Read our other coverage of the new measurement standards: So What If We Have Standards?, 6 Ways For You To Use The New Measurement Standards: Here's Your Checklist, and 7 Reasons Why You Should Implement the New Measurement Standards Now!
The exciting new progress in public relations and social media measurement standards will be the hot topic of conversation at business-related cocktail parties in the near future. No worries about keeping up your end, though. Just review the talking points below, and you'll sound like an expert. Bonus: If you're going to have any chance at all at getting that cute new account manager to notice you, you're going to need to know enough about standards to get some positive exposure. So pay attention:
A: Multiple organizations have just finished an eighteen-month
marathon effort at defining and standardizing public relations and
social media measurement. (Read the new standards and comment at smmstandards.org and at the IPR's Standards Center.) These are important because until now the measurement marketplace has suffered from inconsistent and highly variable products, techniques, and results. At last the disparate industry groups have cooperated and at last they have produced the first concrete results at standardizing the marketplace.
Cocktail party sound bite: The new standards will bring consistency to the measurement marketplace.
Q: Sounds great, but what does that mean for my business?
A: By adopting the new standards for your public relations and social media measurement programs you will improve your business outcomes -- and you’ll save time and money on measurement.
Cocktail party sound bite: Standards mean better, less expensive measurement. Which means better PR and better business.
Q: How can standards do that?
A: All the standards stress the importance of starting with clear goal definitions and deriving metrics from the goals. Tying your metrics to business goals enhances your worth to the organization, your credibility, and your overall awesomeness.
Cocktail party sound bite: The new standards will help you measure your impact on business. Counting Likes is bush league.
Q: What does it mean for the market? Are all the vendors adopting them?
A: Several organizations, including agencies like Ketchum and brands such as Southwest Airlines, have already pledged to adopt them. Many measurement vendors, including SocialEyez and Salience Insight, already adhere to all the social media measurement standards. Best thing to do is demand that your agencies and research suppliers comply.
Cocktail party sound bite: If the vendor doesn't abide by the standards, then they're selling apples instead of oranges.
Q: So what does that mean for my job?
A: It means that you will be able to compare results across programs, across vendors, and across agencies. You can now do your job better and faster: Instead of playing mix-and-match with vendors and data and results, you jump ahead to making decisions based on useful data.
Cocktail party sound bite: Wouldn't you rather use your brainpower making decisions with the data, rather than trying to get useful data from incompatible sources?
Q: So, you're saying standards are going to help my career?
A: Management will feel more comfortable investing in measurement if they don’t feel like they are tied to some mysterious sole-source proprietary system. You play this right, and your budget will go up. Heck, there's a promotion in your future.
Cocktail party sound bite: The new standards mean my future's so bright I've got to wear Google Glass. Say, you want to get out of here and go somewhere quiet and discuss standards some more?
--Katie Paine and Bill Paarlberg (Thanks to oprah.com for the image.)
The Measurement Standard is a publication of News Group International.