2009 – Client charity offer and webitpr becomes RealWire!

Time for that Christmas blog post. Some have analysed the PR industry’s prospects, others have considered trends in social media and some have produced excellent video cards, twitter page or facebook spoofs.

At webitpr we have been so busy with service and other developments that we haven’t had time to do anything quite as lengthy or creative. We have though made a commitment to send up to 10 releases for free each month next year for charities that our clients are involved in. As a treasurer of a local charity myself I think 2009 will be particularly challenging for these organisations and so we thought if people can’t help as easily with cash then perhaps we can give some time. Any client of ours who would like to take advantage of this offer just let us know.

Our other news for 2009 is that we will no longer be called webitpr. From the 2nd January 2009 we are changing the company name to Realwire Limited. Our service has gone by this name for nearly a year now and the company name change is being done in response to feedback from our clients to better reflect who we are and what we do – a real group of people helping them to get value from a wire service.

Nothing else is changing just our name – same owners, same team and same service.

I may find time to sneak away and write a few posts during the break, but in the meantime have a great festive period one and all.

Best Christmas song ever IMHO!

RealWire’ pickup score is 76%

I said in my earlier post about PRNewswire’s pickup and visibility research that I would document my assertion that webitpr‘s RealWire service achieves better results. Following PRN President Dave Armon’s comment on my previous post I thought it only fair that I get our pickup comparison data up for all to see.

*Health warning* I can understand potential scepticism as clearly I have a vested interest in these stats portraying us in a good light – as a number of people have pointed out about PRN’s research itself. They are also from our own Proveit tracking system and not from an independent source.

The headline statistic is that 76% of the releases that we distributed during the same period (April-June 2008) were picked up at least once in a piece of editorial or blog coverage compared to PRN’s 55%. The table below summarises this and how we compare against PRN’s other measures.

Pickup statistics


Our data is from the entire population of our releases sent in these 3 months. The monitoring period varied depending on the level of service opted for by the client but never exceeded the ten days used by PRN in their study. A pickup represents a piece of editorial or blog coverage that isn’t just a reproduction of the press release itself.

As mentioned in the debate following the PRN release these results represent the combined effort of our clients and us together. Some of the results will be 100% due to us, some 100% due to the client and some a combination of the two.

The other factor to bear in mind is that the PRN research took no account of quality and therefore we are unable to in our comparison. Clearly some coverage is more influential than others and where influence is concerned quality is actually very specific and can’t be measured with something as simple as Page Rank or readership as it is relative to the relevant industry and the audience the organisation concerned is trying to reach.

In conclusion our analysis implies we exceed or at least match PRN and the other big wires services by all of their measures. However our focus is still to get as near to 100% for the pickup statistic as possible by improving our reach and relevance to the recipients of our news and so help our clients to achieve influence online.

One down…but 3W to go!

Before I dive into the wonderful world of numbers I need to extend a thank you to someone. Today sees the end of something great and the beginning of something better. As has already been announced Stephen Davies, aka PRBlogger, is leaving webitpr to setup his own online communications agency 3W PR and I can honestly say I have never been so happy to see a member of the team leave. :) As Stephen himself has already said I have been excited about him doing this since he first mentioned it to me and I think it is great news for the North East business community that someone of his depth of understanding in this area is looking to invest in the Region.

Since our very flukey meeting in April 2007 we have been through a lot together. We have debated and discussed many topics both work and non work related at length. He has been a fantastic provider of insight and guidance to me and the company at large in our embracing of the Social Media News Release, our blog outreach and our general Web2.0 awareness. Including a rather amusing day making a video. He has played a key part in our recent double award winning achievements which has seen us named North East Digital Innovator of the Year and Lincolnshire’s Most Innovative Business.

We don’t see this as him leaving us though just changing the nature of our relationship. webitpr is very much a “family” and employment status is not a prerequisite for membership of that family and as his launch client, Stephen is most definitely still going to be part of it.

We wish him all the luck in the world. In a few years Stephen I am expecting the North East to be talking about you in the same breath as this guy! :)

A starter for 10

Well after much umming and aarhing I am finally writing my first blog post. I could list a batch of excuses as to why it has taken me until now to start a blog, but that seems like a glass is half empty approach to a first post. So instead I thought I’d start with what this blog is all about.

With a love of maths at school (I know what a geek!), a degree in economics and a chartered accountancy qualification it will come as no surprise that I love numbers. I have done for as long as I can remember. I love them not in a static one dimensional way, but because, like words, numbers can tell stories and paint pictures.

When I was trying to come up with a title for this blog I wanted something that had some personal element, related to numbers in some way and set the scene for the things I want to talk about. Oh and the domain had to be available too! I thought and thought without too much luck until my beautiful wife, Rebecca, came up with an inspired suggestion – “Show me numbers”. The words come from one of my favourite TV shows, The West Wing. In the episode “Two Cathedrals” at the end of Season Two the President uses the phrase in a flashback when he is at school:

“If you want to convince me of something, show me numbers!”

The phrase highlights the (fictional – aah if only…) President’s desire for fact and measurement when making decisions rather than anecdote and opinion. This will be my aim with this blog. To try and provide analysis, quantification and evidence to base opinions on and I invite you to join the debate and provide your own evidence and show me, and the other one or two readers who may frequent this place, why apparent “fact” should be questioned.

For example, one topical area that I will be looking at is the economy, where I am frequently frustrated by the scarcity and/or superficiality of figures and analysis that we are presented with in such an area of complexity.

As someone whose company provides services to the PR industry I also intend to deal with perennial issues of measurement and analysis that relate to this industry and to online communications in particular.

Finally I want to try and present some data at times that will come as a surprise to any that visit so if you have any suggestions I am listening.