Durrants, the UK�s leading media intelligence business, has taken a stake in Brighton-based social media monitoring company Brandwatch after being �blown away� by the company during a trial to find a social media monitoring partner.

The deal will enable Brandwatch, which already operates in 10 languages, to expand its current offer in the US and extend its service to cover Russia and China.

The investment in Brandwatch is the latest in a series of big deals in the social media monitoring space as companies gear up to tackle the challenges of monitoring brand conversations and reputation online. The social media marketing industry is growing by 34% a year and is expected to be worth $3.1bn a year by 2014.*

The investment comes after Durrants went to the market looking for a specialist social media monitoring company and Brandwatch came out on top following a rigorous trial period alongside several other leading international monitoring firms.

Jeremy Thompson, Durrants MD, said: �During the trial it quickly became clear that Brandwatch was head and shoulders above the competition. We were blown away by their relevant and timely coverage, strong account management and technical support, robust platform and user friendly service. It really was a case of liking the company so much we wanted to invest in it.�

As well as the investment, Brandwatch�s social media monitoring data will be used by Durrants� sister company Metrica, the award-winning global media analysis and evaluation company to track brands and conversations online and offer an enhanced social media service.

�There is a baffling amount of choice for PRs when it comes to tracking brand or client conversations online and our own research tells us that most PRs find social media monitoring one of their biggest challenges.** We�re confident that Brandwatch, working alongside Metrica, will help PRs cut through the confusion and provide meaningful analytics,� Thompson said.

Giles Palmer, Brandwatch CEO, said: �When it comes to monitoring social media it is important to find a supplier and data you trust. We�ve always been confident about what we provide but this move by Durrants provides a ringing endorsement of our service.�

�We operate in a competitive space and I�m very proud that we were able to beat off stiff competition from several North American providers and managed to impress Durrants so much they wanted to invest in the company. The investment comes at an explosive time in the social media monitoring market and will help us push our product to the very top of the global pile.�

[*Forrester Research]

For more information and interviews please contact Richard Bagnall

New website coming soon
We wanted to let you know about some exciting changes we�re making here at Metrica � primarily in the form of a brand refresh, new logo and new website which will go live by February.

Established in 1993, Metrica has maintained its position as a world leader in media analysis, evaluation and PR measurement for over 15 years. Our high client retention, not to mention over 35 industry awards, is testament to the fact that we continue to deliver the very best measurement products, services and consultancy � proving and improving the effectiveness of PR.

However, we were increasingly conscious that how we �looked� no longer reflected the business we have become � from a small measurement firm to a global specialist with over 150 clients, from start-ups and charities to major blue chip brands � nor represented the huge advancements we have made both in terms of our methodologies and technology. We therefore came to realise it was high time we gave ourselves a makeover.

As a communications professional yourself though, you will be only too aware how long it takes to establish a brand and how important it is to protect the equity it has built up.

Our new logo is very simple, capturing both the modernity of our business but also its heritage, indicated by the lozenge and the retention of the colour red in a more contemporary shade.

If you have any feedback on any aspect of our new branding please contact Claire O�Sullivan on: 020 7622 1670 or by e-mail: [email protected]

Diabetes UK appoints Metrica
Diabetes UK has appointed Metrica on a retained basis to provide both monthly scorecards for reporting, and myMetrica for proactive PR planning.

Paul McDonald, Head of Press at Diabetes UK, said: "Comprehensive and professional evaluation of our media coverage is vital for both internal reporting and developing our ongoing media strategy. I have previous experience of working with Metrica so for me choosing them was not a difficult decision!"

Metrica and Nissan score gold at 2007 AMEC awards
The evaluation and analysis delivered to Nissan by Metrica for the launch of its new compact crossover car, the Qashqai, won the gold award for Best use of measurement for a single event at this year�s AMEC Awards.

Invited to be involved with the launch from planning stages, Nissan�s Metrica team was able to provide consultancy from the outset, helping to set measurement objectives which would lead to actionable information for the communications team. Working together to set the project objectives, for example, ensured buy in from the report�s audience.

Metrica was then briefed to assess the effectiveness of the launch activity in delivering:
  1. High �return on investment� by showing how what percentage of journalists attending the PET wrote about Qashqai
  2. Comparison between PET journalists� articles and other �collateral�
  3. Identifying commonly praised and criticised features of the Qashqai
  4. Favourable media coverage of the Qashqai
  5. Coverage that delivered Nissan�s Qashqai key messages
  6. Market positioning for the Qashqai, primarily as a superior alternative to the VW Golf

A series of �flash� reports were agreed as the pan European press test drives took place so that Nissan could monitor what coverage was being achieved and focus attention on journalists yet to write. This was supplemented with access to the actual articles via Metrica�s online tool, MyMetrica.

The Metrica team gave its dedicated media analysts a Qashqai presentation to ensure that they were fully briefed on the car�s features and attributes.

Commented Neil Reeve, Product Communications, Nissan Europe: �We saw from the media analysis of the Qashqai media launch that by concentrating on three or four key messages in a focused, easy-to-understand way, most of the key product attributes of Qashqai were clearly understood by most of the participating media. Nissan product communications will continue to focus on just three or four key product messages, even if there are potentially more that we would like to deliver. By diluting the key messages, we found that there is a risk that no clear key messages are delivered by the press to the consumer and, therefore, a key product could be launched onto the market without a clear, consistent position or product attributes.�

The results of the Qashqai launch evaluation were used to benchmark performance for Nissan�s further six product launches in 2007.

See the full case study and others here

Comic Relief appoints Metrica for red nose day
Comic Relief has appointed Metrica to report on its 2007 Red Nose Day campaign to benchmark and evaluate its success in implementing a nationwide media campaign to highlight the work that Comic Relief funds and also encourage the nation to part and donate.

The theme of Red Nose Day 07 was �The Big One�, with the biggest nose in the history of Comic Relief and the biggest line up of celebrities and TV programming. In total the campaign helped raise over �67million, with money still coming in. The campaign lasted six weeks and culminated with seven hours of comedy on BBC ONE, on Friday 16th March.

Commented Anna Capleton, Media Officer, Comic Relief: "Evaluating the effectiveness of our annual campaign is of paramount importance for us, our partners and beneficiaries - and assists in the planning of future campaigns. Metrica's flexible approach to media analysis and evaluation, combined with its consultancy and understanding of the need for actionable intelligence, made it the natural choice for us to work with."

over 12,000 people take part in UKPulse
Metrica has updated its PR planning tool for 2007 by surveying an unprecedented 12,000 adults making UKPulse the UK's largest PR focused consumer survey. A great way to celebrate the seventh anniversary of this market-leading planning tool.

Not content with making UKPulse more comprehensive than ever, we've also relaunched it with a simple to use online interface to make PR planning and audience targeting easier than ever before.

More audience data and easier access give you an even greater ability to demonstrate how effectively you've reached your target audiences with your key messages - crucial to determining the success of your campaign.

Don't delay - call us to find out more about UKPulse 2007

major new business wins for Metrica
Metrica continues to grow with a raft of new clients coming on board. Our extensive experience in the not-for-profit and government sectors has helped win retained work from the following organisations:

Northwest Regional Development Agency

TV Licensing

Leonard Cheshire

Metrica's international presence continues to grow apace. Discovery have appointed Metrica to provide pan-European evaluation services, joining the likes of Visa, Dell, Symantec and eBay.

work for Metrica!
Are you skilled and dedicated enough to join one of the most successful media analysis and PR planning consultancies? Metrica is expanding and we're looking for the following people to join our team:

Client Service Managers

Trainee Account Executives

Business Development Manager

Business Development Executives

Freelance Media Analysts

....Interested? Click here to find out more