media audit

When is the Last Time you did a Media Audit?

by Kevin Hawkins on March 28, 2017

Media Audit

African-American novelist, playwright, poet, and social critic James Baldwin put it best: “Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.” That sage advice is at the heart of why every organization benefits from a Media Audit. Never heard of a Media Audit? You are clearly not alone, because despite its enormous value and incredible insight for business and communications objectives, most companies don’t use them. What is a Media Audit? A Media Audit is a survey – a deep dive into how a company and its competitors communicate, either internally and/or externally. A Media Audit looks at industry positioning, competitive media messaging, the effectiveness of that messaging by sampling over a specific period of time comparable media reach and coverage achieved, and subjectively analyzes PR/communication strengths and weaknesses. A Media Audit is all about a look back to where you have you been, what have you said, what digital footprint, if any, you have created, including baggage you’ve left behind. And it is all about benchmarking: Where are you and your competitors today? What is your share of voice? Are the right messages resonating? Are you winning in the right markets or are your competitors? Benchmarking with a Media Audit helps you measure – and justify – new PR/communication efforts and strategies. What are the benefits of a Media Audit? The purpose of an Audit is to assist in a constant honing of key messages, to identify competitive differentiators and adjust PR/communication strategies based on effectiveness, or lack thereof. Again, it’s the best way to get the metrics to measure success – and helps guide success as if you continue to Audit at key intervals, you can use this information to course correct. So why don’t more firms do Media Audits? Media Audits can sometimes show that the Emperor has no Clothes. In other words, it can expose weakness in PR/communication programs and strengthens in our competitors that some firms would rather not have their management see. In other cases, firms believe they already know what the findings will show – in nearly every case they do not – so they think they are saving money when in they end, they will end up likely wasting much more than they will ever save by not doing an audit. Those who do not do Media Audits are losing sight […]