Jack O'Dwyer knows PR. Recently he has been writing a lot about public relations measurement, and how useless it is. There has been a lot of fur flying in the rather large space between his blog and that of Katie Delahaye Paine, the publisher of The Measurement Standard.
His recent post "Measurers Want PR Results? Try D.C." says measurement people...
...want proof that PR pros are bringing home any “bacon.” They have all sorts of scales, rulers, calipers, adding machines, gauges and meters—just about everything but an electron microscope—to track what PR people are up to.
We wonder if any of these measurers have a creative bone in their bodies.
Their favorite words are “clear goals” and “outcomes.”
They don’t care if a PR campaign got zillions of pickups. They especially don’t want it measured in terms of what the ad space would have cost.
Jack makes some points that will resonate with a lot of PR people. And I expect he speaks for a sizable population that we measurement types don't often hear from. There are possibly many working PR people for whom the kind of measurement that we promote here is not necessary or important. (And we'd love to hear from you.)
But those who are familiar with measurement tools and techniques, and who want an accurate way to focus and tune their programs, might find his views a little old fashioned, and perhaps not relevant. Just as he finds most measurement not relevant.
For his contrarian views, we just named Jack O'Dwyer our Measurement Menace of the Month. But we do enjoy the debate. It's healthy.
--Bill Paarlberg, Editor, The Measurement Standard