Thursday, July 7, 2011

PR measurement and analytics

AMEC's third European Summit on Measurement (in Lisbon, June 8 - 10) assembled a good audience of communications measurement professionals/companies from over 30 countries. (Conference presentation downloads here.) Consensus of the group was that PR ROI is the most pressing issue for PR measurement and analytics. That is certainly consistent with issues percolating in the U.S. -- the Council of PR Firms currently has a task force on just that topic that will be making some recommendations for PR agencies within the year. However, AMEC's conference attendees are mostly from the European (global) research supplier community. It's unclear if their perspective is fully shared by U.S. PR practitioners.

ROI of PR is not a new topic in the U.S. PR industry. NIRI, IPR, PRSA, and academics have been working on the topic for decades. I find that U.S. clients are less likely to ask the global question of Value of/Return on PR, and are much more likely to ask questions about the specific ROI of a communications initiative (an event, a social media tactic, a sponsorship, etc.). The Big Thinkers in the PR world seem to be on the way to providing us with some better answers about the ROI of PR. But there's that next step in helping practitioners (and purchasers of PR services) understand the relative potential impact and value of different categories of tactics/initiatives.

Discussion to be continued at the North American Measurement Summit in September in Philadelphia, this year organized by IPR and PRSA.