Is it time for companies to re-examine their media strategy?

By , agencyfaqs! | In | May 28, 2003
A look at the top categories on CIRRUS and how they fare in image rankings

This fortnight, we examine genres that topped the CIRRUS index in first quarter (Q1) this year. Genres with reference to CIRRUS are those categories under which company news is reported, such as Marketing and Sales, Personalities, Financial Results etc.

CIRRUS results are interesting because they are based on what is actually recorded rather than any kind of extrapolation. A case in point would be to see the Top 10 Genres (in terms of Image points) in Q1 this year.

Top 10 genres - Q1 2003
Genre 3-Jan3-Feb3-MarQ1 Iscore Total
Mktg & Sales 37.96% 35.42% 41.11% 38.07%
Corporate 13.44% 14.10% 7.73% 12.02%
Prod. Launches 9.13% 9.13% 11.49% 9.80%
Personalities 5.80% 10.89% 10.55% 8.72%
Financials 4.13% 4.70% 6.48% 4.97%
Alliances 2.63% 5.90% 5.36% 4.41%
Fin. Results 7.70% 1.81% 0.98% 3.97%
Invst & Disinvst 2.96% 4.22% 3.36% 3.46%
HR & IR 4.36% 1.93% 2.37% 3.05%
M & A 2.15% 2.70% 2.89% 2.53%

Clearly Marketing and Sales stories dominated the print medium in the first quarter of 2003 with a 38 per cent share of all Image points. Month on month also, this genre was far ahead of other categories.

One could conclude that companies put greater emphasis on getting coverage in Marketing and Sales in their brand/ promotional efforts than anything else.

But Image is only one part of the story. There is another factor - the Quality of Exposure (QE %) - which alters the whole perspective when taken into account.

QE (%) is a measure of the quality of coverage a company receives. It establishes the relationship between visibility and image scores. Good media relations would mean that the image should always be higher than visibility. Often this is not the case. If the image points are lower that the visibility points, QE (%) falls below a base line of 100 - which could mean one of several things - the company is getting exposure but it is not the right kind of exposure, negative coverage is on the rise or coverage is declining as a whole.

When we look at the Quality of Exposure of genres, one can see that though marketing has the maximum image points, the same cannot be said for its QE (%). The following chart illustrates the point.

QE(%) Top 10 Genres -Q1 2003
Mktg & Sales138067.2118.22
Prod. Launches35535.66172.49
Fin. Results14410.77138.1
Invst & Disinvst12551.43105.17
HR & IR11044.68110.27
M & A9185.21125.6

Here we take a look at a cross section - the Top 10 companies in Marketing and Sales - to get another perspective on the QE of companies. The following chart gives the QE (%) status of the Top 10 companies (in terms of image points) in Marketing and Sales for Q1.

Top 10 Companies Marketingand Sales - Q1 2003
MARUTI 116.68

Surprisingly, HLL, the traditional big marketer, has a quality of exposure that is well below 100! Microsoft and Reliance Infocomm have the same problem of poor QE (%).

This only demonstrates that high image scores do not necessarily mean a high Quality of Exposure. An ideal situation would be when high Quality of Exposure accompanies high Image scores.

Is it time for companies to re-examine their coverage focus?

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