There's good news and bad news in yesterday's announcement of the Canadians new standard for PR Measurement.
The good news is that it shines the publicity light on measurement once again. And, I suppose its good news that all those people came together and agreed upon something. And they do a very good job of explaining the various criteria used in media analysis. And to their credit, they don't mention Ad Value Equivalencies anywhere. And, they do take the industry beyond the concept of just counting clips and column inches. And, if I take off my industry hat and put on my CEO of a measurement company hat, it's a great standard because most of the metrics are ones that we already incorporate and our software. Okay in the interest of full disclosure, their template costs about half as much ($725 per year) as ours but ours is customized and much more intuitive than the template they offer.)
So what's not to like?
First of all, it leaves most people with the impression that PR measurement is the same as media measurement and its NOT. The goal of public relations is to nurture, develop and build relationships. And you can't measure that with impression figures and clips.
It assumes that PR programs have similar goals and objectives and can be measured by any one standard. I defy them to compare results between Walmart's PR and the PR for the Susan B. Komen Foundation. All programs have different audiences, goals and objectives so any program purported to be "standard" is bogus to begin with. Another problem is that when you start adding multipliers chosen by the organization being evaluated, you run into issues of bias and bad data. Finally this new "Standard" requires you to subscribe to News Canada's services for $725 a year.. I've got nothing against News Canada, but essentially this body has gotten together to endorse a particular vendor of data. Is that right? Would love to hear opinions.