.

Picture of Matt Denby

Written by Matt Denby

Matt joined CCgroup after spending four years studying PR at Bournemouth University. Early on he showed an aptitude to integrating PR theory into practice and has been instrumental in CCgroup’s strategic and results-driven approach to measurement. When he’s not working, you’ll tend to find him travelling the world on his motorbike.


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