Tag Archives: measurement

How Do You Plan for Measurement?

Now that PR measurement (and social media measurement) have become buzzwords, I would hope that all of us are measuring at least to some extent. I know that it’s still going to be a while before every single campaign includes measurement, but it’s about time you start planning for it.

While it’s encouraging to know more folks are starting to think about it, sometimes measurement is just assumed, but not logically thought through. This only leads to last minute scrambling and lower quality work. Just like the best campaigns, the best and most accurate measurement requires planning.

If data collection and analysis is something you’ve never had to worry about before, working it into your schedule can mean a lot of guesswork. Take it from someone who knows, it will take more time than you might initially think. Continue reading

ROI Measurement

Woman catching snowflakes in her mouthPsst! I have a secret!

There is no one way to measure the return on investment of social media. None. Each campaign is kinda like a thumbprint…or a snowflake…totally different from start to finish.

The National Restaurant Association Marketing Executives Group asked me to give them ways to increase their ROI at a recent conference. So I came up with the following presentation, affectionately entitled “Show Me The Money.” Continue reading

Using Metrics to Reduce Uncertainty

Ruler with imperial and metric measurementsSometimes we all get too caught up in perfection. If you work on that report 10 minutes longer, will it be closer to perfect? If you search one more time, will you find every single mention of your brand or company across the Web? There’s a point at which additional effort isn’t worth the reward.

I often find that there is a misconception about the purpose of measurement. Whether in PR or social media or physics, for that matter, the purpose of measurement is to reduce uncertainty. Note the word “reduce.” Continue reading

Finding Insights In a Data Haystack

Close-up of a SpreadsheetSo you’re actively engaged in this whole social media thing, and you’ve even figured out how you’re going to keep track of it. You’ve chosen a few tools that came highly recommended, you plugged in all the right information and now those tools are collecting data for you. All the time.

Now what?

With seemingly unlimited amounts of data coming at you in real-time, how do you make sense of it all? I’ve often been advised to look at it from the CMO’s perspective. What are the big bullet points that they would need to know? What are the insights?

Forgetting for a minute that very few of us actually have any first-hand experience knowing what a CMO wants, I wanted to walk you through my process for gleaning insights. After working in the media analysis business for two years now, I’ve found that often learning what to do with all that data can be just as tricky as finding the right data in the first place. Continue reading

PR measurement was never meant to be an exclusive club

Close-up of stack of mobile phones with a tape measureOK, maybe I have a biased opinion about this, but I don’t think PR measurement was ever intended to be an exclusive club.

I remember learning about measurement during the first week of my first PR course in college. We even learned an acronym that included research and measurement: RACE (Research, Action, Communication and Evaluation). Research and evaluation were engrained in me right off the bat.

Perhaps this made me wrongly assume that measurement was already an integral part of the PR industry, and I’m still continually surprised by how few professionals talk about it. Continue reading

Back to School (to get schooled)

School bus, rear viewAfter spending the bulk of one’s childhood and adolescence in school followed by four years of higher education and yet another two years of Even Higher education, one is understandably relieved to have the days of learning behind one. Or, to put it another way, I paid my time; let me be an adult in the real world now, please.

But, as your mother always told you, you never really stop learning. You hoped she meant that as “you never really stop learning what those divots on the sides of plastic wrap boxes are, for example,” but she actually meant it as “you never really stop learning, as in cramming your head full of stuff to prepare for a rather important test.” Except this time, you can’t really write the irregular Spanish verbs on the insole of your shoe to help you along. (Bloody irregular verbs.)

This is all a roundabout way of saying: I have to get my learning on, and I am not a happy newt. Continue reading

What are you measuring?

Thinkstock Single Image SetOver the past year social media has taken up valuable real estate in the toolboxes of many a PR pro. However, many pros still face hurdles selling the utility of social media to their company or clients.  Managers and clients want to know why it’s worth paying an employee to Tweet away all day. For the most part, there is a struggle to pull relevant numbers that reflect the value of social media.

There are many metrics that can be tracked to show success, but the total number of fans and followers is not one of them. The main reason is that any bot can attain large numbers of followers for a small amount of money. These followers are often other bots, not potential customers. Then what should you track? Continue reading

Sentiment vs. message in social media – which do you value more?

Scale of justice, close-upRecently I fell into a discussion about specific social media metrics (isn’t that so not like me?) and the concept of sentiment analysis was brought up. There have already been many discussions about the usefulness (or lack thereof) of automated sentiment analysis tools, and I won’t bore you with yet another discussion of whether automated sentiment is worth your while.

What I think is a more valid question: is the sentiment or the message more important to social media measurement? Continue reading

What You May Not Realize When Measuring PR Success

Tape measureAny publicist in the midst of a PR campaign for a client has probably asked him- or herself this question: “Is my PR working?” And for a client who’s invested their money in your services, they’re probably asking the same question. Sometimes as publicists, we forget how PR works.

Evaluating a PR campaign based on sales or rate of return is all too typical. But here’s the thing: PR doesn’t work like that; it’s a long-term investment. As a publicist you know this already, but does your client? Sometimes you have to paint a picture for the client about what to expect. You have to make it clear that PR — when done right — will increase awareness of their product, service, book or expertise, to their target audience. And sorry, this doesn’t mean skyrocketing sales right away. Continue reading

If you’re going to measure, you have to get real and face the music

Ruler with imperial and metric measurementsLately there has been much more of a focus on public relations measurement, which I think is a great step for the industry. My concern with suddenly embracing measurement is that it’s a bit like Othello – takes a minute to learn the basics, but a lifetime to master.

Measurement is tough, and measuring PR requires a great deal of thought. There are many, many factors to consider when deciding what metrics to use and what exactly it is that you want to measure. Sometimes when folks rush into measurement, they only focus on metrics or media sources that they think are going to yield the best results. Why? Because it’s easy to get budget for a measurement project that is going to give you a pat on the back. Continue reading