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Media evaluation is the analysis of how media coverage has affected a company or other type of organization. The process primarily consists of collecting and analyzing information about how the company is perceived due to the coverage it has received. Some of the tools used to collect this data include surveys, interviews, and internal records such as sales reports.
The process of media evaluation can be used to analyze both invited and uninvited media coverage. It can be used to determine whether a press release or publicity campaign had the intended effect on its target audience. In the case of coverage that was not sought, a media evaluation can be used to find what effect the news had on customers and prospects.
Media evaluation can be performed by staff or an external contractor. Large companies may have the resources to have the task performed in-house. Whatever the size of the company, external contractors can be valuable because they provide an impartial point of view. Contractors are also more likely to understand the perspective of the organization’s audience, because they already have an outsider’s view.
The complexity of a media evaluation depends upon the needs of the organization. It can be performed sporadically or as part of a long-term media tracking plan. Less frequent evaluation can be used for individual campaigns or for isolated incidents such as scandal or an event that affects the industry. More frequent evaluation will often be coupled with consistent multi-media tracking, which may also be performed by an external resource and often the same contractor.
A typical media evaluation will include both quantitative and qualitative review. Quantitative analysis is the study of statistics collected via means such as surveys, interviews, and the study of records. A qualitative analysis is more subjective and essentially explains how the numbers from the quantitative analysis came to be.
Media evaluation is frequently used by an organization to strategize for the future. By knowing how its latest campaign has affected the target audience, an organization can plan its next move. It can determine whether it is using the right tactics or if it needs to change its approach. A media evaluation can also give an organization an idea of how well it can expect to do financially. If it is not in public favor, it may need to make adjustments so that it will have the resources needed to function while working to improve its public profile.