Month: August 2012

About emerging Social Media Measurement Standards

August 26, 2012

Everything you need to know about emerging Social Media Measurement Standards

Our clients have been demanding some set of standard definitions for years.   A recent interaction with a client revealed the client called reach, we call Opportunities to See, what she was calling placement, we call items. What we call placement doesn’t matter to the client at all. This is why we need standards confusing array of terminology has befuddled clients and slowed progress towards more robust measurement.

Which are why, in early 2011, the members of the IPR Measurement Commission, AMEC, PRSA and the Council of PR Firms began work on a set of standards for both traditional and social media measurement.

Any standard setting process takes an unbelievable number of late night and early morning intercontinental phone calls on top of some solid thoughtful time to sort out just exactly what is going to be a standard or a guideline or a best practice.

We started where the Barcelona principles left off.  Principle #6 said that “social media can and should be measured.”  In 2011, attendees at the Lisbon Summit made defining those social media measurement as its number one priority. This past June, our committee put forth the first of our proposed standards.

It’s important to understand that these standards are being set not just by PR professionals but rather are part of a far broader effort called The Conclave that includes the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, the Media Ratings Council, IABC, Digital Analytics Association, Interactive Advertising Bureau, Advertising Research Foundation and others (see below)

The approach the Conclave agreed to last fall was to divide the need for standards into five broad categories and tackle each one individual in this order.

  1. Content
  2. Reach & Impressions
  3. Engagement
  4. Influence & Relevance
  5. Impact & Value

The first we tackled was Content – as in what constitutes content and where it comes from. After realizing the scope of possibilities for content definition, the best approach would be to call for a transparency table, essentially the social media equivalent of that food nutrition label on the side of a cereal box.   Here is that label, and as you can see it doesn’t recommend one specific way of doing things, but rather provides for the client, a reference so he or she knows what is comparable between vendors.

Specifically, the table captures critical information about social media content sources and methods to provide full transparency and easy comparison across analyses: What content and channels are included? How is the data collected? How deep is the analysis? Are multiple languages captured? Via native-language queries? How are key metrics calculated for reach, engagement, influence and opinion/advocacy? How is sentiment coded? How is irrelevant content (bots, spam blogs, etc.) filtered? What proprietary methods were used in the analysis? What search strings were used?

Beyond the Transparency Table, we are currently tackling the issues of Reach & Impressions; and Engagement with a goal of having standards available by the next Conclave meeting October 3rd.  The topics of Influence & Relevance will be tackled later in the fall and we’ll explore Impact & Value early in 2013.

Now that the Transparency Table has been published as a proposed interim standard, we will work with major clients, agencies, research providers and software vendors to get their commitments to use the table, include it in their reports and capture their feedback on what works and what needs refinement. That feedback will then fuel modifications as needed for review by Conclave members to deliver a formal “approved industry standard” later this year. While the table itself may seem straightforward, we believe it will play a critical foundational role for clients who need clarity and transparency from their providers — and enable better education of the industry about critical content sourcing and methodology issues that are fundamental to sound social media analysis.

We look forward to your input and feedback. What do you think about our priorities? How will you use the Transparency Table? Is our preliminary guidance on target? What are we missing?

For more information, follow the posts at


Author: K.D. Paine, CMO, News Group International.

Eid Mubarak

August 18, 2012

SocialEyez wishes everyone a very Happy Eid Mubarak.

May your year ahead continue to be filled with health, wealth, and prosperity, and may you have a Joyous and Spirited Eid Mubarak day with all your dear ones.

Hope by Allah’s grace we continue working together and achieve new goals of success.

Eid Mubarak !

 تتمنى لكم SocialEyez عيداً سعيداً

نتمنى لكم عاماً مليئاً بالصحة و السعادة و الرخاء وعيداً سعيداً مع كل الأحباب.

نسأل الله أن يجمعنا دائما لتقديم الأفضل وتحقيق المزيد من النجاحات.

عيدكم مبارك!

“Omar” TV series causes controversy in the Arab world

August 2, 2012

The religious and historical drama television series, “Omar”, which is being aired during the holy month of Ramadan has caused a huge controversy in the Arab world; with thousands saying that the show should be stopped because they believe that portrayals of the caliphs and prophets are forbidden in Islam. Omar is an Islamic figure called Omar Ibn al-Khattab, he is an influential ruler who managed the radical expansion of the Islamic kingdom in the 7th century, and was instrumental in the spread of Islam. He was also a close companion of Prophet Mohammed. This television series is said to be the largest Arabic production ever, with more than 30,000 actors including their technical team and staff from 10 different countries.


It all started when Al- Azhar, a Sunni Islam’s main seat of learning based in Cairo issued a fatwa against the series, followed by Saudi Arabia’s Dar al-Ifta, the kingdom’s Islamic legal research center. The “Sunni” scholars then raised the issue, which made thousands of people angry and started protesting on social networking sites to express their disapproval of the series and demanding it to be pulled off air. They came up with Twitter hashtags and made campaigns on Facebook called “No to showing Farouk Omar series”, “No to air Omar”, and “Shame on Muslims”, and thousands of people showed their support. The Arabic hash tag “أوقفوا_مسلسل_الفاروق”, ‘Stop Farouk Series’ on Twitter attracted many followers. It became viral on those social network channels and spilled over to various blogs and news as well as having an “offline” controversy with Islamic leaders all over the world. This show has been at the center of a controversy pitting Islamic conservatives and reformists in the Middle East.

In this Buzz report we took a closer look at what social media users have been discussing in relation to this controversy. The following analysis is based on a sample of 740 out of the total of 2961 captured posts in the Middle East. For our search, we used different spelling variations of the keyword “Omar series” in both English and Arabic, as well as popular Twitter hashtags between July 19th and July 23rd 2012.

Within this timeframe, 50% of the comments captured were from Microblogs, compared to 18% from Social Networks. The remaining 32% of the traffic was driven by Forums/Message Boards.

About the campaign

The campaign’s language was mostly in Arabic, or 95%. Since the issue is religion-related, people in the Middle East found it easier to express themselves in their own language. Only 5% of the users commented in English. The campaign received mixed reactions; few were against this campaign and thought that this television series would help educate them more about their religion; and said it was an unnecessary movement, while most of the users expressed their anger and refusal to the show. After this controversy, the TV show Omar has got popularity in all parts of the world and “Omar” TRP ‘Television Rating Point’ has increased a lot, having 6 million viewers on their first episode.


Our research showed that the vast majority of the comments were mainly about on-going ethical and religious controversies about the show.  A lot of users across the Social Media networks and Microblogs repeated the sayings and piece of wisdom which Omar quoted in the series such as “do not beat the people to humiliate them and do not deny them their rights lest they would become nonbelievers.” A bulk of tweets contained a video of an Islamic leader on a talk show expressing his grief and anger towards the show, and giving his incentives to why it should be pulled off air, so people tweeted the video and said that: “This video was the main reason we want this show to be stopped.”  The topics were followed by the protest that happened in Riyadh when people were threatening to burn down the MBC building, as well as showing videos of “Sheikhs”, Islamic leaders, discussing this issue on television shows and online forums.

Findings showed that most of the debate came from Saudi Arabia. There were a lot of mentions about a “rich” Saudi that is willing to pay off the full production cost in return of seizing broadcasting the show. Meanwhile, in UAE, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, HH Sheikh Abdulla Bin Zayed has tweeted on his twitter page emphasizing his promise to refrain from watching the series, which raised alarms about the show, and encouraged around 30,000 enthusiasts in the United Arab Emirates to join the campaign.

On the other hand, some of the users comments on Twitter and Facebook said that this buzz is just a cause to adding more publicity to the series and to bring about more viewers to tune in and see what the noise is all about.

The English comments had a very low volume on Twitter and Social Networks, not many subjects were detected. They presented a more positive sentiment towards the issue. Some of the comments expressed their interest in the formal Arabic dialogue. A female stated: “#Omar the TV series reminded me how much I love correct Arabic grammar. The language has an amazing music and flow to it when spoken right.” Others said that this television series is very informative and would educate and inspire them to take more interest in their religion. Some users were looking forward to the show and discussed the timings, TV channels it would be aired on, and where to watch the show online.

Across all media platforms, the majority, or 91% supported the campaign against “Omar” being aired on television, including major politicians in the area. Despite that the producers of the show had assured the people that they had a special committee of prominent scholars and religious figures to go through the historical facts and events to assure the authenticity of the project. This campaign has been trending for almost a month, and has spilled over to other media channels both online and offline.

In conclusion, in spite of the serious argument that preceded showing the drama series, this protest had its justifications, but will this historical TV series soon turn to become an influential factor in presenting the picture of the birth of Islam and the beginning of the Islamic call on an international level?

Scope Note:

The Buzz Report monitors trends and themes that dominate current discussions on various social media platforms. Our research was conducted with a focus on the Middle East. The data obtained in both Arabic and English was captured between July 19th – 23rd.  Our search was both manual and automated, using the various English and Arabic spellings of “Omar series” as our keyword.

If you are interested in monitoring any special event, political development or a certain brand/product, we welcome you to contact us at We also appreciate any suggestions and improvements for this Blog. Also follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook-Page to get regular updates regarding future Buzz Reports.


News Group International acquires Report International and KDPaine & Partners

August 1, 2012

News Group International acquires Report International & KDPaine & Partners

Dubai, UAE, August 1, 2012 — News Group International (NGI) has today announced a new global measurement powerhouse created by its acquisition of Report International and KDPaine & Partners. Last month, NGI completed the purchase of Report International from Optimisa plc as well as a merger with KDPaine & Partners of Berlin, NH.  Both will become part of Salience Insight, NGI’s measurement company. Each organization will continue to operate with its existing brand.

Mazen Nahawi, President of NGI, said: “The market needs an integrated global measurement company that can provide seamless delivery of metrics from monitoring to insight and recommendations. The new entity brings together three highly respected brands known for their rigorous and sophisticated approach to delivering business-critical insight to its clients.  With all this talent, we’ll plan to be the leading international partner of choice for clients seeking accuracy, scalability and value in their communications measurement.”

Giselle Bodie will become CEO of the new combined company. Giselle has a 20 year track record of leadership in the media evaluation industry and has previously held the posts of COO Europe, Kantar Media Intelligence, Managing Director, Cision UK and Managing Director, Echo Research.   “It’s very exciting to be asked to lead this great new company at a time of continuing change and opportunity in the media research market. The globalization of media and communication combined with the unstoppable momentum of social media mean clients require a new approach.  We can now combine the energy and growth of the emerging markets with the experience and skills of the more mature markets to provide a unique approach to supporting clients and their communication challenges,” Bodie said.

Katie Delahaye Paine, founder of KDPaine & Partners agreed. “We’ll be the only company who can measure what matters in any media, in any form of communications and on any continent,” she said. Adding, “this merger brings together more than just three companies. It will offer a whole new approach to measurement by its solutions to the silos that have plagued our business for decades. We can now declare the end of barriers between geographies, between social and traditional media, between measurement of outputs and outcomes, between qualitative and quantitative metrics, between marketing & PR, and between internal and external communications,” Paine said.

Paine will become the Chief Marketing Officer of News Group International, reporting to Nahawi, while retaining her position as Chairman of the US Company, KDPaine & Partners, Inc.

About News Group International

News Group International is a news management company founded in 2002. The company and its subsidiaries specialize in the sourcing, distribution, creation, monitoring and analysis of news content in the emerging markets of the Middle East, Africa and the Indian sub-continent. The group’s seven subsidiaries employ over 300 people. News Group is based in Dubai and operates in 30 countries across the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region.  The group offers clients scalable and flexible monitoring and research solutions at a national, regional and global level.

About Salience

Salience is the media insight division of News Group International, a global provider of business intelligence and media resource services. Salience’s services range from the quantitative and qualitative analysis of paid-for media content appearing in social media, broadcast, traditional & online media channels, through to consultative partnering with clients to develop research-based approaches which improve the targeting and efficiency of their communications.

About KDPaine & Partners

Founded in 2002, KDPaine & Partners is a leader in customized social media and public relations measurement.  It delivers custom research to measure brand image, public relationships and engagement for a wide variety of clients in the defense, B2B, education and non-profit sectors

About Report International

Founded in Brussels in 1987, and headquartered in London since 1999, Report International is a leading provider of global and local media analysis solutions. Its clients include many of the world’s largest companies and organizations.