Polish on the PR proverbial

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Something doesn't add up here

There's been some chat in the PR blogosphere about the analysis Hitwise has done on influence of blogger Iain Dale on the Prescott Affair.

See Drew B and Mr Mayfield, amongst others.

But something doesn't seem to add up.

Say there was 100 million internet searches done on the day Heather says that the 'blogosphere was alight' with the John Prescott story. Then a peak 0.00088% share of searches on 'Iain Dale' amounts to 880 searches.

A tiny drop in the search ocean.

And if search accounted for 24% of traffic to Iain Dale's site, and blogs 19% - then less than 700 people come via other blogs. An impressive total for the blogosphere, given, but not exactly setting the world on fire.

And a company like Hitwise wouldn't have any vested interest in drumming up business by trying to convince PR budget holders to splash out on monitoring and reporting would it?!?

The point of this ramble, if there is one, is that bloggers are always tempted to trumpet the latest stats that seem to herald their cause without hardly pause for second thought. That's only natural, and good for encouraging debate, but a healthy degree of scepticism wouldn't go amiss.

Selective representation of stats can often belie common sense experience. After all, the Sun can claim the highest ABC readership in the UK, but you wouldn't tell your clients that you're going to prioritise the red tops over the broadsheets for CEO press interviews, would you?

But then again, I don't think I've met a flack that hasn't bent the truth at some stage in his or her career. Seems to go with the territory.



Blogger Iain Dale said...

In the last 7 days I have had more than 55,000 unique visitors to the site.

12:25 pm

Blogger PR Monkey said...

Thanks Iain.

Of those 55,000 - how many searched specifically for 'Iain Dale'?

Indiscriminate inbound traffic from popular keywords and phrases doesn't really translate into influence in my book - and certainly isn't strong enough evidence for your blog to become the 'cause celebre' for the influence of political blogs.

But then that's the biggest challenge facing PRs - how can you accurately measure influence in the blogosphere?

Also, interesting that Alexa puts your average 1 week reach at 20 per million unique users. So that means you've reached a whopping 900 UK citizens in the last week, assuming half of the population has been online.

Yet another proof point that blog stats are not to be trusted and can be spun whichever way people want to support their own POV.

12:45 pm

Blogger Iain Dale said...

No idea. All this blogging influence thing has been overdone. All I know is the number of unique visitors and repeats I get. Last month it was 100,000 uniques and 168,000 repeats. From traffic so far this month it;s likely to be around 180,000-20000 uniques. I don't know where these other stats come from. HitWise issued a press release which I was obviously interested in, but I have no idea how they get their figures. But I do know for definite, the 900m figure you quote is ridiculous!!!

10:49 pm


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