The key metrics for brand reputation during the COVID-19 crisis
The effects of COVID-19 are being felt worldwide. During this time, choosing the right brand messaging and executing it at the right time can give greater resonance to your brand. It can also strengthen customer relationships.
As businesses are under increasing pressure and governments urge citizens to stay home, communicating the right message has never been so important. In the corporate world, it’s a balancing act that highlights the essential value of the PR, marketing and communications role for the ongoing operations of their brands.
What metrics can PR and comms professionals use?
Being proactive is key.
We’ve spoken extensively about Reputation Analysis and how this proactive framework provides a benchmark metric brands can follow to understand their reputation. However, as a modern PR, marketing or comms professional, there are numerous measurement metrics that can give important insights about your brand’s reputation.
Brand reputation often influences the actions or choices audiences and buyers make, impacting a brand financially and its ability to grow. It’s especially important throughout a crisis to determine whether your key messages are getting to the right audience at the right time.
Share of Voice
Utilising Share of Voice as part of your PR, marketing and comms toolkit can help you contextualise your media coverage in relation to a particular message, topic, brand or industry. It can also help you understand how effectively your brand is participating in the conversation. Using COVID-19 as an example, Share of Voice can help you identify:
Volume of mentions for COVID-19 over another (and over time) – measure your brand’s visibility in the conversation in your industry in relation to COVID-19.
Volume of mentions of COVID-19 over another as it relates to sentiment – measure your brand’s visibility and the sentiment about your brand in relation to COVID-19.
Volume of mentions by media type/channel (example below)
Throughout a crisis, tracking media mentions can help you spotlight spikes in coverage due to expected or unexpected events. Here are some of the key metrics you can use to examine brand mentions:
Brand mentions by media type – track the volume of brand mentions by media type (social, broadcast, print or online)
Brand mentions over time – see spikes in mentions and can be particularly useful when comparing mentions pre-event, during and post-event.
Sentiment related to those brand mentions – understand how your brand is perceived by your audience (and wider audience)
Brand mentions by spokespeople – understand who is talking about your brand and how often
Day to day volume of mentions per entity (example below) – understand how prominent your brand is in various locations.
Sentiment analysis is one of the key metrics that a PR, marketing and communications professional can use to understand their brand’s reputation. It also enables you to analyse negative sentiment to uncover new ways to improve brand reputation, PR and marketing campaigns.
Monitoring your target outlets can be a great way to understand whether your message is landing in the right hands and how it is likely to resonate with your audience. Not surprisingly, most campaigns rely heavily on the successful execution of two key elements:
Consistency of the message
Share of Voice across target channels
The below outlet chart provides a visual representation of coverage published by volume. This helps you understand which outlets are amplifying your messages and provides you with more context into how your content or message are being received.
Media intelligence is key
Media intelligence allows you to be proactive. In a rapidly changing environment, it’s crucial to stay across the latest, most relevant news and information. With COVID-19, we are seeing record levels of content across a single issue and a constantly evolving traditional and social media landscape.
Your brand’s reputation is one of its most valuable resources. Using these metrics can provide valuable insights about your brand and help you achieve the best possible outcome for your brand reputation.
If you would like more information on how we can help your brand monitor the media during the COVID-19 crisis, get in touch with us today.
Louise is an experienced content marketing professional who translates Isentia’s marketing strategy into impactful and effective marketing campaigns across multiple channels. As the Content Marketing Specialist for Isentia, Louise enjoys creating informative and engaging content for media and communications professionals.
The airlines industry is one of the most affected by COVID-19, as borders shut and revenue dramatically declined. The world has been extremely affected by COVID-19 and it poses as one of the most significant challenges this century. Businesses across industries have closed, and hundreds of thousands of people in the market and worldwide have lost their jobs. Along with the decline in the aviation sector, the changes have also bruised the airlines industry’s cousin - tourism.
In this whitepaper, we uncover the top insights about the airlines industry and the current situation the aviation industry faces in Indonesia.
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The airlines industry amid the pandemic in Indonesia
The airlines industry is one of the most affected by COVID-19, as borders shut and revenue dramatically declined. The world has been extremely affected by COVID-19 and it poses as one of the most significant challenges this century. Businesses across industries have closed, and hundreds of thousands of people in the market and worldwide have […]
This month, we chat to Shirish Kulkarni, Director of Monnow Media about effective storytelling. He shares his research about why the way we tell stories needs to change to make news more engaging, inclusive and informative.
Isentia’s Insights Director, Ngaire Crawford also shares some of the trends we’re seeing across social and traditional media, and how we’re seeing the notion of ‘effective’ storytelling change for our clients.
Ngaire Crawford talks about the storytelling trends across social and traditional media
3:41 - Mainstream media is talking about:
Back to end-to-end COVID coverage with a regular cadence of updates
Anti-maskers are in the spotlight and the phrase “Bunnings Karen” has returned over 6000 media items
A slight increase in global coverage related to second waves of the virus.
Considerable reduction in racial inequality discussions
Across New Zealand where COVID isn’t quite the main focus, there is a lot of coverage about elections and electioneering.
5:12 - Across social media, there is a lot of division:
Between openly calling out misinformation, and perpetuating misinformation.
Between those ‘doing the right thing’ and those who are not. This is more about calling out individuals rather than organisations.
6:12 - On Google Trends, people across Australia and New Zealand are looking for search terms:
Kerry Nash (Bunnings Karen)
A lot of TV shows and celebrity content (Kanye West etc)
7:06 - In terms of storytelling, it’s important to understand the context in which you are communicating. The things to consider:
Impact of video - divisiveness can breed “recipients” or “evidence” based culture. Video is the easiest way for messages to spread quickly and for media to lift the story. Consider this from a risk perspective (media and customer service training) as well as your content - it might not the time for beautifully produced videos just yet.
Echo chambers -heightened emotional states can mean that audiences seek out information that confirms information they want to believe. Keep an eye on misformation that’s relevant to you and your organisation.
Media as a moral high-ground: Anti-maskers, “fake news” etc can cause a really visceral reaction from the public, and from news media. Unfortunately, this misunderstands the context of those arguments.
9:37 - The narratives to watch at the moment:
Rules fatigue: People are getting tired of being told what to do, it’s a natural reaction (psychological reactance) but it’s something to be really mindful of when communicating right now. There is a heightened emotional state, especially for those who are entering a second lockdown.
Shirish Kulkarni talks effective storytelling
10:26 - Over the past year I’ve conducted research on how we can better tell news stories, and my findings can be applied across the communications industry. We are all storytellers in one way or another.
11:00 - We’re hardwired for stories, at an anthropological and neuroscientific level, stories help orientate us within the world. They are a virtual reality simulator helping us practice for real life.
11:53 - Typically, news stories do the opposite of traditional storytelling (i.e have a beginning and an end to the story). Instead, we (journalists) use the inverted pyramid structure where the top line is the conclusion and then filters down to the least interesting or least important information.
12:39 - The concept of the inverted pyramid structure dates back to the days of the telegraph, the original newswire. It was expensive, unreliable and it made sense to put the most important information at the beginning, just in case you lost the end of it. Although we don’t use the technology of the telegraph anymore, we still use the habits formed by that technology which continue to define journalism and communications.
13:03 - We conducted research with 1300 participants and the results showed users prefer stories that work in a straightforward and linear structure, much like traditional stories. More information was picked up as it fits with how we are hard-wired to navigate the world.
13:28 - Journalists are failing because they are ignoring what users need from the news. In an attempt to reverse that, I came up with six key principles that should be at the forefront of our minds when telling our stories.
Content - is it useful or relevant and does it help us understand the world better?
Context - are we providing enough context? News largely focuses on breaking or moving news but that's often to the detriment of context, analysis and understanding.
Users have agency - they are not just passive victims of the news, they can be part of creating solutions and want the opportunity to choose how to engage with the news.
Tone - we need to consider the tone we are using. We tend to fall back on journalist language which is old fashioned and formulae.
Diversity and inclusion - are crucial when storytelling. It’s about telling different stories, ones that reflect the richness of our societies. This is very important.
Inverted pyramid - is this the best structure to tell a narrative? What are the alternatives? What we are doing isn't working so we’ve got nothing to lose by trying something different.
17:24 - Based on these principles, I created a number of prototypes and tested them with users. When compared with a BBC news article, users overwhelmingly preferred our prototype. They picked up more information in less time and found it easier to navigate. This proves there is a better way of telling stories, we just need to be prepared to think differently and put users at the centre of our thinking.
18:40 - How do you think the media coverage of COVID-19 applies to your research?
Media has a crucial role. The only justification to have journalism is to provide reliable and useful information. There’s a big thing about news being about entertainment and there’s a focus on the drama of news rather than the information of news. What do we need to know? We are users as well as the audience and this should be taken into consideration when wanting to drive engagement.
23:46 - Do you have any tips for making the linear narrative structure more effective especially through face to face presentations rather than emails?
What really worked for us was using a "narrative accordion". We had 5 questions, and the answers could be expanded and read based on the user's interest. It didn't matter whether the question was at the beginning or end as it was up to the interest of the user. Simplify what you’re saying, and question whether it’s useful to your users.
28:15 - What have you learned about younger generations and their behaviours?
People have an incorrect characterisation of young people and get their needs completely wrong. There is a perception you can’t make a video longer than two minutes for the younger generation because they have a short attention span and are unable to comprehend what is being said. This generation is the most emotionally and culturally intelligent generation we have ever had. Young people aren’t put off by complexity or depth, they are craving it. Don’t underestimate them.
If you would like toview other Webinar Isentia Conversations: Communicating through Change:
string(61) "Isentia Conversations with Shirish Kulkarni from Monnow Media"
string(212) "We chat to Shirish Kulkarni, Director of Monnow Media about effective storytelling. He shares his research about why the way we tell stories needs to change to make news more engaging, inclusive and informative. "
string(19) "2020-07-29 22:58:53"
string(19) "2020-07-29 22:58:53"
Isentia Conversations with Shirish Kulkarni from Monnow Media
We chat to Shirish Kulkarni, Director of Monnow Media about effective storytelling. He shares his research about why the way we tell stories needs to change to make news more engaging, inclusive and informative.
This week, we talk to Stella Muller, the Chief of Enlightenment and Creative Director of Bright Sunday about communicating with diverse audiences. Stella shares a case study on how pacific media agencies in New Zealand worked together to get COVID-19 messaging out in nine different languages to reach New Zealand Pacific audiences.
Isentia’s Insights Director, Ngaire Crawford also shares some of the trends and conversations we’re seeing across social and traditional media, and the role of simple, clear messaging in crisis response.
Ngaire Crawford talks about the change in media conversations
4:22 - Media narratives have shifted to a global social change movement. The mainstream media is talking about:
The political relationship between Australia and China.
Police behaviour and racism across the world
Concern for global economic recovery
Life after restrictions (more prominent in New Zealand)
5:12 - The social media narrative is more focused around the Black Lives Matter movement and has opened a dialogue about white privilege and police targeting across the world. In the US especially, brands are very clearly being called on to have a view and make that known. Silence is viewed as complicity.
6:11 - On Google Trends, people are searching for:
Responses to Black Lives Matter (Chris Lilley, Adam Goodes)
Pete Evans (due to a recent 60minutes Coronavirus conspiracy interview)
AFL competition starting again
Launch of the new Playstation 5
Wage subsidies and economic recovery
6:55 - For communicators, be clear in what you say and what you stand for.
Consider expanding your view of crisis communication to include response to social issues/ social change. Do you know what your organisational response would be if you were asked?
Constantly evaluate how inclusive your communications are. Audiences are constantly shifting and moving - you have to regularly evaluate and challenge what you think you know.
Know your organisational history, is there a risk that you should consider and plan for?
8:40 - Some things to look out for in the media:
Nationalist tension vs social change.
There's a broad media narrative brewing - watch for nationalist responses to restricted borders, juxtaposed with broad social discussions of racial inequality.
Stella Muller talks communicating with diverse audiences
10:26 - In March when New Zealand was about to go into lock down, communications were being prepared for the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern to communicate to english speaking audiences across mainstream channels. There was a gap as some New Zealand Pacific audiences do not speak english. We needed a solution.
My team spent days translating level 3 and level 4 messages into nine different pacific languages to ensure the pacific community received the correct messaging about COVID-19 and the government’s response.
12:37 - Before communicating the various levels of messaging, there were many clinical messages about washing hands and social distancing, and although these were being translated to our pacific audiences, there was no context around the message. The pacific community was confused for the sudden need to buy toilet paper and the increased need to wash or sanitise their hands.
13:30 - Our elderly, Pacific and Maori communities were most at risk to contract COVID-19 so we needed to ensure they understood the situation. After pitching our idea to the Ministry of Health and Ministry for Pacific Peoples, we had 24 hours to create and record our messaging in the studio, ready to be released after the Prime Minister made the Level 4 alert announcements.
14:50 - For 6 weeks, we broadcast weekly 15 minute bulletins in each of the nine pacific languages. They were distributed across social media, New Zealand radio and mainstream television network TVNZ. Historically, Pacific languages are not televised on mainstream television, so it was quite amazing to see.
15:40 - We were able to deliver the essential information to our leaders and elders in a timely manner so they could then inform their communities. It’s impact also meant we could debunk myths that were circulating around the Pacific community and be the source of truth.
Compliance was a big part of COVID-19 and for our leaders and elders to communicate with confidence, they needed to have access to have the facts direct from the Government.
17:46 - At a time when everything was being categorised as essential or non-essential, it proved why communications are an essential service. Any content that is created or translated during a time like COVID-19, is premium content. To have the ability to cut through to audiences is really impactful.
18:35 - Of the 1,154 cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand, Pacific people made up 5% of those cases and with zero deaths, we feel honoured to have been involved in the communications process for Pacific community.
If you would like toview other Webinar Isentia Conversations: Communicating through Change:
We talk to Craig Dowling, the Head of Communications at Mercury. Mercury was underway with some major construction and refurbishment projects; it had launched a new brand campaign; it was preparing to welcome a new Chief Executive - and then came the unforeseen. Craig reflects on how COVID-19 flipped the focus of communications almost overnight. He’ll share what went well and what the challenges were in such a dynamic environment. Isentia’s Insights Director, Ngaire Crawford also shares some of the trends we’re seeing across social and traditional media, and a quick look at what communication is working well right now.
Ngaire Crawford talks about predicting the future
4:06 - The current overarching media narrative is about predicting what the future will look like and the long term personal impact COVID-19 will have on us.
The mainstream media is talking about:
Economic impact and how long the recovery will be (property, wealth and government response)
Restrictions easing and cases of the virus in specific regions or specific person
News is starting to resemble normal again.
5:43 - As anxiety about physical distancing eases, discussions on social media are turning towards the government response to the economic downturn and how businesses will course correct the job losses that have taken place.
6:23 - What people are looking for on Google across Australia and New Zealand:
Individual COVID-19 cases based on a particular region, age etc.
Coronavirus App across both regions
Broader global and entertainment stories (Lady Gaga, Josh Reynolds etc.) This is reflective of the world slowly returning to normal.
7:00 - Now is the time to start thinking about the future and how to apply the learnings seen through COVID-19 in your future communications.
It’s important to understand how to communicate during an economic downturn; know your audience, be creative and innovative with how you demonstrate your message to your audience.
8:00 - There are interesting conversations around PR ethics and misinformation and the role they play. In particular, the Whitehouse challenged social media companies and their legal responsibility for content posted on their platforms. It also reignites the conversation/debate around the role of tech and their ethical responsibility. Anything to do with ethics and misinformation is important for communications professionals to know and understand during this time.
Craig Dowling from Mercury talks disrupted and disrupting conversations
9:49 - There’s a lot of value revisiting some of the lessons we’ve learned during COVID-19 to help us build new habits and progress forward.
9:55 - Sticking to the communication messages; clarity, compassion and creativity will hold us true to the course of recovery. This includes the ups and downs still to come throughout COVID-19.
10:10 - The 2010 New Zealand Canterbury earthquake is the biggest parallel to COVID-19. This earthquake was a long running issue for those directly impacted and the grief cycle involved a cycle of responses to our customers, partners and internal staff that lasted years. This could be similar with COVID-19.
11:05 - We had a range of things planned for the first half of 2020. We had our strategies, tactics and specific activities the business had decided to do. We were working on a brand campaign, planning price changes, and a major infrastructure investment of building New Zealand's largest wind farm.
11:53 - We strategically launched our brand campaign on Valentines Day. As a renewable energy company, our pointy messaging was telling people to break up with oil and kiss it goodbye. We had a lot of supporting work scheduled for release but it was apparent 2 weeks after launch, people weren’t listening to the renewable energy message (which usually has a fertile audience) so we decided to pull the campaign.
12:56 - The timing of our brand campaign coinciding with COVID-19 meant we had to segway to old neutral advertising to keep our brand presence and most importantly, not offend anyone. Neutral advertising also bought us time to determine what our longer term response would be.
13:25 - We had announced a price increase to our customers in early February giving them one months notice before it was implemented. A number of those customers did not face their price increase until New Zealand were a week into lockdown. This presented us with reactive messaging - we had to let our customers know the background of the price increase and validate its existence. This was tricky to navigate but we needed to think like a customer in this scenario and understand their pain points.
14:30 - The lockdown meant we had issues getting workers to our wind farm that was under construction. We had locked in community engagements; we spoke to our community once a month with face to face meetings and we had to think of new ways to best manage those tactics and situations.
14:54 - It’s fundamentally important to build relationships and trust for messaging to be well received.
16:20 - In terms of our own communications plans, in a neutral environment away from issues such as COVID-19 and other crises, you have the luxury of thinking and speaking in areas you may not otherwise.
Test the waters of communicating and take it back to the core elements of your business. Say less and find out what is important to say, and then test it.
17:40 - It’s important to understand the tone of your message and how it is going to be received without making any assumptions.
19:42 - There’s been a lot of talk about businesses pivoting and whole business models being threatened. From a comms perspective, caution should be taken with a pause implemented between pivots. Test the business is pivoting for the right reasons, and understand what the underlying values are supposed to be. The change pivoting brings won't be sustainable unless it’s true to your business’ core values.
If you would like toview other Webinar Isentia Conversations: Communicating through Change:
string(53) "Isentia conversations with Craig Dowling from Mercury"
string(632) "We talk to Craig Dowling, the Head of Communications at Mercury. Mercury was underway with some major construction and refurbishment projects; it had launched a new brand campaign; it was preparing to welcome a new Chief Executive - and then came the unforeseen. Craig reflects on how COVID-19 flipped the focus of communications almost overnight. He’ll share what went well and what the challenges were in such a dynamic environment. Isentia’s Insights Director, Ngaire Crawford also shares some of the trends we’re seeing across social and traditional media, and a quick look at what communication is working well right now."
string(19) "2020-06-03 23:09:28"
string(19) "2020-06-03 23:09:28"
Isentia conversations with Craig Dowling from Mercury
We talk to Craig Dowling, the Head of Communications at Mercury. Mercury was underway with some major construction and refurbishment projects; it had launched a new brand campaign; it was preparing to welcome a new Chief Executive – and then came the unforeseen. Craig reflects on how COVID-19 flipped the focus of communications almost overnight. He’ll share what went well and what the challenges were in such a dynamic environment. Isentia’s Insights Director, Ngaire Crawford also shares some of the trends we’re seeing across social and traditional media, and a quick look at what communication is working well right now.