Android tablet and paper with analytics on a table

Now Is the Time to Revisit How You Measure Earned Media

The COVID-19 pan­dem­ic and result­ing media fur­loughs have forced many orga­ni­za­tions to rethink their earned media strate­gies over the last few months – cre­at­ing the oppor­tu­ni­ty to review exist­ing strate­gies and tac­tics. As Bell­mont Part­ners’ Data + Insights Lead, I would love to sug­gest using this time to ana­lyze and update how your orga­ni­za­tion is track­ing, mea­sur­ing and report­ing earned media coverage.

As many busi­ness­es are piv­ot­ing every­thing from their busi­ness mod­els to their mar­ket­ing bud­gets, it’s more impor­tant than ever to make sure that you’re track­ing results against new goals or audi­ences. Here are a few thought-starters to consider:

  • Is what you’re cur­rent­ly doing work­ing for your orga­ni­za­tion and the lead­ers who receive your reports? If not, what needs to change?
  • Do you need any sup­port? This may be in the form of a mon­i­tor­ing plat­form or engag­ing an agency.
  • What met­rics aren’t you track­ing that would be helpful?
  • What met­rics ARE you track­ing that aren’t helpful?
  • Are you report­ing only quan­ti­ta­tive data, or are you also pro­vid­ing qual­i­ta­tive obser­va­tions, analy­sis and recommendations?
  • Are your reports con­vey­ing the infor­ma­tion pre­sent­ed in a visu­al­ly appeal­ing and easy-to-read man­ner? If not, you may want to con­sid­er engag­ing some graph­ic design sup­port to help for­mat your reports in a more visu­al­ly friend­ly way. If no one reads the report, it’s not ade­quate­ly show­ing the val­ue of the work you’ve done.

There are a wide vari­ety of resources and plat­forms out there that can help refine your mon­i­tor­ing and report­ing activ­i­ties – at Bell­mont Part­ners, we use tools such as CISION and Crit­i­cal Men­tion, and often work with our in-house graph­ic design­ers to devel­op reports and info­graph­ics to show­case the results our clients are see­ing. We are big believ­ers in defin­ing and track­ing what your orga­ni­za­tion’s key met­rics are – those that con­tribute to actu­al busi­ness goals.

One oth­er area you may want to con­sid­er updat­ing is not only the quan­ti­ta­tive data you’re track­ing, but the qual­i­ta­tive data as well – by which I mean an analy­sis of the earned media cov­er­age com­ing in. Often, these con­tex­tu­al obser­va­tions can lend deep­er insight into the impact of a piece, beyond the num­bers. For exam­ple, your orga­ni­za­tion may have earned an in-depth pro­file that hits all your key mes­sages in a trade pub­li­ca­tion with a small­er audi­ence made up of the deci­sion-mak­ers who mat­ter to your com­pa­ny. On paper, the quan­ti­ta­tive met­rics may not be as impres­sive as if your com­pa­ny was briefly men­tioned in an out­let with mil­lions of read­ers, but that audi­ence won’t take action upon learn­ing about your com­pa­ny. Con­text mat­ters and can pro­vide impor­tant insight into the qual­i­ty of the cov­er­age you’re receiving.

If you feel over­whelmed or under-edu­cat­ed by your mon­i­tor­ing, mea­sure­ment and report­ing activ­i­ties – or lack there­of – don’t wor­ry! We are here to help. Shoot me a note at, and I’d love to have a con­ver­sa­tion with you to see where your pain points might be and what you can do to address them.

Leave a Reply