Measuring the value of what we do takes on greater importance in challenging economic times.
Not too many years ago, a file full of clips or TV airchecks was enough to keep most bosses happy. That simple metric isn't enough any more. There's a constant debate over what we should expect public relations to deliver. Better reputation? Higher sales? And how do you connect the dots from the coverage you achieve to the end results?
A number of recent articles and studies explore these thorny measurement issues in some depth.
In an article for Bulldog Reporter entitled "Pinpointing Your Measurement Needs: Evaluating the "Value" to Your Company"
, David S. Chartock examines a wide variety of valuation systems for public relations measurement.
The Institute for Public Relations paper "Using Public Relations Results to Drive Business Results"
examines how organizations have used PR measurement systems to demonstrate the business outcomes of their efforts. The paper was written by three divas in PR measurement: Katie Paine of Katie Paine & Partners, Pauline Draper of Millward Brown Precis, and Angela Jeffrey of Video Monitoring Service (VMS).
USC Annenberg School of Communication has undertaken a continuing and intensive study of PR measurement in its PR GAP (Generally Accepted Practices) Study V
In his blog, metricsman examines Ad Equivalancy Measurement in PR
, asking: "Why do we want to compare our results to those of an ad. And answering: "Because it is a path of least resistance to calculating ROI, flawed as it is. Many people obviously believe a poor metric for ROI is better than none at all."
Controversy abounds on the subject of measuring exposure in blogs and social media such as message boards, forums, and online services such as Facebook.
In "Sorting Out Social Media Measurement"
, Nathan Gilliat defines four different applications of social media measurement including monitoring online audiences, tracking social media content, pr measurement and market research.
In "New un-standard for social media measurement"
, Katie Paine contends that "it's the conversation, stupid" and expounds on how to approach measurement of that conversation in social media.
In an earlier paper Katie Paine lays out the basics of "How to Measure Social Media Relations"
In his blog Web Strategist
, Jeremiah Owyang, an analyst with Forrester Research, provides insight into capitalizing on social media including posts such as "Why Your Social Media Plan Should Have Success Metrics"
For those who want a truly deep dive into PR measurement, full-fledged analysis can be found in four recent books:
And, to help you keep current on controversies and evolving approaches to social media measurement, here's a list of bloggers on social media analysis
Finally, a brief promo: ClipMetrics
, the media measurement service from CyberAlert offers a low-cost online dashboard to automatically measure media mentions and PR success.