Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Russia's National Rating of Communications Companies

There are five Russian PR agencies in the Global Rankings of the Holmes Report, 17 more that have disclosed their revenues in the RIA Rating Ranking and yet five more in the below ranking of Russia's 27 most transparent PR agencies:

Russia's National Rating of Communications Companies
(link to the original story in Russian)

Composite rating (maximum, 1.00))
* SPN Ogilvy

The National Rating of Communications Companies (NRCC) aggregates four ratings prepared by three operators:
Expert poll conducted among directors of member companies of AKOS, IABC, RASO, AKMR associations, members of Russia's Academy of Public Relations and the NRCC Supervisory Board has helped to define the following weights for the composite rating:
Media Rating — 10%
Other ratings — 30% each.

Composite rating for an agency is derived as a weighted average of the respective normalized values in individual ratings. The highest value in an individual rating is always 1.00.

Agencies marked by * had their revenues calculated on the basis of market averages derived from actual revenue figures from other agencies.

NRCC aggretation was performed by Vizantia CG.

(c) NRCC Supervisory Board

Mikhailov & Partners
* FleishmanHillard Vanguard 
Social Networks 
Market Group 
Eventum Premo
* Ketchum Maslov
Newton PR & Communications 
* Polylog
* R.I.M. Porter Novelli
PR Inc. 
PR Partner
* International Press Club
BC Communications
Artisan Group Public Relations
Region PR
PROSTOR: PR & Consulting

Sunday, July 28, 2013

International and Domestic PR Awards Graded in Russia

Russian experts graded international and domestic (national, regional) PR awards, as part of preparing the first-ever integral rating of Russian communications agencies,

Participants of a poll conducted by Vizantia CG (Bycon Group), one of the three operators of the integral rating,  gave grades A, B, C to different awards, 49 in all. Surveys were distributed among members of the four main PR associations in Russia, RASO, AKOS, AKMR, IABC/Russia.

In the A list there are ten awards, including five international (one localized), two national, two international-domestic awards partnerships and one regional.

The B list consists of four international awards (including localization in the US of a national award), three national, two regional and one international-domestic partnership.

The C list contains 22 international awards (including four from Ukraine and two from Belarus), five national (including one partnership) and two regional.

The complete table of grades is located below. Links are provided to awards from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

The integral rating of Russian PR agencies will be presented on Tuesday, July 30. The four component ratings by fees, professional experience, staff qualification and media coverage were published earlier in July.

А Grade:
B Grade:
Cannes Lions
Silver Archer Regional Awards (Regional)
Silver Archer (National)
Red Apple
IPRA Golden World Awards
Crystal Orange (National)
Russia’s Media Manager (National)
Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards
PROBA-IPRA Golden World Awards (Partnership) Press Service of the Year (National)
Global SABRE Awards
Silver Archer - USA
White Wing (Regional)
Silver Mercury (Partnership, National)
Gold Quill Awards (Partnesrhip, International, Localized)
PR News Digital PR Awards
RuPoR (Regional) AKMR-Certified Event Agency  (National)
С Grade:
PR News CSR PR Awards
PR News Platinum PR Awards
PRAVDA Awards (Ukraine)
PR Coverage in the Media (National)
Kyiv International Advertising Festival (Ukraine)
European Excellence Awards
PolitPRpro (National)
PR News PR People, People to Watch & Top Places to Work
Global Effie Competition
AMEC Awards
PR News Nonprofit PR Awards
Event Technology Awards / Golden Puzzle (Partnership, National)
Gold Standard Awards
Event Breakthrough  (Regional)
Gold Sable (Regional) White Square (Belarus)
Best Corporate Video (National)
Clio Awards
Gold PROpeller (Ukraine)
Epica Awards
Energy of Success (Belarus)
Golden Drum
X-Ray Marketing Awards (Ukraine)
Russian Event Awards (National)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ethical Dead End of Print First Strategy

PR manager of a popular daily newspaper in Russia has been recently complaining to me. She thinks we should be crediting the newspaper's work more often in our newswire and on our news website. Well, we do credit local media if we use part of a third-party story that:

a) we think is exclusive and important to our readers;

b1) we can't confirm independently in reasonable time;
b2) the newsmaker is referring us back to because of exclusivity.

The newspaper in question has apparently got a print first strategy, which is still not uncommon in Russia. Scoops appear on the newspaper's website late into the night Moscow time when the print issue is in the works.

Come morning, we would sometimes mention the newspaper's stories in our daily press review (The Russian version is more detailed than, say, in English, where the sources are grouped). During daytime we work with our sources and provide original reporting. Sometimes the stories would coincide with the newspaper's late-night scoops. However, as I already mentioned, there are only exceptional cases when we would mention local media as a source.

So in theory, the newspaper may enjoy a beat of up to 12 hours (sometimes even more) over other media, including us. In practice it doesn't, according to the PR manager. The main reason, as it occurred, is because the credits are part of the KPI used there. I see a clear ethical issue here. Publishing houses should certainly care less about credits in other local media and focus more on engaging their readership.

Looking from a newsmaker's perspective, a print-first strategy is also an ethical issue. Such strategy introduces unnecessary delays of several hours before any story goes public. On the positive side, however, a second publicity cycle may follow if the news agencies decide that the story is important.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Expect Many More Russian PR Agencies in the Global Rankings

In the latest Global Rankings there are five Russian PR agencies, up one from the previous year. Three agencies are in the top 100. However, 10 more agencies could have been on the list. 

RIA Rating recently ranked Russian PR agencies by net fees collected in 2012. Methodology used was similar to the Global Rankings' one. In both cases PR fees were reported net and exclusive of VAT. The Russian project was actually inspired by good performance of the country's PR agencies in the Global Rankings 2012. Three of the four listed agencies appeared in the top 100 of the list that year.

Using the 2012 year-end exchange rate (1 USD = 30.3727 RUB), it's easy to conclude that up to ten more PR agencies from Russia could have made it to the Global Rankings 2013. If they had only wished to apply with all the extra hassle involved (language issues, methodology, etc.). On this infographic look for the first 15 companies, including the five agencies in the Global Rankings.

At a roundtable discussion devoted to the Russian rankings it was noted that the resulting 22 agency list lacked 'body' more on the torso side, not the long tail. The questionnaires had been originally sent to some 130 publicly active companies. One can, therefore, expect dozens of Russian agencies appearing in both rankings in the coming years.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Taking Readers to Your Company's Opinion Leaders

Today there were at least two posts – hat tip to Twitter - on benefits of joint SEO and PR operation in PR agencies, in form of marriage or merger.

These trends just have to bear fruit on the clients' websites soon. Because there is a strong need of optimizing corporate websites for the sake of journalists and bloggers.

Corporate website shouldn't mask a company's opinion leaders. However complex consumer-customer-shareholder-stakeholder content layers do exactly that. Especially when such layers are further divided by territories and/or languages.

Here are five ways to optimize your website and increase copywriters' engagement with it:
  • Include a curated media coverage section with links to stories and posts featuring the company.
  • Maintain a public calendar of the company's events and memorable dates with share and export functions.
  • Do a corporate blog.
  • Link to relevant corporate downloads (photos, videos, infographics, etc.). Mention respective opinion leaders in all of the above.
  • Let bloggers freely use the corporate downloads previously available only to journalists.
Optimized websites produce good search results even with a fictional cliche. Search phrase 'Take Me to Your Leader' yields surprisingly good results on Coca-Cola's corporate website, while Apple.com suggests the Consultants Network.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Enhancing Public Relations with Data

The Internet is bristling with stories, event announcements and discussions on two topics involving data analysis: Big Data and Data Journalism. Both topics were covered in detail at a recent media conference in Moscow.

The former topic is generally attributed to marketing activities and features mostly non-public analysis of huge chunks of data generated by people and machines. The latter is positioned as a public service and sometimes even as savior of journalism.

It is widely accepted that today's PR practitioners need to possess marketing and journalistic skills. Therefore, data should already be used to enhance public relations activities in organizations and companies.

My advice is to go all the way with data. If you plan to disclose a list of people, products or facilities with contact information and other useful bits, why not do it in an application-friendly format? There are journalistic tools for extracting data from PDF files or websites, so don't even try to protect them from third-party analysis by presenting information as in print. In-house abbreviations for countries, as in the winners list of a prominent PR award won't be much of a problem either.

No wonder that organizers of major media conferences have been disclosing participant lists for years. A good example is the World Newspaper Congress.

I hope PR events' counterparts will follow media's lead soon, helping us, practitioners, in making public relations a more productive activity.