November 24, 2017

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

Survey Says…

Survey Says…

Every year, CustomScoop surveys its clients, to see what we’re doing right and where we can improve. We’ve recently sent out our annual survey, and the results thus far have yielded some interesting information. I won’t get too specific as the survey is ongoing (if you’re a CustomScoop client, it’s open until June 30th for you to send us your thoughts), but a few key items do stand out.

Not surprisingly, our strongest results and best numbers come from responses to questions about our customer care. We love our clients and know our company is only as strong as our relationship with our customers. Anyone who has worked with our customer care team knows that they do whatever is possible within their powers to get what our clients need. In some cases, that has meant pulling one (or more!) of our developers into the mix to figure out a solution for a client.

Regarding the system itself, thus far, there’s about a 50/50 split between people who primarily access their content through the automated email delivery versus logging into the system dashboard. Again, this is unsurprising as we know that for a significant portion of our clientele, committing the time to work within a dashboard doesn’t work for their day–they are on the move, so our results are too. And also not a surprise, the vast majority–more than 70 percent so far–use the system daily.

What was surprising–to me at least–were a handful of questions about including Ad Value Equivalency (AVE) or something similar. While this was suggested by a very, very small number of respondents, I’m surprised it was requested at all. Yes, I know that for some this is what they know and understand. But I don’t think we’ll be providing anything like that in the future for a few reasons:

  • First, the Institute for Public Relations does not recognize AVE as a measurement tool, for all of the standard reasons: earned media is not the same as paid media, multipliers put in place to try and make them the same are also questionable, and it’s just bad math and bad logic.
  • Second, to calculate AVE, CustomScoop would have to collect the advertising rates from the thousands of publications we monitor. Advertising rates can vary widely, and the published rate is usually different than the negotiated rate.
  • Building a measurement standard we don’t believe in that shifts constantly into our tool would not be wise.

Trust me–I do sympathize with anyone who is being asked for this information. It can be tough or darn near impossible to wean off of this number, but it’s important to start. The PRSA website has some alternatives to suggest. Weighted Media Cost (WMC), while presenting some of the same issues, at least has some research behind it and might be a place to start.

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