The PR Disconnect

The disconnect between PR agencies and analysis firms

Between PR agencies and PR/media analysis firms, there is a disconnect. PR agencies are interested in knowing how their campaign went, what threats or opportunities lie ahead, and how to best plan the future of current or future campaigns. PR analysis firms want to present to the PR agencies/departments, the results of the coverage in the ‘best’ way possible.

The best way possible is where the disconnect is. As analysts, we want to put on the scientist hat and start digging deep into the coverage data to draw relationships and to innovate with indices that would describe aspects of the coverage not considered before. Aspects we believe of great relevance. The traditional metrics are good, but they generally describe the superficial aspects of the coverage. Data analytics however, enables one to go much deeper and bring forth insights that can be extremely helpful and valuable.

Unfortunately, PR agencies fear complications. They are used to a standard. How it was analyzed is often of little importance to them. New metrics are feared. New methodologies are avoided. Enormous opportunities are missed.

The fault here does not fall entirely on PR agencies. PR analysis firms share the guilt. They need to know when to put on the scientist’s hat and when to take it off and simplify things for their PR agencies. Visual infographics and presenting only the relevant and important metrics to avoid clutter, would be a start. However, to really fix this disconnect issue, both parties need to work together. If a PR analyst knows what the PR agency is after (or rather what the client is after), he/she will know better what part of the coverage deserves more attention and more analysis, producing greater relevancy and less clutter. A PR analyst is often not privy to the target or the constraints of the PR agencies. Should this disconnect be gone, I predict that both parties will provide better results for their clients.


Research Director, Mediastow
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