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Why Share of Voice in Public Relations Falls Short and the Rise of Share of Voice+

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

Above: Share of Voice+ is a metric that shows how well, not just how much, a firm stands out from the crowd.

Share of Voice (SoV) is a go-to metric for public relations aiming to measure their brand's market presence and one that feels intuitive and the C-Suite and Board can understand. Yet, as we think about how SoV is applied and how it measures PR results, it becomes clear that its one-size-fits-all approach is too blunt an instrument for the subtleties of modern public relations.

For example, a full-page feature in the Financial Times or Wall Street Journal is worth infinitely more than a passing mention of a company in any other outlet. A Share of Voice measure, however, would consider all citations equally in its calculation, attributing the same value to media mentions that are qualitatively different from one another. So it doesn't differentiate between your strategic goals - Tier 1 media - and everything else.

Enter Share of Voice+, a sophisticated metric that seamlessly blends both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of a firm's media coverage. Material Impact's new metric, Share of Voice+ (trademark pending), goes beyond traditional calculations to include a range of key performance indicators.

In this way, SoV+ provides a nuanced view of a company's media impact, aiding in strategic planning and benchmarking. It serves as a precise tool for evaluating the value of media relations across stakeholders and teams.

For a practical application of the Share of Voice+ metric, please see our recent report on the Top 100 Fund Administration firms in our latest PR Pulse report.

Components of Share of Voice+ in peer analysis:

  1. Share of Voice: We start with the traditional metrics: the total mentions a company received in the media within a given timeframe, regardless of the quality or the source of the mention. This metric is the cornerstone of peer analysis in the PR industry.

  2. Consistency of Media Coverage: Firms that consistently garner media mentions each month and maintain a higher average number of mentions, outperformed those with sporadic or no coverage in certain months.

  3. Quality of Coverage: Companies that secure mentions in Tier 1 media outlets across a diverse range of publications globally received higher scores.

  4. Brand Interest: This metric rewards firms that not only maintain a high average level of search engine queries over time but also show a positive trend in growing interest.

  5. International Reach: Firms that achieved media coverage across multiple geographic regions or in multiple languages enjoy a scoring advantage.

Share of Voice+ is a practical metric designed for C-suite executives, communications and marketing professionals. It offers firms actionable insights that can inform future strategies, identify areas of improvement and highlight successes that can be built upon.

Whether you are a market leader or an emerging player, the data and analysis this method provides offers a roadmap for navigating complex media ecosystems effectively.


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