Siddhartha Mukherjee: Ranks & SOV no guarantee of Brand-Building!

19 Jul,2018

By Siddhartha Mukherjee

 

Our job pressure, typically in the communications industry, is kind of linked directly with the Share of Voice and Ranks that we create for our or client’s brands. If you look at the PR or the Earned Media industry specifically, the mad chase to garner No 1 Rank for our clients (whatever be the scientific or unscientific parameters and unit of measurement) is getting the worse of us individually and the industry at large. The question is that are we building brands or simply chasing numbers in report cards?

 

Seldom do we, as clients or as custodian agencies of clients, realise that garnering Ranks through Share of Voice is no measure of true brand-building!There are real-life examples galore that keep establishing that while Share of Voice was the highest, whether the brand owner achieved a healthy(ier) brand remained to be far cry!

 

In the PR Industry, carpet bombing of press releases, press conferences, one on one interviews and other tools is still assumed to be a sure shot route to the ‘so called success’ and client appreciation.

 

Below are some observations:

1. Keep the needle moving…somehow!: Does not matter whether the news or conversation that we are creating in the media type and its title are relevant or not. The chase is purely to keep increasing the count of news clips.

 

2. Importance of Messaging yet to be understood: To build a brand, a key ingredient is its message. The art and science of weaving and hammering the brand message at every news and views opportunity across mediums is the name of the game. There are cases where PR Consultancies, even in today’s day, want a clip with a passing mention of their client to be added into the SOV calculation.

 

3. Ranks largely to please bosses or clients:SOV and Ranks are good but not of the PR exposure. Forget about naïve juniors! Even seniors in PR Consultancies use the word brand without even understanding the meaning of it. Why would they not? Their KRAs and KPIs are dependent on Ad Values, Count of Clips and thickness of the clippings folder. They have no clue of the brand scores they need to refer to before they can claim or come close to Brand Building!

 

Take clients even! Whether it is a chicken and egg situation or not is a different debate but there are examples galore where CorpComm desks have no clue of how to showcase the value they are bringing to the brand.

 

The day our Industry learns the ingredients of a brand and its building blocks, the deliveries, conversation and appreciation will sky rocket! In PR Industry, unless and until the unit of measurement is a scientific one, Ranks and SOV normally tend to indicate volume of work. No way does this indicate the quality of work that has gone behind brand building!

 

 

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