Nielsen and NetRatings Become the Go To Source
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Holmes Report
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Nielsen and NetRatings Become the Go To Source

Over the past year, BSMG, along with the NetRatings in-house public relations team, has aggressively pursued every possible media opportunity in hopes of getting just one piece of NetRatings data included in an article in top-tier business media.

Paul Holmes

Who coined this year’s Olympic games in Sydney the first true Internet Olympics?  Who was the first to report that online holiday shopping was off to a slower start than last year?  Who offers the most in-depth analysis and information about almost everything online?  

NetRatings joined forces with Nielsen Media Research (Nielsen owns a 52% stake in NetRatings) to launch Nielsen//NetRatings Internet measurement services almost two years ago.  Media Metrix, (now Jupiter Media Metrix) the first mover in this space and NetRatings’ main competitor, was already well-established as the source for top-tier business media.  Over the past year, BSMG, along with the NetRatings in-house public relations team, has aggressively pursued every possible media opportunity in hopes of getting just one piece of NetRatings data included in an article in top-tier business media.  

BSMG has been working hand-in-hand with NetRatings to develop newsworthy angles and creative ideas to pitch feature stories, including exclusives.  One year later, NetRatings has begun creating the news rather than capitalizing on existing news.  In fact, with its aggressive media relations efforts, incredible persistency and early media relationship building, the in-house and agency efforts are paying off in droves.  NetRatings has become the go-to source for Internet information and analysis, from company mergers like AOL/Time Warner, to the Olympics, Holiday E-Commerce and even the Super Bowl’s rise and fall of dotcom advertising.

SITUATION

In 2000, newly public Nielsen//NetRatings was poised for growth and challenged with significant business and public relations goals.  NetRatings faced extremely stiff competition from the first mover in the Internet measurement space, Media Metrix.  BSMG was charged with helping NetRatings in-house public relations not only build share-of-voice, but become the dominant source for Internet information and analysis among top-tier business and Internet media.  

While the Nielsen heritage always helped the collective NetRatings and BSMG teams open doors with media, reporters were at first quite reluctant to source NetRatings since Media Metrix was so entrenched with the media by this point. With a lot of persistence and strong relationship building, NetRatings began building credibility with the media who started to source the NetRatings data and analysis more and more. With no other significant marketing campaigns underway, NetRatings public relations was the prime method of building credibility for the company in areas beyond the media such as business prospects and Wall Street.  

The more NetRatings was sourced in top-tier business media the more existing customers and prospects would recognize and associate the NetRatings name with credible Internet measurement information and analysis.

OBJECTIVES 

Educate media about Nielsen//NetRatings capabilities and depth of information

Establish Nielsen//NetRatings as an industry leader in Internet measurement; increase media references

CHALLENGES

Media Metrix first mover in Internet measurement space; already strong relationships with top- tier business media

Although NetRatings had more in-depth data and better methodology, media just wanted numbers and didn’t delve into quality 

STRATEGIES

Educate media on the breadth and depth of Nielsen//NetRatings data and analysis 

Reinforce data differentiators, timely data, more in-depth data and analysis, to reporters to differentiate them from their competitors

BSMG conducted aggressive, ongoing, strategic media relations efforts to build relationships with top-tier business journalists and increase Nielsen//NetRatings sourcing in the news.  

Beyond frequent weekly, monthly and topical Nielsen//NetRatings reports on the state-of-the-Internet industry, BSMG worked closely with Nielsen//NetRatings to develop newsworthy angles around current events and timely news topics for data/commentary opportunities:

  • Nielsen//NetRatings Holiday E-Commerce Index: a weekly look at hot holiday topics and traffic on the Web 
  • Global Internet Olympics Index:  daily look at spikes in traffic on key Olympic and news sites throughout the Olympic games; first major event where results hit the Internet before television 
  • Survivor.com makes first use of convergence marrying television with the Internet; Nielsen//NetRatings reports spikes and analysis of this phenomena 
  • Major news events coverage and accompanying spikes in traffic, from Election 2000 to Napster to AOL/Time Warner merger 
  • Data deals (agreed upon weekly coverage) in top-tier media outlets such as the New York Times “Most Wanted” section, Reuters, Advertising Age and many more.

RESULTS

Public Relations is helping to further establish NetRatings as the source for Internet statistics: 
Almost 6,000 placements in top-tier business wire, print, online and broadcast outlets from February – December 2000

Exceeded public relations goals in fourth quarter 2000:
Total Coverage:
Goal: 25% increase in overall coverage in fourth quarter
Actual: 42% increase in overall coverage from third quarter to fourth quarter 2000
Print:
Goal:  35% increase in print article in fourth quarter
Actual:150% increase in print articles from third to fourth quarter 2000
Significant increase in top-tier and NetRatings feature coverage:  Achieved 24 Wall Street Journal and 29 New York Times articles in third and fourth quarter 2000
Increase in NNR customers in 2000 from 500 to 770

Public Relations plays an integral role in NetRatings company efforts, including frequent quotes in earnings calls, at NetRatings client meetings and on bi-monthly Wall Street analyst updates.

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