How to write an effective end of year online media performance report (beyond the metrics)

How to write an effective end of year online media performance report (beyond the metrics)

Perri Robinson
18 November 2016
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Online Media Performance Report Writing Tips – Looking Beyond The Metrics to Include!

It’s true what they say, time really does fly! That’s why it’s a good idea to plan ahead and think about the faff that comes with the end of the year, as well as the good stuff, like mince pies and mulled wine! End of year reporting is one burden that weighs heavily on those working in the comms industry. Luckily for those who have support from an online media monitoring tool, stress is kept to a minimum!

As global leaders in media intelligence, Meltwater knows it’s impossible for comms pros to flex their muscles and show off the impact they’ve made without a strong online media performance report to showcase results. And while there’s a lot of content on the web that claims to help write an online media performance report, most simply reel off a list of metrics to include and stop there.

“Yes, metrics are a vital part of an online media performance report, but they’re not the be all and end all. With that being said, here’s what our media performance strategy should bear in mind prior to creating one.”

online media performance report

Online Media Performance Report Preparation

Set context: Mention online media monitoring goals

Before anything, you should specify what you’re trying to achieve by creating an online media performance report. What are you trying to show? It may be an update on where you stand in relation to your competitors (found via a competitive benchmark analysis), it may be an update on a particular campaign or industry research. Whatever it is you’re trying to show in your report, setting context helps to give you (and the reader) direction.

Tailor questions based on goals

To find answers, you must ask questions. The questions you ask should differ depending on the goal of your online media performance report, for example:

  • Reporting on your competitive position – “Have we increased our share of voice?”
  • Reporting on a PR campaign – “Did we increase coverage in our top tier target publications?”
  • Uncovering industry research – “What are the prominent keywords that are appearing in the word cloud and have they changed since this time last year?”

Use an online media monitoring tool to find answers

Media data provides the answers to the above questions and a good online media monitoring tool such as Meltwater will be able to supply us with the insights needed to answer them. There’s a wide range of metrics you can use to find answers, this means that the type of metric used really depends on your objective. Check out our previous blog posts on the metrics you should be reporting.

When Writing your Online Media Performance Report

Story a tell

Communication professionals are pros at storytelling. Use this skill when writing your online media performance report. After all, the data you present tells your brand story! Don’t forget the heroes and villains that have influenced the narrative along the way!

Make sure your online media performance report tells a story

Consider the audience

Whilst the story ultimately remains the same since it’s data-driven, the way you tell it should change depending on your audience. Identify and keep the different stakeholders in mind writing your online media performance report. If it’s for your board of directors, chances are they won’t have time to read a hefty report, so you should try and keep the content as high level as possible. They’re also less likely to be interested in more tactical elements of your comms strategy. If the report is for our team, more tactical elements are important as they’ll be the ones honing in on the details.

Include a methodology

We mentioned the importance of setting context in our mind before creating an online media performance report. The same goes for setting the context for your audience. A methodology section is perfect for this. Within this section include why you’ve created the report, what you’re trying to measure (your question) and the timeframe you’re measuring.

It’s also good practice to add the online media performance report’s key finding straight after the methodology section so the audience can stop reading at any point and still get the jist of the research. But hopefully, the findings will be interesting enough to encourage them to read on!

Present data in an engaging way

When presented with a 30 page report, the first thing most people do is flick through to the images. Why? Because images help us quickly understand!

Meltwater’s online media monitoring platform provides a number of interactive graphs and charts in a dashboard format that can be customised depending on the audience. We can then add a qualitative aspect to our online media monitoring report by annotating spikes and dips in data.

Real time dashboard used to uncover online media performance report data

Reporting is invaluable, but can sometimes be time-consuming. If you’re interested in knowing the impact you’ve made in this year, without having to create an online media performance report, we can help. Get in touch with us via the form below.