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PUBLIC RELATIONS

The metric of ‘reach’ and why it’s irrelevant to your PR clients

By our News Team | 2022

‘Potential reach’ is a manipulative metric, while ‘actual reach’ is difficult to ascertain without a media outlet’s internal metrics.

For African PR agencies and their clients, effectively measuring the success of their press releases and new media campaigns is a matter for ongoing debate.

What constitutes success? Is it column centimetres in a publication, website hits, article ‘likes’ and ‘shares’, favourable comments? The list is extensive and what matters to one agency and its client may be irrelevant to another.

Public Relations

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

What about ‘reach’ as a metric for success? Writing in the industry publication PR Daily, Dustin Siggins of US-based publicity firm Proven Media Solutions, questions its value as a measure of success, pointing out that ‘potential reach’, is a manipulative metric used by far too many PR professionals and PR-tangential companies.

And without a media outlet’s internal metrics, it’s near-impossible to determine the actual total reach – which, of course, may be a fraction of the potential reach.

“Reach is a better metric of success than potential reach,” he writes. “However, it is very limited because (a) again, it’s impossible to track all reach without an outlet’s internal data, and (b) ‘reach’ is most valuable when reaching the right people with the right message at the right time.”

Siggins believes there are other metrics which, depending upon the circumstances, are more important than reach, especially for clients who understand that the best PR campaigns are long-term investments. These include:

  • The SEO value of press. For clients who rely heavily on Google searches for traffic, smaller metrics such as downstream media coverage (like material being republished or repurposed by other outlets) and backlink quality can create not just reach, but the opportunity for exponentially more reach through an effective SEO strategy.
  • Press credibility compared to client brand reputation. Putting a little-known client into a highly regarded media outlet sends their message into the national space, regardless of ‘reach’. And it gives them automatic credibility with stakeholders and other press outlets.
  • Creating a call to action. Reaching 100,000 people doesn’t matter if none of them are interested in taking the client’s preferred action. Reaching 10,000 people who are likely to take action is 10% of the audience size – but may have 10 times the impact. This is especially true for political or activist campaigns.

“But even the most effective press campaign is limited without the other side of the branding coin: effective marketing that repurposes press placements to reach other audiences with variations on the same message,” Siggins states.

“Reaching people just means they’ve been touched once. The best clients know what PR professionals and salespeople know: that people need to be reached many times with different message variations before they are likely to take the desired action.”

Read the full article here:

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.