What does the BBC’s Interactive News Service for Smart Speakers Mean for PR Measurement?

Keeping up to date with the latest headlines has never been easier, with social media, apps and smart speakers helping to deliver the news agenda to consumers around the world. Taking it one step further and reinventing the way it delivers its news agenda is the BBC, which has launched the UK’s first ever Interactive News Service for smart speakers

By saying ‘Give Me BBC News’ to an Alexa-enabled device, users will be able to find out the latest headlines in seconds, or skip stories they are not interested in – ultimately increasing the chance for users to miss content from PRs.

It’s the chance for consumers to escape the doom and gloom of persistent Brexit updates, royal conflicts with Harry and Meghan and hourly weather reports, to listen to headlines on the news agenda that really interest them.  

Another element is flexible bulletins, allowing listeners to escape the BBC’s schedule restrictions and explore longer stories and interviews, as they can listen to the news bulletins at a time and length that suits them.

The final addition is the BBC archive, giving listeners direct access to any historic clips and interviews from the BBC’s radio archive, providing them with some interesting content from the past.

But what does this really mean for PRs? Naturally, this will ultimately impact how much of the news agenda is being consumed, with news and content that PRs create being vulnerable to the ‘skip’ function if it’s not relevant to the listener. 

In an ever-changing industry, developments like this make it more important than ever for PRs to develop relevant and engaging news content that consumers will want, in order to keep clients at the heart of popular news stories.

Crucially, it will also make it harder for PRs to track how many people have listened to a piece of coverage.

For those who secure BBC coverage and traditionally report on RAJAR or viewing figures, they will no longer be able to rely on this as an accurate measure. The number of people receiving the bulletin won’t necessarily reflect the number of people who have listened to it, meaning technology advances might actually be making the tracking process more difficult.  

And so it also means agencies need to be more on top of their PR measurement game than ever, in order to accurately assess the reach and impact that pieces they have secured have on audiences.

Total circulation or listenership is already not a particularly accurate metric – but those agencies still relying on this and total articles secured alone will need to up their game as this type of functionality becomes more widespread. For them, there’s no better time to start moving away from reporting on the generic reach of an article and start incorporating more meaningful metrics!

For more information about PR Agency One’s measurement services, click here or contact [email protected].

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