On Monday, Echo Research, the UK based media measurement company, announced that David Michaelson has merged his research company with Echo.. While that may not have garnered many headlines, it is a significant development as far as the PR measurement world goes, signalling Echo's greater commitment to the US market. Echo opened an office in New York several years ago, but the firm remained primarily a UK player. Michaelson brings a number of high profile clients with him and my guess is that we'll be seeing more of Echo in our competitive space. A space that is growing increasingly competitive as more companies realize the need for PR metrics. Report International, (RI) one of Echo's long-standing UK rivals, also just increased its US presence by hiring Jill Ury, formerly of Delahaye and Cision.
The interesting thing about all these developments is that ten years ago, I was convinced that the future of PR measurement was closer integration with traditional survey research in order to show the connection between attitudes, perceptions and the media. Now all the major players like Echo, TNS/Cymfony, RI and of course KDPaine & Partners, have significant survey research capabilities. Proving my theory that you are never wrong, you're just early. The really interesting thing to watch will be whether and how well they actually integrate that research.