Determining Media Values for Blogs

Filed as Guides on January 26, 2009 3:18 am

Have you ever wondered how a PR or marketing agency computes for media values within blogs? This is very different from advertising value – as there’s always a dollar price slapped on to a specific ad slot. But media value is different – as it takes into consideration other things such as how the message was communicated.

Media value is nothing more than a quantitative way to express the PR generated from your product through TV, radio, print and other below the line events. If you’re an Internet marketer or PR firm, have you developed a way to determine media values for your client?

A short comparison is in order. Let’s take a look at traditional media values for print – as blogging can be the closest thing in terms of the new vs. traditional media model. Talking of the latter, a PR agency usually takes a look at several things. First, they consider where a press release or product feature appears. Was the news on the front page of the daily? Was their cellphone being held by a model on the front cover (even without a paid sponsorship)? Second, they take a look at space. Because that’s what everyone is competing for in print: you have a limited amount of space, almost usually a 11.5 x 13 inch glossy with 100+ pages. How many press releases and product reviews can you fit into that ream of paper? So you end up having such prime spots like the inside front cover spread, the back spread, apart from the front and back covers. The press release section — not a lot of media value in that.

Depending on where your pitch gets published, whether in the form of a column, a photo shoot or a product review, there are corresponding multipliers depending on the credibility of the article. Columns uually have a high multiplier. Even more than reviews. Photos are visual and eye-catching so a lot of them add more value as well. Again, the press release section doesn’t. Because readers KNOW it’s the PR section.

So now we go to the beef — how do you measure corresponding media value in blogs? The truth is, you cannot measure value in terms of square inch or square centimeter of text, because in that case, wordpress theme developers WILL take advantage of this. You also just can’t classify posts into physical sections because all blog posts get pulled down to the next page eventually.

By default, blog media value is almost, if not more valuable than the importance given to a journalist’s column as these are opinions that are not “bought” by the client (ceteris paribus! :) ). The same may be said for reviews.

There are quite a few obvious ways to determine blog media value without having to resort to attaching widget after widget after widget:

(1) The number of positive vs. negative comments is one way. Assigning a value on a “+” vs “-” scheme helps your product manager get a more quantitative idea of what people are saying online.  (2) In addition to that you can also argue that since blogs are like columns, the credibility multiplier soars higher, and this further increases with the number of track backs left in comments. (3) You can also look at the number of total pageviews of a blog’s most popular post in relation to the post you are trying to quantify: “How does this post about my cellphone product compare to the most popular post on this blog?” These are but some ways of determining a numerical value for blogs.

How do you determine the value of blog posts, front page Diggs, social networking mavens ($ per contact?) and YouTube views? I’d really love to discuss this in detail.

Oh by the way, my name is Jayvee Fernandez. I’ve done the rounds with the blog industry as former Tech Channel Ed for b5Media and do a lot of online and word of mouth campaigns back here in the Philippines. This is my first post as a regular contributor for The Blog Herald.

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  1. By Blogie Robillo posted on January 26, 2009 at 3:40 am
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    This is a very interesting post, Jayvee! I hope you do expound on the topic — it will be extremely useful to the growing number of “new media” practitioners out there.

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  2. By Easton Ellsworth posted on January 26, 2009 at 9:21 am
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    Jayvee, welcome to TBH man! Good to see you around again.

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  3. By Brian Marchant-Calsyn posted on January 26, 2009 at 1:15 pm
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    Jayvee, one way for us has been to charge on a per lead basis when applicable. Some of the ideas you reference for quantifying blog success are excellent to drive up the credibility factor. Billing appropriately is a little easier also when it is part of a larger SEO campaign where metrics tell the tale.
    Brian Marchant-Calsyn

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  4. By Jayvee Fernandez posted on January 26, 2009 at 9:30 pm
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    Brian,

    thanks for the input – i do agree that site metrics do deliver a lot of payload when it comes to bringing in the beef.

    i do wonder though if metrics give a clearer picture of the overall goal. if traffic and search is the goal, then fine and well. but what about other viral effects that happen outside the Internet? We can argue that an Internet campaign is there to supplement a bigger below the line communications plan and I guess things like sales, walk ins should also be considered?

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  5. By Jayvee Fernandez posted on January 26, 2009 at 9:32 pm
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    @easton – thanks for the welcome. looking through the editorial list brings nostalgia as I’ve worked with many of you guys in the past! good times.

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