Ragan and NASDAQ OMX just released the results of what could be the most comprehensive study of attitudes about measurement in a decade. Click here to download the Ragan_PR Measurement_study. They surveyed 1467 public relations professionals, asking them everything from how satisfied they were with measurement, to “Do we need standards?” The results could be incredibly depressing if there weren’t a few signs of progress. For example, most respondents said that measuring outcomes was more important than measuring outputs.
The major caveat in interpreting these results is that the majority of respondents represent very small companies (under 100 employees), so I’m guessing this is more a reflection of PR agency mentality than corporate. That said, 28% of respondents were in fact employed by companies with more than 1,000 employees.
First the bad news...
...and then the good news.
One in four respondents did correctly identify ROI as an accounting term with only one definition. I’d love to see the cross tab on age and size of firm for that question, because my hunch is that the right answers came from those with some business or large company background.
The other major piece of good news is that the old days of seeing measurement as just a way to justify one’s existence seem to have gone the way of VCRs. 68% say that what they find most satisfying about measurement is that “it tells us what is and isn’t working.” 57% say that it helps “determine how effectively our efforts met our objectives”. While those statements might seem obvious, they are a huge improvement over how people saw measurement just a few years ago.
Mavens of the Month
We award Maven status to those 6% of respondents who describe their measurement program as “a well-run machine,” and to the 25% who correctly answered the ROI question.
Menaces of the Month
Measurement Menace status has to go to the 21% who don’t measure at all, the 12% who don’t think it's important, and, of course, to the 32% who are still measuring Ad Value Equivalents (AVEs).