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White Paper

Social Media Monitoring and analysis


Content Introduction


Why we need to monitor and analyse media


Changing media types and terminology



Media Monitors

‘Emergent’ properties of 21 century media


Opportunities amidst the challenges


Monitoring emergent media


Measuring the impact of emergent media


Media Monitors approach


Benefits of Media Analysis


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Media Monitors

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Introduction This paper provides an overview of what has been identified as a revolution in media as significant 1 as development of the printing press circa 1436-1440 in Europe and around 1040 in China and, more recently, the development of television. In particular, this paper summarises the implications for business, organisations and government of st early 21 century media developments and identifies how the impact of these media can be evaluated. These media are referred to under a variety of type or category terms including „social media‟, „citizen media‟, „social networks‟, or simply „new media‟, which itself is one of the challenges in discussing media developments. To some extent, these terms are interchangeable, although there are important differences in the way new forms of media operate and the impact that they have in society. Today, there is a vastly increased range of media including blogs, wikis, podcasts, online chat forums such as Twitter, video sharing sites such as YouTube and Tudou in China, and social network sites including MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Friendster, Hi5, Orkut and Cyworld. With users numbering in the hundreds of millions, companies, organisations and governments need to understand their uses, impact, and how to monitor and evaluate them when required.


In Western societies, invention of the printing press is most widely attributed to Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden, known as Johannes Gutenberg (c. 1398-1468), a goldsmith working in Mainz, Strasbourg circa 1436-1440, although others experimented with movable wooden character types in the 1430s including Laurens Janszoon Coster in the Netherlands. Dates of Gutenberg‟s invention vary from 1436 when he is believed to have developed a design, 1440 when a working model was completed, to the early 1450s when the first printing was publicly distributed in Europe (eg. the first printed Bibles in 1452-53). Records of lawsuits involving Gutenberg in 1439 substantiate his involvement as well as contentiousness concerning the invention. Notwithstanding, printing in various forms was developed in China from around 200 AD and existed in various parts of Asia including China, Korea and Japan by the end of the first millennium („Printing‟ 2009 in Encyclopaedia Britannica). Block printing was first developed in China around 600 AD using wood blocks, and moveable type printing was developed in China around 1040 – 400 years before Gutenberg‟s „invention‟ of the printing press (Encyclopædia Britannica Online 2009, „Printing‟, viewed 7 February 2009, <>; Man, J 2000, Alpha Beta: How our alphabet shaped the western world, Hodder Headline, London.

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Why we need to monitor and analyse media It has been well-established from a half-century of media research that media have significant influence in society. However, media impact and effects are complex and often controversial areas of research. This is because media sometimes have major impact and sometimes they do not for various reasons. US retail magnate John Wanamaker is alleged to have uttered the famous phrase 2 “half of my advertising is wasted; the only trouble is I don‟t know which half” , although the phrase 3 was first stated by Lord Leverhulme according to David Ogilvy . UK media researcher David Gauntlett says the reality of media advertising effects is actually much worse that the Lord Leverhulme/John Wanamaker aphorism. He says “estimates of how much advertising fails … 4 range from 90 to even 99 per cent” . Therefore, determining which media content is having an impact is important. In the case of editorial media content, it is also vitally important to identify what kind of impact media are having. This is necessary because:

> Editorial contains both positive and negative information and messages; > Media sometimes carry an organisation‟s messages, while on other occasions they do not; > The frequency of messages and trends over time are important because more than one mention is required to achieve recall, retention and impact, as demonstrated in modern advertising;

> Similarly, audience reach is a key variable which affects the extent of positive or negative impact;

> Furthermore, the credibility of media and sources quoted has been shown to have a major 5

bearing on the impact and influence of media content ;

> Media effects research has shown that contextual factors also affect media impact and influence – eg. the existence of alternative sources of information, the existing reputation of an individual or organisation, what else is happening at the time, general economic conditions, the 6 political environment, and many other factors .


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Stewart, D. Pavlou, P. & Ward S. 2002, „Media influences in marketing communications‟, in J. Bryant & D. nd Zillman (eds), Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research, 2 edn, Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJ, pp. 353-96, p. 357. Ogilvy, D. 1963, Confessions of an Advertising Man, Cox & Wyman, Reading, UK, p. 77). nd Gauntlett, D. 2005, Moving Experiences: Media Effects and Beyond, 2 edn, John Libbey Publishing, Eastleigh, UK, p. 110. Hovland, C. & Weiss, W. 1951, „The influence of source credibility on communication effectiveness‟, Public Opinion Quarterly, 15, pp. 633-50. nd See Bryant, J. & Zillman, D. (eds) 2002, Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research, 2 edn, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ and Gauntlett, D 2005. P4

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For these reasons, media professionals warn that media impact and influence cannot be assumed or taken at face value. Media professionals analyse media content to evaluate quantitative factors such as its audience reach, frequency of messages and share of voice of various sources, and also qualitatively to evaluate tone, messages, semiotic factors, and contextual issues as discussed. (For more detail on media analysis, see Media Monitors White Paper on ‘Media Content Analysis’) In the case of what are termed „traditional‟ media or „mainstream media‟ such as newspapers, magazines, radio and television, many of these metrics such as audience reach and credibility are known or can be easily obtained. However, what about new forms of media such as blogs, wikis, podcasts, social network sites, video sharing sites and so on? In the case of many new forms of media, audience details, credibility and even the identity of the author are often unknown or difficult to determine. The scale of content also makes monitoring a significant challenge, but too important to ignore. For instance:

> There are more than 300 million blogs worldwide with 133 million indexed by Technorati7 8

and 182 million blogs in China according to the China Internet Network Information Centre ;

> There were 580 million members of social networks sites in total at the end of 20089, already 10

exceeding an Ipsos MORI forecast of 500 million by 2010. By the beginning of 2010, it was 11 estimated that there are 900 million members of social networks worldwide ;

> Facebook had 300 million active members as at mid-2009 and claimed 350 million active 12

Facebook users by the end of 2009 . Qzone in China had 200 million members in 2009 showing the worldwide nature of changes in media;


> YouTube had 350 million regular viewers per month watching one billion videos a day by 14

the end of 2009 ;

> Twitter has become an even-faster growing social media phenomenon, as discussed by coauthor of Blogging for Business Shel Holtz in his latest book called Twitterville.



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Technorati 2008, State of the Blogosphere 2008, viewed 9 February 2009, <> th China Internet Network Information Center 2009, CNNIC published 24 statistical report on internet development in China, viewed 11 October 2009, <> Technorati, op. cit. Ipsos MORI 2007, „The outlook for social networks‟, 28 September, viewed 4 August 2008, <> st Macnamara, J. 2010, The 21 Century Media (R)evolution: Emergent Communication Practices, Peter Lang, New York. Facebook Factsheet, 2009, Facebook, viewed 12 November 2009, < QQ. (2009). QQ空 2 成全球最大社交, report [Chinese only], viewed 12 October, 2009 <> Cerf, V. 2009 (Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google), live Webcast address to „Realising our Broadband Future‟ conference, Sydney, 10-11 December, Australian Government, Department of Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy. P5

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Changing media types and terminology A 2009 analysis of media literature shown in Figure 1.


identified 35 common media type descriptions now in use, as

Press, incorporating

Cinema, also referred to as

– Books

– Movies

– Newspapers

– Film

– Magazines

– Video

Television or TV


Broadcast media

Mass media

Mainstream media

Traditional media

Alternative media

„Indy‟ media

New media

Digital media

Community media

Social media

Citizen media

Peer-to-peer or peer media, also P2P

Participatory media

User-generated media

Interactive media

Network media

Internet media

Online media


Public media

Web media

Web 2.0 (soon to be Web 3.0)

Figure 1.

While some of these are familiar, many are relatively new terms. So much so, that many media st analysts and industry members commonly refer to 21 media developments such as blogs, video sharing sites, podcasting, Twitter, etc, as „new media‟. For instance, a spate of recent books use 16 the term „new media‟ in their titles such as New Media: An Introduction by Terry Flew ; New Media 17 Worlds: Challenges for Convergence by Virginia Nightingale and Tim Dwyer ; Communication and 18 New Media by Martin Hirst and John Harrison ; The Handbook of New Media edited by Leah 19 20 Lievrouw and Sonia Livingstone ; New Media: A Critical Introduction by Martin Lister, et al. and 21 New Media edited by Lisa Gitleman and Geoffrey Pingree .

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Macnamara, J. 2010, The 21 Century Media (R)evolution: Emergent Communication Practices, Peter Lang, New York, p. 18. rd Flew, T 2005, New Media: An Introduction, 2 edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne; Flew, T rd 2008, New media: An introduction, 3 edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne. Nightingale, V & Dwyer, T (eds) 2007, New Media Worlds: Challenges for Convergence, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne. Hirst, M. & Harrison, J. 2007, Communication and New Media: From Broadcast to Narrowcast, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne. Lievrouw, L. & Livingstone, S. (eds) 2002, The Handbook of New Media, Sage, London and Lievrouw, L. & nd Livingstone, S. (eds) 2005, The Handbook of New Media, 2 edn, Sage, London. Lister, M. Dovey, J. Giddings, S. Grant, I. & Kelly, K. 2003, New Media: A Critical Introduction, Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon and New York. Gitelman, L. & Pingree G. (eds) 2003, New Media: 1740-1915, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. P6

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There are several reasons that „new media‟ is not a useful or even an accurate term. First, some media that media historian Lisa Gitelman says are “familiarly and collectively referred to as „new 22 media‟” can hardly be accurately described as new . Newsgroups, an early form of online chat group similar to bulletin boards, were conceived by Duke University graduate students Tom Trucott and Jim Ellis in 1979 and established on Usenet, a pre-Web text-only section of the internet, thus th 23 celebrating their 30 anniversary in 2009 . The term Web log or Weblog shortened to „blog‟ was 24 25 created in 1997 and blogs in their current format began to appear in 1998-99 – although online 26 journaling and diaries began as early as 1994 . Even though they achieved widespread popularity st in the early 21 century, blogs have been around for more than a decade. Google celebrated its th 10 anniversary in 2008 and podcasting turns 10 in 2010. Even though MySpace, Facebook and YouTube were established more recently in 2003, 2004 and 2005 respectively, these internet media are hardly new in terms of adoption and use as they have hundreds of millions of users 27 worldwide . Second, the term „new media‟ is used in contrast to what are called „mainstream‟ media, abbreviated to MSM, which implies that they are secondary in terms of importance and impact. The lines between „mainstream‟ or „traditional‟ and other forms of media are increasingly blurred in 28 today‟s fast-changing world, as Henry Jenkins identified in Convergence Culture . For instance:

> A blog, The Drudge Report, broke the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal; > exposed false information concerning President George Bush broadcast by 29

veteran CBS newscaster and 60 Minutes reporter Dan Rather which led to his resignation ;

> BuzzMachine caused a crisis for Dell Computer when it exposed customer service problems30;







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Gitelman, L. 2008, Always Already New: Media History, and the Data of Culture, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, p. 1. Hauben, M. & Hauben R. 1998, „The evolution of UseNet: A poor man‟s ARPANET‟, First Monday, vol. 3, no. 7, 6 July, viewed 12 January 2008, <> Wortham, J. 2007, „After 10 years of blogs: The future‟s brighter than ever‟, Wired, 17 December, viewed 2 June 2008, <> Goggin, G. & Newell, C. 2007, „Disability and online culture‟, in V. Nightingale & T. Dwyer (eds), New Media Worlds: Challenges for Convergence, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, pp. 103-17, p. 109). Claudio Pinhanez launched Open Diary, the first Web pages in an online-diary format that could be considered the first blog in 1994, hosted on the MIT Media Lab Web site. The online diary was published from November 1994 until 1996. Thanks to permalinks and Web archives, it can be viewed today at See Technorati 2008, Web statistics, viewed 14 March 2008, <>; comScore 2008, „Number of online videos viewed in the US jumps 13 percent in March to 11.5 billion‟, press release, 12 May, viewed 16 May 2008, <> Jenkins, H. 2006, Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide, New York University Press. Hirst & Harrison 2007, p. 261. BuzzMachine 2005, „Dell hell: Deaf and dumb‟, blog post, 11 July, viewed 16 January 2007, <> P7

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> Photos taken soon after bombing of the Australian embassy in Jakarta in 2004 were published on photo sharing Web site Flickr long before images appeared on CNN, the BBC and other 31 major news networks ;

> Similarly, the first photos taken after the December 2004 tsunami in South-East Asia32 and the first images from the London Underground after the 2005 terrorist bombing were taken on 33 mobile phones by „citizen reporters‟ ;

> More than half a million Chinese citizens signed an online petition protesting against a 34

Starbucks in The Forbidden City which led to it being closed in 2007 ;

>, produced entirely online by a small permanent staff and 50,000 citizen reporters who contribute 80 per cent of the news content, is one of the most influential 35 newspapers in South Korea ;

> In the March 2008 Malaysian election, citizens turned to blogs for independent information, saying the major newspapers and broadcast networks owned by the ruling political party Barisan Nasional “were no longer credible”. Unhappy bloggers and a growing readership of 36 blogs contributed to a major decline in support for the ruling party in the elections . Today, leading blogs such as Slashdot ( written by Dave Winer attract over one 37 million readers a month – more than many so-called mainstream media. Videos on YouTube routinely gain millions of views. In addition to attracting large audiences in their own right in some cases, content from blogs, YouTube and social networks is regularly republished by major 38 commercial media networks, referred to as intermediation . Today, newspapers publish blogs and source stories from blogs, radio stations podcast as well as broadcast, and TV networks use video footage from YouTube and even mobile camera phones. News is increasingly broken online and newspapers are increasingly less about news as they are less about paper. Classified advertising is no longer restricted to newspapers. Instead, what was

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Gettler, L. 2008, „Why Flickr lights the way‟, The Age, 7 August, Melbourne, p. 26 Rheingold H 2008, „Using participatory media and public voice to encourage civic engagement‟ in W Bennet, Civic Life Online: Learning How Digital Media Can Engage Youth, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 97-118, p. 122. Hirst & Harrison 2007, p. 258. Sorrell, M. 2008, „Public relations: The story behind a remarkable renaissance‟, speech to the Yale Club, New York, 5 November, viewed 6 December 2008, <> Flew 2008, pp. 143, 159; Quinn, S 2007, „People power‟, The Age, 26 April, p. 9. Ramli, J. 2008, „TV and newspapers “no longer credible”‟, New Straits Times, 16 April, p. 13; „Study shows why BN lost media war‟ 2008, New Straits Times, 2 April, viewed 27 April 2008, <> Jenkins, H 2006, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, New York University Press, p. 240. Danielian, L. & Reese, S. 1989, „A closer look at intermedia influences on agenda setting: The cocaine issue of 1986‟, in P Shoemaker (ed.), Communication Campaigns About Drugs: Government, Media and the Public, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillside, NJ, pp. 47-66; Severin, W, & Tankard, J 2001, Communication Theories: Origins, Methods, and Uses in the Mass Media, Addison Wesley Longman, New York, p. 232. P8

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once “rivers of gold” for „the press‟ is moving rapidly online to specialised Web sites such as eBay and Craiglist. Music is increasingly distributed on the internet, often mixed with video, rather than on „records‟, tapes, CDs or DVDs. Media content is becoming universally digital and increasingly distributed via the internet. However, along with convergent media formats and delivery systems brought about by digitization and the enormous growth in use of the internet, a further major area of change in media and public communication warrants close attention. This involves looking beyond technologies which are often the predominant focus of attention in discussions of the internet and media and examining practices of media production and use. One of the widely predicted but as yet under-estimated aspects of the media (r)evolution is the rise of the prosumer or produser. Alvin Toffler first prophesised the prosumer, the consumer who turns 40 the tables and becomes a producer, as far back as 1970 in his book Future Shock . He elaborated 41 42 on prosumers, what others call produsers in his 1980 book, The Third Wave . Back then, technologies were not available to enable low-cost and „low-tech‟ media production and distribution. But this has changed radically with the evolution of Web 2.0. Web 2.0 type media have enabled almost anyone to become a producer and distributor of content. Charles Leadbeater and Paul Miller refer to this crossing of the professional/amateur divide that has long existed between media professionals and audiences conceived as passive consumers of 43 content as the PRO-AM revolution . However, the real significance of this change lies beyond the technology. In their content production and distribution, prosumers and produsers are not simply following the practices, protocols and conventions used in media and public communication over the past century. As well as using new forms of media, they are adopting practices that are rewriting the rules of media and public communication. It can be said that media are becoming „emergent‟. As occurs in emergent systems in DNA, biology and artificial life, emergent properties are unpredicted, unexpected and not centrally controlled. Emergent systems exhibit self-organising characteristics. Some of the key „emergent‟ properties of st 21 century media are discussed in the next section. These are restructuring what modern societies regard as media, redefining journalism, radically affecting advertising, reinventing politics, and increasingly impacting businesses and organisations.

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Hirst M. & Harrison J. 2007, p. 93. Toffler, A. 1970, Future Shock, Random House, New York. Bruns, A. 2005, „Anyone can edit: Understanding the produser‟, The Mojtaba Saminejad Lecture for the Institute for Distributed Creativity, presented at SUNY Buffalo, 28 September 2005; New School, New York City, 11 October 2005; Brown University, Providence, 12 October 2005; Temple University, Philadelphia, 14 October 2005. Toffler, A. 1980, The Third Wave, William Morrow, New York. Leadbeater, C. & Miller, P. 2004, The Pro-am Revolution: How Enthusiasts are Changing our Economy and Society, Demos, London. P9

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„Emergent‟ properties of 21st century media st

Changes occurring in media practices in the early 21 century are complex and multifaceted, reflecting social, cultural, political, philosophical, economic and technological shifts in developed societies. However, drawing on a wide range of both academic and industry research, these can be summarised into four or five key areas. Researchers Zoe Khor and Peter Marsh from the Social Issues Research Centre at Oxford in the 44 UK label the current youth generation, referred to as Generation Y or the Millennials by other researchers, as „Generation C‟ because of five key concepts that are of paramount importance to 45 them . Khor and March identify these as content, creativity, connectivity, collaboration and communication. Some say that there is nothing new is this and argue that content, creativity, communication and some level of connectivity and collaboration have been around since humans created cave paintings in Europe and hieroglyphics in Egypt. What Khor and Marsh are referring to, however, is the major increase in connectivity from „dial up‟ narrowband to „always on‟ broadband that has occurred in the past decade and particularly the far-reaching impact of Web 2.0 as an enabler of interactive communication and co-creation. These developments need to be explored in some detail to understand their significance and also there are some other properties of modern media and public communication not manifestly evident in the „five Cs‟ that need to be recognised and understood. Four key concepts are fundamentally st reshaping media and communication practices in the early 21 century as follows.

> Interactivity – Throughout most of the 20th century, modernist notions of communication based on systems theory and early behaviourist social science held sway with the process of communication commonly seen and practised as one-way top-down transmission of information. Mass media such as press, radio and television which proliferated and dominated th public communication throughout the 20 century because of hugely expensive technology and strictly regulated licensing which provided barriers to entry, have been almost exclusively engaged in one-way transmission of information. Even in talk-back radio, callers are strictly limited in time and routinely cut-off, letters to the editor are few and usually edited heavily, and TV programs such as 60 Minutes include rarely more than one paragraph from viewers‟ letters in their segment tagged „That‟s your say”.

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Strauss, W. & Howe, N. 1991, Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069, William Morrow & Co, New York. Khor Khor, Z. & Marsh, P. 2006, „Life online: The Web in 2020‟ Social Issues Research Centre, Oxford, UK, viewed 30 July 2008, <> P10

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In comparison, Web 2.0 media are open to all – or almost all, noting a „digital divide‟ that still exists in some countries and sectors of societies. Blogs are expected to publish comments from people other than the creator, even when they are uncomplimentary. Not having comments turned on, or heavy moderation, are frowned upon in the blogosphere. Likewise with Wall posts in Facebook and comments on YouTube, Flickr and other emergent forms of media. Many Web 2.0 sites also allow voting on favourites and ratings, another form of interaction. 47 Content is shared widely in Web 2.0 media based on a growing open source approach to copyright and a renewed interest in collaboration and co-creation. The key characteristic of interactivity as it is evolving in Web 2.0 media is that it involves true two-way communication, collaboration and co-creation. In Web 2.0 media, human-to-machine interaction such as clicking a mouse or opening and manipulating documents and downloading files are categorised as low-level interactivity. Human-to-human or human-to-organisation interactivity, ideally with equal status and opportunities to speak and be heard, is a defining characteristic of Web 2.0 media. A refocusing on interactivity for communication, collaboration and co-creation is based on a rediscovered faith in the „wisdom of the crowd‟ and harnessing of what sociologist Pierre Lévy 48 calls “collective intelligence” . Many remain sceptical of this approach, but collective intelligence has resulted in construction of the world largest encyclopaedia, Wikipedia which 49 independent studies have shown is almost as accurate as the Encyclopaedia Britannica – and far more timely. In another noteworthy example, NASA asked amateur astronomers around the world to help it identify and categorise craters on Mars from thousands of photographs taken by the Viking orbiters. The work would have taken scientists years. However, the Mars Clickworkers project was accomplished in several months and the results 50 were reported to be almost as accurate as work done by expert plantetary geologists . Company and organisation management in communication, HR and other fields cannot ignore this characteristic. As worried mass media management has found, audiences are voting with their mouse-clicking fingers and turning away from one-way top-down forms of communication and seeking out and engaging in new forms of online interaction.






A „digital divide‟ between those with internet access and those without was first identified in a US National Telecommunications and Information Administration report in 2000. Since it has been discussed by many researchers including Couldry, N. 2002, „The digital divide‟, in D. Gauntlett & R. Horsley (eds), Web Studies, Arnold, London, pp. 185-94; Norris, P. 2001, Digital Divide: Civic Engagement, Information Poverty, and the Internet Worldwide, Cambridge University Press, MA; Novak, T & Hoffman, D 1998, „Bridging the digital divide: The impact of race on computer access and internet use‟, Project 2000, Vanderbilt University, viewed 16 December 2007, <> Open source denotes software applications where the code is „open‟ (i.e. available to anyone) and content that is free to use. Robert Stallman founded the Open Source Foundation in 1985 and developed open licensing. See Best, K. 2003, „Beating them at their own game: The cultural politics of the open source movement and the gift economy‟, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 449-470 and Flew, T. 2005, New Media: An Introduction, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, p. 237. Lévy, P. 1997, Collective Intelligence: Mankind’s Emerging World of Cyberspace, Perseus Books, Cambridge, MA. „Internet encyclopaedias go head to head‟ 2005, Nature, viewed 28 March 2006, <> Anderson, C. 2006, The Long Tail, Hyperion, New York, p. 62. P11

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> Authenticity – A second key characteristic relates to the way in which interaction is conducted in Web 2.0 communication. Emergent forms of media demand authenticity as a foundational principle. In simple terms, that means real people talking in their own voice and presenting genuinely held views – not packaged speeches crafted by a speechwriter, prepared talking points, quotes from product brochures, blatant commercials and „plugs‟, or legal-speak. Another „C‟ cited as important by Web 2.0 aficionados is conversation. Corporate and st marketing communicators in the 21 century are having to take stock of this important trend and rethink many of their activities. Much corporate and organisational communication, including public relations, is not authentic. It is labelled „spin‟, a term which PR professionals resent, but which alludes to the reality that most professional communication today consists of packaged prepared statements in which spokespersons stay „on message‟. Words from news releases, speeches, annual reports and carefully drafted prospectuses are not acceptable in Web 2.0 sites. When remediated and repurposed content is used or inauthentic comment is made, the result is „flaming‟ – an internet term for online outrage and criticism. Authenticity is vitally important in blogs and in posting comments on Web 2.0 sites.

> Ubiquity – A third key characteristic is the sheer scale of media and public communication now that most has converged on the internet. There were 1.7 billion internet users worldwide as at 51 52 30 June 2009, according to Internet World Statistics and one trillion Web pages . Broadband 53 is widely available , resulting in logging on being replaced by „always on‟ and communication becoming available „anywhere anytime‟.

> Collapse of the control paradigm. The three preceding developments have led to a seismic shift in how media and public communication are practised in developed societies. The oneway top-down model of communication dominant in media and much public communication th throughout the 20 century is collapsing. While in the past, publishers and editors have acted as media „gatekeepers‟ and controlled the content of mass media, today millions of blogs break news and comment on events, policies, products and companies. On YouTube, video makers take advantage of the company‟s motto „broadcast yourself‟. Since its birth, the advertising industry has distributed carefully crafted messages about brands and products. Today, as Chris Anderson says in The Long Tail, “a company‟s brand is not what the company says it is, 54 but what Google says it is” . Advertising on the internet can be blocked by software programs such as Adblock and pop-up blockers, and TV commercials can be stripped out by personal ® video recorders and TiVo technology. Advertising is also remixed in „mash-ups‟ (remakes of

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Internet World Statistics 2009, 30 June, viewed 11 October 2009, <> Google 2008, „We knew the Web was big‟, The Official Google Blog, 25 July, viewed 6 January 2009, <> In Australia, 98 per cent homes now have a computer and 91 per cent have internet access, with 76 per cent having broadband, according to Australian Communications & Media Authority 2007, Media and Communications in Australian Families 2007, report of the Media and Society Research Project, Canberra, December. In Holland, 95 per cent of households have broadband, according to KPMG 2007, „The impact of digitalization: A generation apart‟, report by KPMG International Information, Communication and Entertainment Practice, January, p. 17, viewed 14 November 2008, <> Anderson, C. 2006, The Long Tail, Hyperion, New York, p. 99. P12

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ads) produced by prosumers and produsers, often completely changing its messages into 55 comedy or farce. In other cases, advertising is defaced and repurposed by „culture jammers‟ . Arguably, editorial media content always has been uncontrolled. However, company and organisation executives, politicians and professional public relations practitioners have traditionally dealt with selected journalists in particular fields such as politics, finance, IT, motoring, travel, and so on, and relationships have enabled a degree of control over messaging. In addition, public relations has relied on newsletters, brochures, corporate videos, annual reports and other forms of communication in which messages and distribution are controlled. In a 2006 online forum organised by the Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), Philip Young from the University of Sunderland in the UK warned: “we are seeing the end of the command and control model of PR”. He said Web 2.0 media and communication “shift PR from a command driven, top down communication to a symmetrical 56 conversation” . On one hand, many corporate and organisation managers and senior government officials become apocalyptic at the thought of the collapse of the control paradigm of communication and the emergence of decentralised, open, two-way, interactive communication in which customers, employees, consumers and citizens have access to powerful communication tools and large audiences. On the other hand, there are major opportunities available through emergent media. These are explored in the next section.



The term „culture jammers‟ refers to citizens defacing or repurposing advertising to „jam‟ its messages and cultural influence. The concept came to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s through organisations such as Adbusters ( and BUGAUP (Billboard Utilizing Graffitists Against Unhealthy Promotions) which defaced advertising billboards, particularly those of tobacco and liquor companies. For instance, Winfield‟s cigarette slogan „Anyhow have a Winfield‟ was changed to „Anyhow have lung cancer‟ and signage of a beer company‟s Silver Bullet brand was changed to „Liver Bullet‟ (Hirst, M. & Harrison, J. 2007, Communication and New Media: From Broadcast to Narrowcast, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, p. 368). Young, P. 2006, „Measuring the impact of social media on PR practice‟, online forum, Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), November, UK. P13

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Opportunities amidst the challenges Marketers have recognised the importance of moving beyond transaction marketing to relationship marketing and the field of relationship management has grown exponentially in the past two decades. Corporate managers seek to establish relationships with their shareholders such as employees, business partners, customers, etc, and recognise these as vital to organisational 57 health. Eminent US communication scholar, Jim Grunig and Linda Hon say relationships are more important than reputation or brands, as problems can be resolved within relationships, whereas even the best reputations and brands are at risk if relationships with key stakeholders are poor. Relationships are built on mutuality and reciprocity, give and take, listening as well as telling – i.e. dialogue. They are not easily or effectively built through monologue. Philosopher Martin Buber (1978-1965) described monologue and “monologue disguised as dialogue” as inauthentic and even 58 suggested that these approaches are unethical as they ignore and disregard the views of others . Interactive Web 2.0 media and communication tools provide companies and organisations with opportunities to engage in dialogue with their key stakeholders in ways previously not available. What‟s more, these channels are low-cost or no-cost other than an investment of time, unlike advertising which is very expensive and not effective at building relationships as it employs monologue. Dialogue can enhance relationships which are the lifeblood of most organisations. Web 2.0 media also provide opportunities to:

> Gain feedback such as listening to comments and chat about announcements, policies, products, etc;

> Collect market research and intelligence such as online discussion about the wants, needs, preferences, desires and interests of individuals and groups. Online chat and comments provide and informal 24/7 focus group – albeit issues such as sample need to be carefully considered;

> Collect competitor intelligence by monitoring what competitors are saying and what is being said about them;

> Promote cost-effectively. Many companies and organisations are learning to use Web 2.0 media such as blogs, YouTube, social networks and even virtual worlds such as Second Life to promote their products and services – although the protocols and conventions in relation to



Grunig, J. & Hon, L. 1999, „Guidelines for measuring relationships in public relations‟, Institute for Public Relations, viewed 21 November 2007, <> nd Buber, M. 1987, I and Thou, 2 edn, trans. R. Smith, Scribners, New York (Original work published 1923) and Buber, M. 2002, „Dialogue‟, trans. R. Smith, in Between Man and Man, Routledge, London, pp. 1-45 (Original work published 1947).


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authenticity need to be noted and adhered to carefully. Nokia has creatively engaged bloggers in reviewing and testing its products. After initial problems with blogs, Dell Computer has engaged with emergent media including setting up its own online spaces such as IdeaStorm 59 ( where customers can post comments and suggestions . IBM 60 opened a Second Life sales centre in May 2007 ;

> Collaborate on projects such as using wikis as a single central site for document creation and storage, rather than having multiple documents, updated versions and comments endlessly circulated and recirculated by e-mail. IBM utilises wikis as a central platform for communication, collaboration and knowledge-sharing within the company including „Wiki Central‟ which allows any „IBMer‟ to create a wiki. The company had around 5,000 active wiki 61 pages as at October 2008 .

59 60


Sorrell , M. 2008. Brodkin, J. 2007, „IBM opens sales centre in Second Life‟, Network World, 15 May, viewed 26 November 2008, <> Blankenstein, S. (ed.) 2008, „New and emerging social media: Research review into use within the ATO operating environment‟, Australian Taxation Office, Canberra p. 55. P15

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Monitoring emergent media The first step of understanding emergent media forms that can potentially impact an organisation and its interests is monitoring the expanded mediascape to identify relevant content. There are three approaches to monitoring emergent media.

> Do-it-yourself – First, because Web 2.0 type media are internet-based, relevant content can be found and accessed through search engines. Major search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft‟s MSN, AOL and 2008 start-up Cuil, as well as many specialist search engines, can be used to search blogs and text content of YouTube – although searching YouTube and sites such as Flickr is limited as search engines read text only and cannot identify names or graphics embedded in visual files or sound. Most social network sites can be searched manually also – albeit one at a time. For instance, a text search can be conducted in MySpace to identify mentions of company, organisation or product names. Facebook currently does not support text search, but a workaround is to search for groups and then read relevant posts in groups. This requires individual searches for each topic and issue and can be timeconsuming. Furthermore, searches need to be done every day or at least every few days to maintain up to date information and gain early awareness of significant content. Measurement Standard, an online newsletter published by US media analyst Katie Paine, has produced a 62 Social Media Compendium which provides useful information and tips for would-be DIY online monitoring.

> Specialist internet monitoring – A second approach is to engage a specialist internet monitoring firm. There are a number of firms offering these services including Technorati, Cymfony, CyberAlert, Nielsen BuzzMetrics, BuzzLogic, Hitwise and Moveover. These can track topics online based on a brief and return daily alerts to an e-mail inbox. Technorati focuses on blogs only, but it has the added advantage that it maintains the most comprehensive database of blog rankings based on its Technorati Authority rating which is the number of other blogs linking to a site in the previous six months. For instance, a Technorati Authority of 50+ means those blogs had more than 50 other bloggers recently link to them. Incidentally, in January 2009, Technorati monitored 76,000 blogs with a Technorati Authority of 50+ – a further sign of the proliferation and activity of blogs. A number of the other firms track online discussion groups and other Web 2.0 media as well as blogs. Some, such as Moreover, deliver content feeds, while others specialise in providing data and links.

> Integrated media monitoring – A third approach is to use a media monitoring firm to provide an integrated service. Traditional media monitoring firms such as Cision, BurrellesLuce and Durrants in the US, UK and Europe, and Media Monitors in Asia, Australia and New Zealand are adding these services. The advantage of an integrated media monitoring service is that the origin of stories and interrelationships can be identified. For instance, if an issue is first


„Social Media Compendium‟, K.D. Paine‟s Measurement Standard, 2008, vol. 7, no. 10, December, viewed 19 December 2008, <> P16

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discussed in a blog and is then picked up by a major newspaper, a specialist internet monitoring service will not report the wider circulation of the story, or help identify which journalists are reading which blogs. An integrated approach provides a holistic view of media coverage to identify the total exposure of messages and issues. Sometimes an issue that gains little press, radio or TV coverage generates wide discussion in blogs, and vice versa. Corporate communication and public relations managers need to know the total reach and impact of stories and this is facilitated by having the data collected in one place. Furthermore, when media content analysis is undertaken, as is recommended and discussed in the next section, this is faster and more cost-effective if all content is collected and available at one point. Integrating content from different monitoring systems can slow down analysis and make it more costly. Further benefits of this approach include only having to brief once, less liaison time, and single invoices.

The importance of relevance A key step in all monitoring is identifying and focussing on relevant content. Simple monitoring systems based on a single or few key words can produce large quantities of mostly irrelevant or only partly relevant content. This adds to cost and wastes time. Also, monitoring based only on key words only can return content from blogs with very few readers and minimal links. The importance of these metrics will be further discussed in the next section dealing with media analysis. Ideally, monitoring should apply strict criteria to assessing relevance based on both topic and media importance. Media importance can be assessed by type in the case of major newspapers (eg. capital city daily), but in the case of unknown bloggers, importance needs to be assessed on some objective criteria. These will be discussed in the next section.


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Measuring the impact of emergent media All research should be based on established methodology. A 2008 report by the Technology, Media and Telecommunications Industry Group of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu noted that the 63 internet advertising industry has been criticised for poor research methods . Also, a survey conducted for the Australian Marketing Institute by research company Colmar Brunton in association with the University of New South Wales reported “that most senior executives are dissatisfied with the quality, timelines and depth of marketing metrics available to them”, particularly 64 with online media . The 2008 Summit on Measurement held by the Institute for Public Relations in Portsmouth, New Hampshire identified 30 companies offering analysis of Web 2.0 internet media using as many different research methods and sets of metrics. While competition and choice are important in a 65 free market and can stimulate innovation, some offer „home-made‟ recipes and „black box‟ analysis that is widely criticised in the research industry. Blogs, videos on YouTube or Tudou, „tweats‟ on Twitter, and comments posted on YouTube, social networks, Flickr and other Web 2.0 sites, are all content and therefore can be analysed using content analysis. It is worth noting that content analysis was developed initially to analyse transcripts in a clinical environment such as psychiatric patient interviews, what author of The 66 Content Analysis Guidebook Kimberley Neuendorf calls the psychometric use of content anslysis . 67 It also has been used extensively to analyse the content of films as well as newspapers, magazines, television programs and even general documents. Being based on text analysis and employing elements of narrative analysis, semiotic analysis and discourse analysis, content analysis is a established research method for a wide range of content. To ensure validity and reliability in research, it is important to base analysis of emergent forms of media content on a well-established research method and content analysis is the most relevant and suitable. Within the field of content analysis, a reputable method and system should be selected as a variety of products and services are available.



65 66 67

Deloitte 2008, Media Predictions: TMT Trends 2008, report by Technology, Media & Telecommunications Industry Group of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, viewed 5 May 2008,,1002,sid%253D3207%2526cid%253D186514,00.html>, p. 6. Shoebridge, N. 2007, „Campaigns are just not measuring up‟, Australian Financial Review, 19 November, p. 50. „Black box‟ analysis refers to automated analysis based on secret algorithms. It is not possible therefore to confirm the validity and reliability of the measures. Neuendorf, K. 2002, The Content Analysis Guidebook, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA, p. 53. Many feminist studies have used content analysis to examine portrayals of women in films including Humm, M. 1997, Feminism and Film. Edinburgh University Press; Seger, L 2004, „How to evaluate media images of women‟, Center for Media Literacy, viewed 25 June 2004, <>; and Smith, A 1999, „Girls on film: Analysis of women‟s images in contemporary American and Golden Age Hollywood films‟, Unpublished master‟s thesis, Cleveland State University, Ohio. P18

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Media content analysis methodology The most basic methods of content analysis are quantitative only. In the case of media content analysis, in addition to counting the number of articles quantitative analysis usually includes identification of:

> The number of mentions of particular issues, topics, sources, spokespersons and messages; > Audience reach based on circulation or audience size – often referred to as Impressions or Opportunities to See (OTS);

> The ‘share of voice’ of various organisations or spokespersons. However, it should be apparent that analysis of editorial media content must proceed beyond quantitative data to qualitatively analyse coverage. Unlike advertising content which is controlled, editorial is variable in terms of its placement, positioning, lay-out and content. Volume of media coverage does not mean an organisation is getting its messages across and gives little indication of likely impact or effects. Media articles may not address key issues of interest, they may not contain an organisation‟s key messages, they may be poorly positioned, or they may give more space to competing messages. Even worse, they may be negative. Most content analysts agree that content should be analysed quantitatively and qualitatively. Qualitative analysis of media coverage can and should identify factors such as:

> Placement of articles – eg. front page, section lead, early pages, middle of paper or at the back in newspapers, or lead item, etc in broadcast media and traditional Web sites;

> Positioning of content such as key messages – eg. headline, prominent mention, passing mention;

> > > >

Images such as photos, illustrations, charts, cartoons or the image content of video; Issues discussed and reported and their relative importance to the client organisation; Messages communicated in articles – both favourable and unfavourable; Sources quoted – individuals and organisations including the positions occupied by individuals which can affect their credibility;

> Tone of content – eg. identifying extreme language, adjectives and adverbs that denote meaning, and connotative meanings created through metaphors or similes and other figures of speech and language;

> Contextual factors such as prevailing economic conditions, major natural disasters occurring around the time, etc, which might affect audiences‟ reading and interpretation of the content. Most of these metrics equally apply to Web 2.0 type emergent media as they do to newspapers, magazines, radio and television. The only problematic metrics in this list are „audience reach‟ which is not available for new forms of Web 2.0 media in typical media databases or from media circulation and ratings services, and „placement‟ which does not directly align in the case of emergent media such as blog content which is arranged in reverse chronological order.


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However, „audience reach‟ can be measured by unique visitors to Web sites in the case of Web media and „placement‟ can be measured by user ratings such as „stars‟ (eg. 1-5) and favourites voting in the case of emergent media such as YouTube and Flickr. In addition though, it is desirable that some additional specialised analysis is undertaken of Web 2.0 content for two reasons. First, at a practical level, more data is available for internet-based media than for press, radio and TV such as internet usage statistics gained from Web servers. It makes sense to take advantage of this data. Second, as argued in this paper, emergent media have unique properties and these should be evaluated.

Analysing Web 2.0 sites and emergent media Measurement of Web 2.0 media is still evolving and standards vary. Despite calling for proposals for a new single standard internet audience measurement method from research companies such as Nielsen NetRatings, Hitwise, comScore and Roy Morgan, the Interactive Advertising Bureau‟s set of measurement guidelines for online advertising released in 2008 represent a minimalist 68 approach . The IAB‟s focus is primarily to justify advertising expenditure rather than gain an indepth understanding of meanings that media content is likely to create. So, while it would be ideal to base analysis of online editorial on existing industry standards (eg. for measuring online advertising), it is unlikely that these will be sufficiently detailed for broader use in tracking editorial content. Nevertheless, where possible, basic standards should be adopted. The following 10 key metrics can be productively measured for Web 2.0 emergent media: 1. Unique visitors – duplications should be deleted to detect click fraud and identify the number of individual human log-ins which provides a measure of reach; 2. Duration – filtering out very short stayers is recommended to provide a more accurate measure of true reach and also it provides a basic measure of engagement; 3. Links to a site (also called incoming links) – a major internet convention is linking to others, but organisations usually link only to sites that they trust and respect. Therefore, a high „link to‟ count is a sign that a site has credibility and influence. Counts of links also identify network „nodes‟ and „hubs‟ of credibility – i.e. important influencers in networks; 4. Views of videos and (5) downloads of documents are measures of engagement as people who take the time to view videos or download documents usually are interested. (Purchases, of course, are the ultimate measure of engagement); 6. User ratings such as stars (1-5) and favourites – these folksonomies are examples of the emergent self-organising characteristics of Web 2.0. While not formal taxonomies (objective


Interactive Advertising Bureau 2008, „Measurement guidelines‟, viewed 29 November 2008, < >


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categories or ratings), they are a further indication of credibility and influence and substantiate reach and engagement; 7. Comments and (8) conversations or chat – what people say on sites is a direct form of feedback and market research providing a further measure of engagement and a clear indication of impact. By analysing what people are saying, analysts can see the „take-out‟ from campaigns and identify how much support or otherwise messages are receiving; 9. Return visits – the number of people who come back to a site is a measure of its interest and stickiness in marketing terms; 10. Next clicks – where visitors go next also can provide useful information. For instance, if they leave a car manufacturer‟s site and go to a retailer‟s site for that brand, it is a clear progression towards buying, whereas if they go to a competitor, it is a sign of dissatisfaction with what they have found or that they are shopping around. As well as indicating future intentions, where users click next also maps intertextuality – i.e. the range of information that they are accessing and using. Comments and conversations/chat can be analysed using the quantitative and important qualitative criteria identified for general content analysis. The other eight metrics are unique quantitative data sets available only for Web media and can be productively incorporated into analysis of emergent media content. These, together with the metrics gained from a Best Practice content analysis research system, will provide clear and valuable st insights into 21 century media. It can be seen that, as well as being comprehensive, these measures integrate with existing marketing and measurement terminology, providing data on reach, engagement, stickiness and impact, as well as additional unique measures of credibility important in open social and citizen media.


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Media Monitors approach Measurement of social and citizen media, referred to as emergent media in this paper, is an evolving field. Media Monitors is already a world leader in media monitoring and is extending its content tracking to online media and social and citizen media through direct investment in new systems and working with market-leading partners such as Hitwise and Moreover. Media Monitors increasingly provides access to all forms of media content through a 24/7 online portal (Mediaportal), together with extensive audience reach data licensed from commercial 69 suppliers such as A.C. Nielsen, circulation audit bodies , and other sources. ®

In addition, Media Monitors is the exclusive licensee in Asia Pacific of CARMA (short for Computer Aided Research and Media Analysis), the world‟s leading commercial media content analysis system which is based on the Best Practice principles and techniques outlined in this paper. CARMA International was a pioneer in commercial media analysis, founded in Washington DC in ® 1984. The CARMA methodology was developed in consultation with several universities including the University of Texas and academics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was launched in Asia Pacific by Dr Jim Macnamara, now Professor of Public Communication at the University of Technology Sydney and a consultant to Media Monitors. ®

Today, CARMA is available across Asia Pacific through Media Monitors offices in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, China and other APAC countries and international clients benefit from globally consistent methodology though CARMA International‟s global offices in the US, UK, Europe, South America, India and Japan. ®

CARMA analyses media content quantitatively and qualitatively. Quantitative analysis includes identification of the number of mentions of key topics, issues and messages, share of voice of the client organisation and competitors or other sources, and audience reach. ®

Even more importantly, CARMA involves qualitative analyses of media content based on a range of key variables as outlined in Figure 2. A systematic scoring system is used in assessing each ® variable, from which an aggregate rating on a 0-100 scale is calculated, called the CARMA Favourability Rating.


In Australia two bodies measure print media circulation. The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) measures sales of open distribution publications through newsagencies, supermarkets, etc. The Circulations Audit Board (CAB) measures titles with controlled distribution such as magazines distributed to members of a society and airline magazines as well as free local newspapers delivered to households.


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CARMA® Favourability:


– Did it reach your target audience?

Positioning – Placement –

Front page/lead, back of paper?

Headline, prominent mention,

passing mention – where in the story did you appear?

Size –

Large article, medium, small, filler, etc?

Issues –

Is it on a priority issue or peripheral?

Messages – Sources –

Did it contain your key messages?

Your ‘share of voice’ compared with

competitors or other sources?

© 2010





Figure 2.

To illustrate the important difference between positive/negative ratings which are commonly used in ® basic media analysis systems and the CARMA Favourability Rating, an article may be positive, but it may be in a publication which does not reach a client‟s key target audiences or market, it may discuss peripheral issues, and it may not contain the client‟s key messages. This article, while positive, is not favourable to the client‟s objectives and would be rated near neutral in the CARMA system. Conversely, an article containing a client‟s key messages on important issues, prominently positioned in a publication which reached the client‟s target audience would be rated highly favourable. ®

The CARMA Favourability Rating is far more sophisticated and meaningful than simple positive/negative/neutral classification of articles which a number of other media analysis firms use. It takes into account the likely impact of media content (size, positioning, audience reach, etc) and likely effects (based on messages contained, sourced quoted, etc). After a Favourability Rating is scored for each article and each competitor mention and entered into ® the CARMA system, average favourability ratings can be calculated for each media, each journalist, each issue, each competitor over time, etc, providing precise data for comparison and trending.


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Benefits of Media Analysis Media analysis does not replace audience research such as opinion polls, awareness studies, perception audits and reputation studies. Ultimately, audience research such as interviews, focus groups or surveys are important to gain insights into public opinion, awareness and perceptions. Most market leaders use more than one type of research. However, media analysis has several important benefits, including:

> It can be conducted frequently – eg. quarterly, monthly, weekly or even daily if necessary, whereas many other forms of research are typically conducted once per annum, which means media analysis gives clients early warning to respond to issues and plan strategy;

> It is a non-intrusive research methodology – i.e. it can be conducted without competitors, media or others knowing, which can be useful when analysing competitors or key journalists, and also means it avoids „response generation‟ – i.e. audiences saying what they think the researcher wants to hear which contaminates some audience research;

> It can evaluate large quantities of data – eg. a year of media coverage or even several years involving hundreds or thousands of articles across multiple markets if required – for deep insights and reliable results;

> It is cost-effective relative to other forms of research such as surveys.

Jim Macnamara PhD, FPRIA, FAMI, CPM, FAMEC © 2010

Jim Macnamara is a consultant with Media Monitors and CARMA Asia Pacific. He founded the Asia Pacific franchise of global media analysis firm CARMA International which was purchased by Media Monitors in 2006, upon which he became Group Research Director, before taking up an appointment as Professor of Public Communication at the University of Technology Sydney in 2007. Professor Macnamara is an internationally recognised authority on media research and evaluation of public relations, and a prominent author and consultant on social media. His 35-year career spans journalism, public relations, advertising and media research, giving him extensive practical experience. He holds a BA in journalism, media studies and literary studies; an MA by research in media studies; and a PhD in media research, and is the author of 12 books on media and communication as well as numerous articles and papers published in professional and academic st journals. His latest book, ‘The 21 Century Media (R)evolution: Emergent Communication Practices’ was published by Peter Lang, New York in 2010.


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