To Multiply, or Not to Multiply

21 Sep

Mark Weiner, CEO of Delahaye, and I recently co-authored a paper for the IPR entitiled:

Dispelling the Myth of PR Multipliers and Other Inflationary Audience Measures



Here is a brief summary of the paper:


PR multipliers are often used by PR professionals to factor circulation or audience figures when calculating impressions.  Multipliers are generally rationalized by users to take into account pass-along circulation and/or to assign a higher value to PR impressions than advertising impressions due to a perceived higher level of credibility.  The authors argue that the facts do not support the use of multipliers, and their use may actually hurt the credibility of the profession.


You can download a copy of the paper here.

In speaking with colleagues about the use of multipliers, I often hear they would like to not use them, but clients (want/use/demand) them.  The PR agency perspective often is that ‘the previous agency used them, so if we don’t use them it looks like we’re not generating as much coverage.’

So what do you think?  Do multipliers hurt the credibility of the profession?  Are they too entrenched to displace?  Do they help us better compete for marketing dollars with advertising?

Thanks for reading, DB 

5 Responses to “To Multiply, or Not to Multiply”

  1. sandeep km September 21, 2006 at 5:21 pm #

    If I have got a two column article on the right hand corner of page 4 of a newspaper, is it of any value to my client? My AVE analysis, which is the cost of putting an ad at that spot, is actually worthless, since no one is anyway going to place their ad there.

    In the same way, how am I going to put in a figure to multiply the score – in terms of credibility?

    The value of media coverage is when the third party recommendation is used by a salesperson to convert a sale, a customer relationship person to resolve a complaint – all the while, the media coverage acts as a support tool.

    BTW, I would like to have a look at that paper of yours!

  2. Don B September 21, 2006 at 7:33 pm #


    Thanks for reading. There is a link to the paper in the original post, and here it is again for your convenience:

  3. Mark Weiner September 25, 2006 at 10:11 pm #


    While I agree that the name of the game is to drive meaningful business outcomes, as you rightly assert, certain algorythms have been proven to anticipate the likelihood that a particular news item will be read, seen or heard.

    The media placement elements within the algorythm include such factors as use of visuals, headline treatment, editorial endorsement, size/length of the news item, etc.

    These algorythms have been used to make the connection between media placements and sales, as well as other outcomes such as stock price and corporate reputation through the use of advanced statistical modeling. In my experience, the use of these statistical models can be expensive…in the meantime, the media placement algorythms that connect media placements with business outcomes are much more readily available.

    Thanks for commenting on Don’s and my paper.


  4. Derek Hodge October 25, 2006 at 10:12 pm #


    I’m extremely interested in finding out more about these algorithms.

    Where can I read more?

  5. Mark Weiner January 17, 2007 at 12:31 am #


    Sorry for the late response…I hope you see this: the algorythm to which I refer is the one that I know best: Delahaye’s Impact Score and Net Effect. If you contact me at, you can provide me with your email address and I’ll send you the documentation that we used to win the PR Week, Bronze Anvil and CIPRA awards for that research.

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