Measurement – Does anyone really care?

One thing is clear to me right now; measurement has failed to get on the PR agenda. Just read the main stories in the PR trades. Not one of them talks about measurement. Sure it shows up on RFPs, sure clients want to talk about how well things are going and they even want charts showing what a great job is being done for the money. But the sad truth is that PR measurement still doesn’t command a meaningful part of most company’s budgets. Some simple, albeit unscientific, research reveals that out of the five clients I asked not one does measurement in the same way (actually not all bother to measure). Furthermore none of those that do measure have a well defined budget for measurement when planning programs.

A broader look at measurement shows that many people do use firms like Biz360 or Carma but even then from what I can tell the PR staff tend to pay little or no attention to the results these services provide unless of course they think it will help with some internal presentation to justify the funding of the department. We shouldn’t blame our clients for the sorry state of affairs here. After all, how much effort do most agencies put in to being measured? We are the ones who make moey from doing PR so we are the ones who should make sure our clients use tools to make sure that what we do is actually worth the money.

My own view on this is that we need an industry standard form of measurement in the way the ad industry has. This means we need to know what we are to measure, how often we measure it etc. We also need to start to establish an agreed way to invest in measurement. This could be either a certain percentage of fees applied, or a minimum expenditure. I for one would love to see such measurement be carried out in such a way that work done in PR could measured alongside work done in other areas of marketing so that we can finally start to see just how PR stacks up against other forms of marketing.

The current thinking on measurement seems to be to let everyone just do their own thing. Let’s face it this isn’t working. Now I know some PR people don’t want measurement because: a) they’ll have to do some work for the fees they charge otherwise they’ll be found out; b) funds applied to measurement will likely be taken out of the money they would otherwise have been given to run programs, host lunches etc.; and c) they argue that PR is to hard to measure accurately anyway, so why bother? My response to these people is if we don’t adopt measurement then we can expect PR to lag disciplines like advertising for many years to come.

I’d love to see publications like PR Week, O’Dwyer’s as well as organizations like the Council of PR Firms take these issues on and really move the needle. Anyone else want to see this happen?

Advertisements

31 Comments on “Measurement – Does anyone really care?”

  1. David Rossiter says:

    In the European IT PR market, I think you could add a couple of factors.

    Most budgets are small. Few agencies have the skill or resource to do measurement in-house and don’t want to use an external supplier unless absolutely necessary because it means giving away margin.

    As an industry, we’ve not been great at creating the analytical type posts that most ad agencies and DM agencies have – where are the PR industry planners for example?

    And does not having measurement lose you business? Because if there’s no competitive advantage in providing measurement, my guess is that most agencies won’t invest in it.

    Clients must share some responsibility though. They have to be willing to stump up bigger fees if they expect serious grown-up measurement.

    We actually do do evaluation for our clients. It’s all bespoke but every clients tends to get a mix of qualitative and quantitative measures.

    What we’ve found is that it does far more than just show how effective our work with the analysts is.

    It also provides valuable feedback which can be used to improve the programme by altering messages, activity levels, targeting etc.

    Measurement may not be the sexiest of PR topics but I agree – without it, PR won’t ever be taken as seriously as it could (or should) be.

  2. Mike Maney says:

    Measurement is the wrong word for what we need to do. Do any of us truly still believe that our worth is based on the piles of clips we deliver or the equivalency to other marketing functions? I hope not.

    The reality is that measurement done smartly is a way for us to rapidly tweak messages, to see industry trends more clearly, and to get a look into where our competitors are taking their stories. Done correctly, measurement provides a dashboard that helps marketing and development see the outside, objective world.

    Yes, we need to track “hits.” But those hits are less and less about coverage and more about targeted message delivery in non-media outlets with influencers who have
    never been to j-school. In this world, tracking is about setting a baseline based on a mix of content and audience criteria, and measuring regularly to give our clients insight into deviations from that baseline (whether they be good or bad, or indicate shifts that can be taken advantage of or avoided).

    What’s needed, I believe, is a common dashboard agreed upon by the leaders of the agency world (perhaps some of the smaller, more nimble agencies could band together to
    jumpstart the initiative). This dashboard would have a common layout, with common criteria. It would allow measurement data to be individualized for each client
    within the dashboard’s framework.

    Good idea? Bad? Are we really serious enough about this to care?

  3. PR-Guy says:

    Tim – I totally agree, especially about the fact that most agencies do their own thing.

    As for my group, we’ve come to believe that while “Media Content Analysis” and other models have their place, that the automation (and resulting ROI analysis) of most-other marketing vehicles will ultimately force PR to prove its worth in bottom-line terms.

    http://pr-squared.blogspot.com/2005/09/pr-as-profit-center-truth-or-fiction.html

  4. Deborah Eastman says:

    As a leader in the measurement space, we at Biz360 see this issue every day.

    Mike’s comments illustrate the real value. It’s more than measurement. A sophisticated analytics solution can help you with your messaging, competitive positioning, finding opportunities to increase your share of voice and ultimately make you more successful at leveraging PR as a strategic tool in the marketing mix. With the today’s challenges in reaching your audience through advertising, PR professionals have a real opportunity to step up and take a leadership role.

    I wonder if blogs will change this situation? Given the intersection of blogs and mainstream media, sophisticated technology is necessary to monitor your corporate brands and reputation in the blog community before they hit mainstream. With 15m+ blogs you can’t exactly do this with a clip book.

    We at Biz360 would be interested in working with agencies as suggested here to develop standards. I need to get my blog started, but in the meantime, you can reach me at deborah.eastman@biz360.com.

  5. Scott A. Edwards says:

    Are you tired of getting nice compliments on your blog, when really your not makeng the kind of money that you deserve? Now you can join a completely FREE program. No buying and No selling. FREE to join. All you do is refer customers. To get started fast, click here: multi level methods site. It pretty much covers multi level methods related stuff and it’s FREE to join.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Are you tired of getting nice compliments on your blog, when really your not makeng the kind of money that you deserve? Now you can join a completely FREE program. No buying and No selling. FREE to join. All you do is refer customers. To get started fast, click here: pursuit of a great web based income site. It pretty much covers pursuit of a great web based income related stuff and it’s FREE to join.

  7. Scott Edwards says:

    Hi my friends! I’m writing to you because I just came across a business that I think has great potential. It lets you save money on almost everything. Make money from almost everything, Including home loans- plus… help lower your taxes–best of all–it requires absolutely no investment. I thought you might be interested and like to check it out…

    Here I have a residual income streams site/blog. It successfully covers residual income streams related stuff and almost everything else!

    Come and check it out if you get time, Scott.

  8. Scott A. Edwards says:

    Wow what a cool blog you have here! I am impressed. You really put a lot of time and effort into this. I wish I had your creative writing skills, progressive talent and self- discipline to produce a blog like you did. Your blog really does deserve an honest compliment. If you have some time, stop by my site. It deals with stuff like, click here: home business idea international and then feel free to e-mail me with your words of wisdom.

    P.S. I’ll sure put the word out about your site and I would appreciate any business you may send my. way… Later, Scott.

  9. Katie Delahaye Paine says:

    I’m jumping into this conversation a little late, but I do have to say that for someone who is normally on the leading edge of things, Tim, you’re about a decade behind the times. First of all, are you reading the same publications I am? PRNews and PR Week probably have a measurement story in them ever other month. There have been standard guidelines established by The Institute for PR (www.instituteforpr.com) for nearly a decade. These have been agreed upon by agency heads, clients, academics and researchers. I’ve worked with hundreds of companies in the last 20 years who not only measure their results, but use them on a daily basis to improve their communications efforts. We know what we need to measure, the tools are out there, it’s just a question of getting the word out that measurement is affordable and available.

  10. BayuFA says:

    If you want to save 20 to 30 cents a gallon at the pump check this site out. I mean really check it out. This is backed by the goverment and some very big company’s.http://www.gasclubusa.net/go/gcmmello/

  11. money making says:

    Appreciated your info. Thx.

    Steve @
    http://www.lifeincome.org

  12. new home based business opportunity says:

    This is an excellent blog. Keep it going.You are providing
    a great resource on the Internet here!
    If you have a moment, please take a look at my new home based business opportunity site.
    Have a great week!

  13. most successful home business says:

    Hey Fellow, you have a top-notch blog here!
    If you have a moment, please have a look at my most successful home business site.
    Good luck!

  14. mlm home based business says:

    I am here because of search results for blogs with a related topic to mine.
    Please,accept my congratulations for your excellent work!
    I have a mlm home based business site.
    Come and check it out if you get time 🙂
    Best regards!

  15. make money working at home says:

    I am here because of search results for blogs with a related topic to mine.
    Please,accept my congratulations for your excellent work!
    I have a make money working at home site.
    Come and check it out if you get time 🙂
    Best regards!

  16. Robert says:

    We all need to realize it’s about time to put google,yahoo and msn in their place.Paying for targeted traffic is way to exensive for the little people on the internet.

    So why not show them where to get advertising budget when they ask for it.It make sense to help our affiliate’s in creating Wealth from Scratch as New advertising budget techniques arive.
    http://www.mybusinessmarketingcenter.com

  17. Scott Arthur Edwards says:

    Dear friends, Now you can help yourself take advantage of the huge world currency markets in your spare time, in the comfort of your own home. Hook up NOW with this exiting program. Click here: FREE INFORMATION

  18. Scott Arthur Edwards says:

    Dear friends, Now you can help yourself take advantage of the huge world currency markets in your spare time, in the comfort of your own home. Hook up NOW with this exiting program. Click here: FREE INFORMATION

  19. Scott Arthur Edwards says:

    Check this out for FREE…

    This opportunity says:

    “Your Ad” Will Be Instantly Displayed on Thousands of Websites and Read By Over 10 Million People Per Week For FREE, and It Only Takes 60 Seconds To Get Started!

    To find out more visit: making money online business opportunity site. It successfully exposes FREE information covering Traffic and making money online business opportunity related stuff.

  20. Scott Arthur Edwards says:

    Dear friends, Now you can help yourself take advantage of the huge world currency markets in your spare time, in the comfort of your own home. Hook up NOW with this exiting program. Click here: FREE INFORMATION

  21. p says:

    http://www.idesirefreedom.com/home based business opportunity idea
    ***Hi, this is Paul. I found this great way of getting phone verified leads FREE.
    Discover how you can use the same Million Dollar Recruiting System that I use at NO-CHARGE ,
    for the first 30 days! Plus, get a FREE 23-Page Report Called:
    �My Million Dollar MLM Recruiting System!�***

    http://www.idesirefreedom.com/

  22. Earn A LifeTime of Income From Anywhere! says:

    You gave me an interesting idea.

    Thanks,

    Steve @
    work opportunities

  23. Anonymous says:

    I like your blog page with all the unique topics you talk about.I will surely bookmark this blog for future reference.Keep the Great Work you are doing on this blog going.

    Since last month it seems a little wierd when you type a particular keyword phrase in you get a totally different return for your search.Basically I was looking for home business and your blog popped up.So this is really cool for your blog when you recieve free search engine traffic.Me personally I would love this type of unique visitors.So if you ever around my neck of the woods and need more free traffic exposure for your web blogs or web site.Please remember this link for all your free traffic needs.
    http://www.home-business-offer.com/

  24. Scott A. Edwards says:

    Blog your AD to Millions. Post your AD for FREE and get MASSIVE traffic to your site. FREE to join. To get started fast, Click Here: proven system site. It pretty much covers proven system related stuff and it’s FREE to join.

  25. Scott A. Edwards says:

    Attention Blog Owners…!!! WARNING: A new immensely powerful viral marketing system has been released, which allows marketers to broadcast messages directly to people’s desktops. Learn more about it here: low cost referral marketing site. It pretty much covers low cost referral marketing related stuff and it is FREE to join.

  26. Anonymous says:

    BUILD YOUR LIST, WIN THE WEEKLY DRAW, EARN MONEY! Learn more about it here: online money site. It pretty much covers online money related stuff and it is FREE to join.

  27. Rex. says:

    Wow. 21 of the 26 posts to this page are spam. Is anyone monitoring this blog??

    Rex. (woof!)

  28. <a href="http://www.xanga.com/buy_levitra">Buy Levitra</a> says:

    Great article! Thanks.

  29. <a href="http://phentermine1.eamped.com">Phentermine</a> says:

    Thanks for interesting article.

  30. <a href="http://courses.cvcc.vccs.edu/ENG112_GROSS/_Chat_Room/000008fd.htm">Anonimous</a> says:

    Excellent website. Good work. Very useful. I will bookmark!

  31. lipitor effects says:

    black mold exposureblack mold symptoms of exposurewrought iron garden gatesiron garden gates find them herefine thin hair hairstylessearch hair styles for fine thin hairnight vision binocularsbuy night vision binocularslipitor reactionslipitor allergic reactionsluxury beach resort in the philippines

    afordable beach resorts in the philippineshomeopathy for eczema.baby eczema.save big with great mineral makeup bargainsmineral makeup wholesalersprodam iphone Apple prodam iphone prahacect iphone manualmanual for P 168 iphonefero 52 binocularsnight vision Fero 52 binocularsThe best night vision binoculars here

    night vision binoculars bargainsfree photo albums computer programsfree software to make photo albumsfree tax formsprintable tax forms for free craftmatic air bedcraftmatic air bed adjustable info hereboyd air bedboyd night air bed lowest pricefind air beds in wisconsinbest air beds in wisconsincloud air beds

    best cloud inflatable air bedssealy air beds portableportables air bedsrv luggage racksaluminum made rv luggage racksair bed raisedbest form raised air bedsaircraft support equipmentsbest support equipments for aircraftsbed air informercialsbest informercials bed airmattress sized air beds

    bestair bed mattress antique doorknobsantique doorknob identification tipsdvd player troubleshootingtroubleshooting with the dvd playerflat panel television lcd vs plasmaflat panel lcd television versus plasma pic the bestThe causes of economic recessionwhat are the causes of economic recessionadjustable bed air foam The best bed air foam

    hoof prints antique equestrian printsantique hoof prints equestrian printsBuy air bedadjustablebuy the best adjustable air bedsair beds canadian storesCanadian stores for air beds

    migraine causemigraine treatments floridaflorida headache clinicdrying dessicantair drying dessicantdessicant air dryerpediatric asthmaasthma specialistasthma children specialistcarpet cleaning dallas txcarpet cleaners dallascarpet cleaning dallas


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s