I attended PRNews’ Measurement Conference last week. I’ve always liked the format of this conference, it’s only one day which keeps everyone focused, it attracts vendors and clients who want to learn and share, and people actually network because time is short. This conference is valuable for those wanting to learn the basics about PR measurement, as well as getting into the depths of deeper ROI analysis. This was my fourth year attending and I had the honor of participating as one of the “Measurement Dr.” speakers. Pretty cool!
My top five takeaways:
- Can’t stress it enough: it is important to set meaningful and smart objectives when measuring PR performance. If you want to meet or beat the objective, it must be grounded in measurable terms, e.g., “generating significant buzz on a campaign” is not meaningful or measurable. Get concrete and realistic.
- Organizations that operate in social and traditional media need to look at both in tandem. They inform and complement each other. They are different, but you cannot substitute one for the other, nor measure one without taking the impact of the other into account.
- Question: how do you get around corporate lawyers on responding via social media during a PR crisis?
Answer: PR team needs to reach out and get involved early with corporate lawyers before the crisis to define the social media response policy. Doing so during a crisis is too late, and you’ll not be able to measure anything but negative customer conversation about how poorly your company handled the crisis.
- From Linda Rutherford, VP Communications, Southwest Airlines: “It’s a gift to learn something from our community of customers via social media and be able to adopt it as a message within the same news cycle.” This clearly illustrated how fast and impactful the social Web is. Great to see Southwest using it to their advantage.
- RoR – Return on Relationships. A good way to talk about the value that social media has for PR and the organizations they represent and what they can get out of engaging in and measuring social media performance. Two ways to look at it, what did we do with our relationships in social that pushed our message into the mainstream discussion, and what did we do with our relationships in social to purposefully keep something from becoming news.