Media coverage analysis 101: How to analyze & measure press coverage

Analyzing media coverage is the most important aspect of understanding the impact of PR efforts. Want to gain insights into your media footprint? This article outlines everything about how to measure media coverage so you can more effectively analyze your media coverage. We’ll help you understand the importance of measuring media and give you some strategies to help maximize and maintain your press coverage reports.

Matias Rodsevich  |   


In simple terms, media coverage analysis is the process of assessing and interpreting how news organizations, social media sites, and other types of media cover a particular subject, event, brand, or person.

Looking into the volume and tone of media coverage lets a brand calculate what the public thinks about the organization. Here, various questions can help provide valuable insights into how press coverage is discussed: What topics get attention, and which are pushed to the sidelines? Which media outlets interact with their audience, and which ones stay quiet? We’ll also look at what should be included in a media coverage report for maximum impact.

It's important to know how media measurement has changed over time as media reach and impact have evolved in the digital age. This data helps businesses make decisions. Let's explore these aspects for a better understanding.

What is media coverage analysis and why is it important?

If you've been anywhere near public relations, the ability to measure impact has always been crucial. Back in the day, simple methods didn't always show the real picture. Older methods were marked by qualitative collection methods such as phone interviews, diaries, and automated meters, which often led to figures that failed to accurately represent a brand's position. However, by looking at a brand's presence across online and print media, you can get a clear idea of its impact.

Media coverage analysis is how businesses and organizations gain strategic insights into the industry.

It’s important to know how your brand is portrayed, how people react to your messages, what media trends lead to better engagement, and how your competitors address industry trends. The point of media analysis is that it offers insights into how well your campaigns, events, and initiatives are doing and how you can maximize opportunities.

Essentially, media analysis reports help businesses take a proactive stance and respond to potential scenarios that affect their planning and strategy.

How has media measurement evolved over time?

Media measurement has evolved significantly over time. When television was first made accessible through over-the-air broadcasts, people watched TV with antennas, and measurements were taken by people who wrote down what they watched in diaries. This manual method shifted to more passive, meter-monitored measurement through the Local People Meter (LPM) system. Instead of people writing down what they watched, machines now track it.

Methods like Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE), borrowed from the world of advertising also emerged. This method compares a PR campaign’s success to how much it would cost if the same thing was done as an ad. Today, we have far better methods like PR Value which shows how much money you save by reaching the same audience through PR instead of ads. It’s a more accurate way to figure out the impact of your PR efforts.

Amanda Lotz, a media expert, says that technology changes how we study media but also brings new challenges.

Digital changes make it hard to measure how people engage with content. Because there's no perfect way to do it, we need new and improved methods to understand media's impact on audiences.

Traditional vs. modern metrics

Analyzing media coverage used to be basic, using diaries and AVE.

However the traditional method of AVE no longer suffices in today's landscape.

This shift reveals the changing dynamics between PR and advertising, where the focus has moved away from traditional ad spaces to influencer marketing, paid social advertising, and web-based pay-per-click ads.

AVE is not widely used for measuring press coverage because it doesn't consider how the media sounds, who sees it, and its effect on social media. Digital strategies like PR Value, website traffic, and social media metrics are much more reliable for increasing brand awareness and measuring the correlation between campaign success and brand objectives.

The Barcelona Principle is a renewed method that shifts from merely focusing on outputs and producing content to understanding how people interact with it in real-time.

It encompasses broader metrics, moving beyond traditional indicators like sales, and includes aspects like lead generation and behavioral changes. Combining quantitative data with qualitative analysis, it steers clear of outdated measures and integrates online and offline channels with transparency.

What needs to be included in your media coverage report?

So, what are the steps to create a media coverage report? Considering the limitations of traditional methods like diaries and AVE, more modern elements can be included to maximize a media coverage report.

Infographic what to includein your media coverage report and media coverage analysis

Opinion mining for brand perception #1

Opinion mining can be used for identifying the emotion expressed in a text, such as social media posts, client reviews, or news articles. These are usually extracted using AI machine learning and natural language processing. Also known as sentiment analysis, it helps businesses understand how people feel about their brands and products.

Media coverage reports can benefit from sentiment analysis because they can identify the brand's public perception. It reveals concerns the public might hold, allowing brands to tackle negative feedback and reduce possible damage to their reputation. However, it's important to note that sentiment analysis may not detect sarcasm very well. So it's not a foolproof strategy but it can still be a useful tool for understanding opinions.

Audience engagement on brand channels #2

Monitoring audience engagement through likes, shares, and comments also provides data on how well the message has resonated. Simply put, high engagement signifies content that has captured attention and generated a response. This means that you’ve successfully created a meaningful connection with your target demographic. These strategies can be replicated on other channels to reproduce similar positive engagement.

This kind of quantitative response can help determine the strengths and weaknesses of the PR campaign and create a space for reflection.

Audiences actively engaged on brand channels are also more likely to trust the brand and stay loyal. This can lead to long-term customers.

Strategic competitor review #3

Comparing how your organization is perceived in the media to your competitors can give you useful insights.

You learn much about what works and what doesn't, helping you understand how to make your brand stand out.

This analysis helps you see where to improve and find new chances to succeed in a competitive market. This analysis also lets you identify existing gaps and opportunities in the market.

Reach and relevance #4

Media coverage is evaluated using the Media Quality Score (MQS), a metric that measures the caliber of that coverage.

It evaluates the overall impact, credibility, and applicability of media coverage by considering several variables.

These include the media source's standing, the coverage's tone, and the placement's prominence (landing page, feature article).

Using MQS in media coverage reports is helpful. Some methods examine a limited part of media coverage, but MQS gives a wide view. It helps compare how much people notice and care about your brand. It shows the quality and impact of ads, which can help create better keywords and web pages.

Sound of voice #5

Since brand awareness is usually hard to quantify, sound of voice (SOV) is used to find how much your brand is mentioned in media related to your industry.

By calculating your share of voice, you can compare your coverage with your competitors.

This is done by analyzing the media coverage your competitors and your company receive in a specific period.

This data is useful for assessing your brand's impact and planning future strategies. It communicates the success of your media efforts based on hard, factual data and allows you to adapt and change your strategies as you go. Let's say a certain approach isn't getting the desired response. With SOV, you can quickly recognize the problem and make adjustments on the fly.

Demographic breakdown #6

Looking at media kits for advertising can be useful for PR professionals, especially because they reveal audience demographics.

Demographic data like age, gender, education, and ethnicity can help focus the communication and measure its impact.

By understanding this information, you can decide if being mentioned in a specific publication is more beneficial because its audience matches your brand's target customers.

You can use tools like Google Analytics to understand your website visitors regarding location and interests. With this data, you can predict who is most interested in your brand. You can find out where they're from and what interests them. Think of this data as a map showing the different places your website visitors come from and what topics grab their attention.

Use the technical tools at your disposal #7

Media analysis tools have gotten really good at sorting through information. Technology helps us get rid of mistakes and gives us solid data trends.

However, make sure the human element remains as we still need to ensure that the results make sense and that there’s a story behind the data. This combination will create a balanced and reliable system for assessing press coverage. This will make the analysis thorough and reliable, giving brands a deep understanding of what’s going on.

By combining technology's efficiency with human understanding, the analysis becomes dependable. Brands gain insights into the media landscape, allowing them to grasp the full picture of their coverage. This holistic approach ensures accuracy and enables brands to make informed decisions and stay ahead of the game.

Optimizing media coverage: strategies and tools

To successfully create a functional and useful media coverage report, some specific strategies and tools go hand-in-hand with the methods described above.

1. Strategies for enhancing media coverage

After reviewing the press coverage report, use what you learned to improve your media impact.

Focus on the positives, devise strategies to enhance low engagement, and develop solutions for declining trends.

Creating a short and targeted list of media contacts is also beneficial for getting the best mentions for your brand. Most importantly, use digital tools to evaluate audience engagement and social media analytics to examine your presence.

Once you’ve improved your strategies, maximize your media coverage by reaching out to journalists and publications looking to cover compelling stories. Personalize your messages. Instead of aiming at general publications, talk to specific people, especially freelance journalists. They can get your story into many different places.

When you talk to journalists, share what's unique about your brand, like behind-the-scenes or stories from employees and customers, to increase interest.

2. Maximizing press coverage report with PRHive

To save time and money, use software to streamline reporters' tasks.

If you give them the information they need, they don't have to spend as much time researching your brand. This can increase the likelihood of future collaborations.

This method of monitoring media helps you stay updated on what's being said about your brand. Creating compelling pitches and understanding what to do with the data surrounding your brand requires careful organization and planning.

Automated solutions like PRHive can simplify this process, help create media coverage reports, and track progress. It has built-in PR tools such as pitch AI, PR reporting software, and media database software that sets it apart. Unlike platforms that usually cater to high-budget businesses with conventional and reactive PR strategies, PRHive provides a proactive data-driven solution that is time and cost-effective.


If you’ve got this far, it means you now understand the importance of press coverage and are ready to analyze it. Use this guide to carefully organize how your brand can maximize and maintain its reach.

The evolution of media measurement, from traditional to contemporary practices, highlights the need for businesses to embrace newer measurement methods. These include capitalizing on positive trends, addressing low engagement, and targeting journalists and publications more directly. More importantly, use software solutions that make this easier for your team and long-term use.

Tools that provide data-driven PR strategies are indispensable. Solutions like PRHive offer a proactive and effective approach, simplifying the complexities of media coverage analysis. By embracing these modern methods, businesses can elevate their brand presence and establish a strong brand awareness.

Matias Rodsevich
CEO of PRHive

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