Measuring Media’s Value a Tough Task

The world of print media is dead — or so we have all heard — during the last several years. For those in public relations, this also means finding alternatives to media clipping and, ultimately, media value as a form of evaluation.

Todd Murphy, vice president of Universal Information Services, argues that print media clippings are not a thing of the past because every broadcast segment, online article, tweet and post are directly created because of the publication of articles in a traditional newspaper. (

The belief that everything stems from the publication of news in newspapers seems a little far-fetched. In the fast-paced news cycle of today, material on the front page in the morning is often irrelevant or outdated by the end of the work day. With this in mind, online media are some of the best anchors for the creation of every broadcast segment, online article, tweet and post. Although this still does not answer the real question. What does all of this mean in terms of measuring media value?

Despite the various methods of tracking viewership and engagement across social media, no reasonable method of calculating the true value of a segment on a morning newscast exists, for example. In the grand scheme, these numbers may be nothing more than hypotheticals that can determine an entire department’s worth to an organization.

Like many, I have the news on while getting ready for the day. According to the broadcast station’s tracking system, I am engaged. No, I am not. I’m too busy making my lunch, deciding on an outfit and a million other things to watch the broadcast from start to finish. Yet, I have been included in this magical formula that determines the effectiveness an organization’s public relations/marketing department in securing a segment in the morning news broadcast. This seems a skewed.

Do you think media value remains an effective form of evaluation? What other methods constitute a more effective alternative?

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