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PR Newswire Delivers In-depth Measurement of Press Release Visibility and Audience Engagement with the Launch of Visibility Reports

iCrossing's marketing analytics platform powers detailed analysis of media, online and investor interaction

New York, (March 26, 2009) /PRNewswire/ — PR Newswire has enhanced its reporting capabilities with the launch of Visibility Reports, a new interactive data dashboard that helps companies and organizations assess the full impact on media and online and investor audiences of press releases issued via PR Newswire.

"By launching Visibility Reports, PR Newswire has established a new standard in customer reporting. Visibility Reports can quantifiably measure how a press release is accessed and the level of interest and interactivity that it generates among an organization's key audience groups," remarked Sarah Skerik, vice president, Distribution Services, PR Newswire. "Given today's challenging economic environment, it has become increasingly important for companies and organizations to have verifiable return-on-investment analytics. With Visibility Reports, customers are able to see the full value of PR Newswire's global distribution and clearly understand how and where messages are resonating."

Available through PR Newswire's Online Member Center, Visibility Reports, powered by iCrossing's marketing analytics platform, provides a user-friendly interface that collects data from disparate sources and enables customers to gauge the impact of an individual press release. Visibility Reports can also benchmark the press release's performance against company-specific and industry averages.

iCrossing and PR Newswire created new key performance indicators to help measure the success of each press release, including the number of times a press release has been accessed, the audiences that viewed the release, the geographic footprint of an announcement, and the activity and affinity that each release elicited among its readers.

Visibility Reports also allows companies and organizations to customize the data fields included in the report to address individual reporting needs and display preferences. Users can generate trend analyses based on specific date ranges and comparisons against prior press release activity, and can render the information graphically or in comprehensive spreadsheets. All content from Visibility Reports can be downloaded to a user's desktop as either Excel, .PDF, Flash or .PNG files for use in internal presentations or feedback memos.

For each press release issued over one of PR Newswire's premium newslines, Visibility Reports computes two indices — Total Visibility and Engagement. A score is generated for these indexes based on a 0-100 point scale. Scores exceeding 50 are considered above average compared to a tabulation of industry-weighted averages and indicate that the release generated significant attention and interactivity among key target groups.

The Total Visibility Index assesses several data points that customers can compare against their prior releases or average industry scores:

  • Media Visibility: The total number of press release views by the media either through direct access from PR Newswire for Journalists (PRNJ) or via the receipt of full-text emails
  • Online Visibility: Data on the total number of click-throughs to member press releases by the general public on prnewswire.com; the number of times that a press release has been indexed by search engine spiders for inclusion in search engine results and databases; and the number of sites on which PR Newswire's ReleaseWatch services has found the press release posted
  • Search Visibility: Measurement of the performance of search-engine optimized press releases on top search engines; reports of key search terms used to find the press release; and the number of click-throughs from the press release to a landing page
  • Investor Visibility: The total number of press release views generated from Thomson's First Call and StreetEvents databases

Since 2004, iCrossing has been working with PR Newswire to optimize the distribution and visibility of customer press releases, including the development of two key word density tools to help PR Newswire customers optimize their press releases for search engine visibility and messaging.

"Truly connected brands are those that understand not only their visibility, but also how well they engage users online," said Adam Lavelle, chief strategy officer, iCrossing. "With Visibility Reports, brands now have the tools they need to gain insight into the involvement, influence and intimacy their news generates. No other company has taken such a comprehensive approach as PR Newswire."

The design of the Engagement Index is intended to allow customers to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of a release by measuring the level of interaction, intimacy and influence that a release generated. Criteria by which impact is measured include whether an individual reader has printed or bookmarked a release, if the release has been shared using social media tools, and if the news has been discussed in blog postings and comments.

"The ability to see how your press release was accessed and whether your story is compelling users to take action — and to understand what those actions are — is an extremely powerful proposition, not only in terms of validating a public relations campaign, but also for understanding how an organization's messages resonate in the general marketplace and among core audience groups," said Melanie Broemsen, a senior SEO associate at Rosetta, author of Melanie's Online PR Guide (http://onlineprguide.com) and participant in the Visibility Reports' beta testing program. "Are you telling the right story, the right way, to the right people, at the right time? Now, with just a few clicks of the mouse, PR Newswire's Visibility Reports can show you just how actionable your press releases are."

Broemsen's full review of Visibility Reports can be accessed via the following URL: http://onlineprguide.com/public-relations/news-release-engagement.

Visibility Reports are complimentary to all PR Newswire members. No additional username or password is necessary to access the reporting dashboard. The extent of information available will vary by release, with premium releases receiving the most comprehensive reports.

About iCrossing

iCrossing is a global digital marketing company that combines talent and technology to help world-class brands find and connect with their customers. The company blends best-in-class digital marketing services — including paid search, search engine optimization, Web development, social media, mobile, research and analytics — to create integrated digital marketing programs that engage consumers and drive ROI. iCrossing's client base includes such recognized brands as Epson America, Toyota, Travelocity and 40 Fortune 500 companies, including The Coca-Cola Company and Office Depot. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, the company has 580 employees in 12 offices in the U.S. and Europe.

About PR Newswire

PR Newswire is the global leader in innovative communications and marketing services, enabling organizations to connect and engage with their target audiences worldwide.

Through its multi-channel distribution network, audience intelligence, targeting, and measurement services, PR Newswire helps corporations and organizations conduct rich, timely and dynamic dialogues with the media, consumers, policymakers, investors and the general public, in support of building brands, generating awareness, impacting public policy, driving sales, and raising capital.

Pioneering the commercial news distribution industry 55 years ago, PR Newswire connects customers with audiences in more than 170 countries and in over 40 languages through an unparalleled network of offices in 16 countries across North and South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, and via unique affiliations with the leading news agencies across the globe. PR Newswire is a subsidiary of United Business Media Limited, a leading global business media company that serves professional commercial communities around the world. For more information, go to www.unitedbusinessmedia.com.

About United Business Media Limited

UBM focuses on two principal activities: worldwide information distribution, targeting and monitoring; and, the development and monetization of B2B communities and markets. UBM's businesses inform markets and serve professional commercial communities — from doctors to game developers, from journalists to jewelry traders, from farmers to pharmacists — with integrated events, online, print and business information products. Our 6,500 staff in more than 30 countries are organized into specialist teams that serve these communities, bringing buyers and sellers together, helping them to do business and their markets to work effectively and efficiently. For more information, go to www.unitedbusinessmedia.com