Which online news sites are right for your audience?

Some really interesting mini-research out today from Realwire’s Adam Parker and Andrew Smith of Escherman.

They took 50 online news sites from across different industry sectors and analysed them against three key areas: readership per article (average numbers of UK page views per Google indexed url per month), engagement (time spent per page to indicate how long a reader is likely to be spending reading that content when they get there) and UK relevance (what proportion of the sites readers as a whole come from the UK and would therefore be likely to be relevant if you were trying to reach a UK audience).

The results are really interesting as Adam states:

“if you remove these six high scoring sites from the samples then the sector specific sites still achieve, on average, between 30-60% of the readership per article of the remaining UK Nationals or Consumer titles”

In addition, the titles that scored high for readership per article were not the same that scored high for engagement.

These findings have massive relevancy for the PR industry, as Andrew states:

“In the past, the notion of measuring engagement with editorial content was largely theoretical.  Circulation and readership figures were treated as proxies for engagement (if a newspaper has a readership of 2 million, then we assume that a large proportion must be in some way engaged with some or all of the content – we just aren’t sure which content and to what degree. Or whether this engagement results in a meaningful business outcome).

“However, you could argue that Google data now provides for a much deeper understanding of editorial engagement. At least online.”

At Wildfire, we take a very audience centric approach to PR (and online/social media) campaigns. This means knowing firstly about the audience that the brand/client wants (but also needs) to target and then, as demonstrated above, knowing which channels are going to be most effective.

This is crucial insight for planning but is also important for measurement and reporting as well.

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