To coincide with its Measurement Conference, held yesterday at the National Press Club, PR News conducted a survey of its readers to find out what they thought about social media as a PR Measurement Tool. The results delivered some good news and hardly any bad news.
First the bad news – nearly 40% said senior management does not expect measurement of social media to be included in results reporting.
It's not news at all that 60% said that management expects more metrics out of communications these days, it was the surprisingly large percentage that do NOT expect measurement of social. I'm not sure if that means that in 40% of companies senior management accepts social media as an effective tool (not likely) or that they assume that it isn't measurable. Either way, you have to wonder.
PR has always a bit of a paranoid profession, so there was little surprise that 32% of respondents to the survey believed that their competitors were doing a better job measuring results than they were. Nearly half 48.9% said that they were on par with the competition, while just 18% felt that they were doing a better job than their peers.
What is somewhat encouraging is tha 35.3% are still trying to measure impressions, but another 25% said they were measuring influence. Another 12% or so are measuring sentiment. But buried in the verbatim responses were another 5% or that are measuring measure actions, web analytics, and outcomes. A few even said "sales" and another segment said "tracking messages" all of which give me hope.
Just the fact that tonality and sentiment is being measured by roughly one in five PR practitioners is an enormous jump from just a few years ago. We no doubt owe our gratitude for this shift from the proliferation of sentiment analysis tools on the market these days.
We also have new technology to thank for the perception among respondents that they are doing a better job in measuring this year than last. Nearly 30% felt that they had a more robust system in place.
One in five admitted that their measurement programs were not more sophisticated and 22% said they were thinking about it. .