MSNBC's Entrepreneur.com this morning ran a story that from the headline, I assumed would be a fabulous boost for our business. "Measuring the Value of PR" I read in my Google Alert. While it was well written, and certainly could serve as a primer on the basics of PR measurement in the 20th century, it was written by the senior vp of marketing and communications for PR newswire WITHOUT ANY ADMISSION THAT PR NEWSWIRE SELLS THE TOOLS THAT THE "COLUMNIST" IS ADVOCATING. Okay, his discussion of AVE's got me all riled up, then I got even madder when he went on to thoroughly endorse automated computer analysis. Now I"m as big a fan of automation as anyone, but I also tell my clients that it is not 100% accurate. My advice is you either are willing to accept an 80% accuracy rate, or you need humans to go in and check the accuracy and fix the mistakes the computer makes. In other words, computers are great to do the heavy lifting, but check the data very carefully. The other thing that was disappointing in the article was that there was no talk about outcomes measures such as revenue, web traffic, or any of the other modern day developments that have emerged in the last few years.
But in this day an age of transparency, the biggest wag of the finger to PR Newswire and MSNBC for not telling us that the writer is basically a marketer trying to "do PR' for his own product.