Polling for Justice: Willis Hired a Media Firm to Monitor Her Value

A few days before she announced her “probe” of former president Donald Trump, media savvy Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis hired “a company to monitor her media ‘coverage value.’” The phrase “coverage value” was not defined.

According to invoices and emails obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation, “Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ office agreed to pay $10,000 on a service to monitor her media coverage just days before announcing the probe into former President Donald Trump.”

The chronology of events is revealing. As reported, “Willis announced in a letter sent to four state officials, including Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, on Feb. 11, 2021 that she had opened a criminal probe into Trump over his alleged attempts to influence the outcome of the presidential election.” Reporting continues and elaborates: “However, just days earlier, her office contracted with Critical Mention, a New York-based media monitoring service designed for tracking mentions and metrics like publicity value.”

Willis was interested in her media receptivity before commencing the “probe” of Trump. “The documents show Willis’ interest in tracking media coverage of herself and her office as she launched an investigation into the former president.” Gaining this media coverage information was, arguably, expensive, and it was paid by Georgia taxpayers. “The first invoice charging $10,000 for the annual contract is dated February 8, 2021. Emails show the District Attorney’s office was in discussion with the company as early as February 1.”

The initial results from Critical Mention seemed to indicate Willis was receiving coverage that was astronomically valuable. As reported: “We are getting more coverage via your name than by title,” said what appears to be a Fulton County employee in a Feb. 2021 email, referencing Willis. “This graph has the coverage value for the last week at over $150 million.”

Willis’ investment seemed to be raining monetary value. The email from the Fulton County employee references a concept categorized as a “publicity value.” Critical Mention gave great value to the results of its work.

The employee email stated: “I ran a report for mentions of ‘Fulton County District Attorney’ worldwide for the last seven days. Critical Mention (the PR monitoring platform I told you guys about that we contract for last week) gives a ‘publicity value’ to the coverage, which is meant to reflect what it would cost to buy paid advertising equivalent to the penetration of the media coverage.” “While it can be a bit exaggerated, it says in the last week we’ve gotten media coverage equivalent to $67 million in advertising. Even half of that value would be staggering.”

Critical Mention’s website pitches its service to “PR, Communications and marketing agencies” who use the platform to “to help clients track earned media coverage in real-time, analyze campaigns and grow their brands.”

As an aside, “Atlanta-based criminal defense attorney and legal analyst Philip Holloway told the DCNF that prosecutors are required “to be objective and to wield their great power without bias and certainly not to use the criminal justice system as a political weapon.””

D & B Staff

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