PR Measurement News: And Now It’s the Dublin Declaration
At the fourth in a series of conferences held by Association for Measurement and Evaluation of communication (AMEC) following Barcelona, Lisbon and Hong Kong, the major theme at the Dublin conference was the continued push for measurement standards as outlined in the Barcelona Principles. An equally important topic was the need for more education about truly valid metrics, not only at the client level, but also at the agency and practitioner level.
In order to prove the value of PR and communications, well-versed measurement experts must exist within corporate and brand communication departments to explain and defend ROI-driven, outcome-based metrics to both the C-suite and to budget-slashing procurement officers.
Social media was front and center in most discussions – both regarding the shape of how to properly measure social media, but also how to establish transparency within social media listening and measurement programs. Discussions were very action driven and delegates were asked to vote on where the organization should focus next. The results of this vote, entitled the Dublin Declaration, will be appearing soon and will help drive along the professionalization of the measurement industry. For those interested, the Twitter stream from the conference was vibrant. AMEC is seeking additional input from conference participants. #amec2012 to follow the tweets. More information is available at www.amecorg.com
Earlier in June, three major steps toward standards for public relations research and measurement were unveiled and outlined in a paper from the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) Measurement Commission on on “Proposed Interim Standards for Metrics in Traditional Media Analysis.” The paper, authored by Marianne Eisenmann, head of communications research and measurement, Chandler Chicco Companies, (with contributions from several coalition members including PRIME CEO Mark Weiner) makes recommendations for calculating some of the most common data points in traditional media analysis such as impressions, tone and quality. Interested parties may comment on the evolving interim standards on the IPR website. www.instituteforpr.org
Interestingly, in a 1995 article appearing in O’Dwyer’s newsletter, Weiner adamantly called for universal standards to measure PR effectiveness. He wrote “to those pushing for a universal standard for measuring PR effectiveness, I would rather advocate that certain measures be standardized. For example, within media relations, standardized measures might include Media coverage…Awareness…and Behavior.” He went on to add that “I believe that the process be standardized. For example…a standardized PR research process would consist of a four step process: Audit….Strategy development…Implementation…Evaluation.
“These measures and procedures should resemble those currently undertaken in other marketing and communications disciplines. They promote synergistic thinking and integrated marketing conclusions,” Weiner said.
This and more are echoed in the IPR/Eisenmann paper as well as the Dublin Declaration, offering recommendations for how to calculate some of the most commonly debated data points in traditional media analysis that are core to PR measurement and evaluation. Pending industry feedback, the next steps are to expand these recommendations to encompass additional aspects of traditional media analysis.