How To Develop a Customized Kick Butt Index of the Quality of Your Media Coverage

kick butt index

It’s been called an Optimal Content Score (OCS), the Media Quality Index, and, best of all, the Kick Butt Index. Whatever the acronym, it’s the answer you need when the boss says, “Damn it, do something, we’re getting our butts kicked!” or “Congratulations, you’re really kicking butt out there!” It’s a single number that reflects the quality of your media coverage, with quality defined by what drives your stakeholders to act, customers to purchase, or minds to be changed.

Here’s how to develop your Kick Butt Index:

Step 1: Define the elements of media coverage that motivate your target audience to purchase, support, donate, or change a habit or opinion.

Those elements might include:

  • A key message
  • A desirable photo
  • A recommendation
  • A brand mention in the headline
  • At least one key message
  • Desirable sentiment (leaves the reader more likely to do business with or support the organization), or
  • A quote from one of your spokespeople or influencers.

A story or post that contains all those positive elements would be a perfect 10, correct? Correct!

And then there are some stories or posts that might have the opposite effect. Define your worst nightmare: the story that dissuades your audience from doing business with or supporting you. That story might contain such elements as:

  • It perpetuates an undesireable myth
  • Wrongly positions the product
  • Contains an incorrect message or misleading information, or
  • Mentions the competition but not you.

A story or post that contains all those negative elements would be a perfect -10, correct?

So now you have the two endpoints of your index defined.

Step 2: Designate a weight for each element of coverage.

Now assign a weight to each element based on the relative impact it would have on the success of your organization. For example, a negative headline might be twice as bad an incorrect message. Or a desirable photo might be twice as persuasive as a positive mention. Put all the criteria and their weights into a chart that looks like the one below. Make sure that all the various weightings add up to + 10 (for positive coverage) and -10 (for negative coverage):

KBI

Step 3: Analyze the relevant posts and articles.

Now select all the stories that have appeared in key outlets that you know influence your target audience. Give each one a score based on the Kick Butt Index (KBI) you’ve developed. Now take the average KBI for all stories that appear in a given month. That is your KBI for the month. Ideally, now that you’re focusing on conversations that contain these elements, your average KBI will improve month after month.

You can now use that score to compare campaigns, and also to easily correlate your results to web traffic and other outcome metrics. And, of course, you can use it to kick some butt.

About Author

Katie Paine

I've been called The Queen Of Measurement, but I prefer Seshat, the Goddess.

2 Comments

  1. to cut down on the volume you have to process, i recommend you FOcus on a select group of influential authors and explain to senior leadership that those are the people that are most likely to influence decisioin makers and potential buyers. . given that this kind of measurement can save you time and resources, you might find it worth while to farm the coding out to a media analysis service — the folks i use charge around $4 a clip.

  2. Sarah

    I like this, and have used something like this before, but the struggle I have with it (and convincing my superiors of doing it) lies in the amount of time it takes to do it. It’s a very manual process, and thus very time consuming. We frequently get a large amount of coverage, making this practice particularly difficult to do. Our superiors would much rather we put our time into securing more quality coverage, rather than spending time doing this. Thoughts?