by Katie Delahaye Paine
What a year it's been: Big growth, new clients, our merger with News Group, my 60th birthday, publishing my third book, winning awards... And, of course, it’s the end of the year so we’re really too busy to take it all in and even have something intelligent to say about it.
But now that I’ve gone for a beautiful run along the river in Pittsburgh, conversed with some Canadians (geese) and had a bit more coffee, I've realized that my take on this year is:
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
After 25 years working to get Communications and PR professionals to embrace measurement, some things just don’t change. Here’s the sad truth:
After hundreds of hours of discussion, endless meetings by dozens of organizations and countless Conclaves, Coalitions, and Commissions, people are still saying that you can’t measure PR or you can’t measure social media because there are no standards.
The good news is that whether they like it or not, standards are being set. The Conclave has committed to publishing its social media measurement standards by June. And the Coalition is making good progress towards publishing standards for traditional media as well.
And despite all those naysayers, thousands of communications and marketing professionals are reporting real results, based on standard methodologies, every month.
The bad news is that numerous PR people still want ad value equivalencies or at the very least a simple number with a dollar sign in front of it that may or may not mean anything.
The good news is that, increasingly, presentations that include AVEs are greeted by sneers and skepticism. Instead, more and more PR professionals are looking for valid measurement and are therefore examining their goals and setting real meaningful metrics. I know because that aspect of our business has grown ten-fold in the last year and will probably double again next year.
ROI is still the buzzword du jour. But the good news is that more and more communications departments are looking at cost benefit analysis or a comparative cost basis rather than trying to invent a new definition for ROI.
And, finally, there is the reason that I still wake up in the morning and look forward to doing what I do: There are still a great and growing number of people who embrace real evaluation and measurement, who want to really understand what’s working and not working.
We see fabulous developments coming in the next year. As big data becomes more accessible and, with luck, the silos begin to melt, we will see more meaningful analytics in the years to come that really will use big data to figure out what works and doesn’t work.
Happy holidays, all the best in the New Year, and here's wishing you great measures of success,
Katie Delahaye Paine is Chairman, KDPaine & Partners, (a Salience Insight company), and Chief Marketing Officer of News Group International. KDP&P delivers custom research to measure brand image, public relationships, and engagement. Katie Paine is a dynamic and experienced speaker on public relations and social media measurement. Click here for the schedule of Katie’s upcoming speaking engagements. Katie and Beth Kanter are authors of the book “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit,” to be published this year by Wiley.
The Measurement Standard is a publication of KDPaine & Partners, a company that delivers custom research to measure brand image, public relationships, and engagement. Katie Paine, CEO of KDPaine & Partners, will be glad to talk with you about measurement for your organization.