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Mark Barbaree

Recent Posts by Mark Barbaree

September 22, 2015

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Categories: Measurement, PR Research

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Using Data to Find Your Story

As healthcare communicators, we tell stories to motivate people to change their habits, adopt new drugs and promote community awareness. Measurement is often seen as a way to gauge the effectiveness of our outreach, but it has another function, too: It can help us discover the story we need to tell for future communication. Take, media coverage of a recently approved and launched pharmaceutical, for example. Careful reading and coding of the news will reveal the key events and developments related to the product (drivers of coverage), what is being said about it and its competitors (messages), by whom (opinion leaders), and whether the coverage is positive or negative(tone). With this data, you can begin to answer questions regarding the occurrence and context of concerns related to the product. Recording basic data about each article – its publication date, title, reporter, outlet, type of publication, market and potential media impressions – can provide you with a framework and bring to light another dimension of the story, answering questions such as: What events generated the most coverage in the past? How much coverage have the product’s competitors received? Is the coverage appearing on a national or local level? Who is seeingContinue Reading

September 16, 2014

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Categories: Measurement, PR Research

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When is a message a message? When is a message your message?

A key ingredient in any successful communications initiative is the development of relevant, timely messages. Those messages enable third parties, including the media, to elevate visibility and awareness of your company, brand or cause among your target audiences, prompting them to action. Message analysis is an important tool for measuring the effectiveness of your efforts, providing a snapshot of their reach in terms of audience and message penetration. Additionally it can be used to measure the presence of conflicting messages which may be diluting your voice. At times, identifying messages within an article or blog can be a tricky proposition. The writer may use an entirely different set of words than the ones used in your “official” message, while still getting across the same idea to their readers. Or perhaps a message you expected to be expressed as a single discreet statement appears in an unexpectedly disjointed fashion, appearing bit by bit throughout the course of several paragraphs. Perhaps the writer uses some of the same words but somehow manages to distort your intended meaning (”He said what?!”). Perhaps only part of a message is delivered or, as you delve deeper into the coverage, you identify recurring messages that areContinue Reading