by Katie Delahaye Paine
A week from today I land in Lisbon for the 3rd Annual European Summit on Measurement. As a founder of the first Measurement Summit back in 2003 (which has now grown up to become the IPR Measurement Summit to be held this year in Philadelphia), I regard these European summits as grandchildren who were raised abroad. In many ways they resemble the first ones in content: High level discussions about what true Measurement Mavens are up to, combined with a lot of discussion on standards and methodology.
But these grandkids have some distinct differences that go far beyond the exotic accents of the delegates.
In Europe, the overall approach to measurement is distinctly different:
- First of all, not all the media is instantly available online. A number of delegates represent traditional clipping firms that still spend their days physically “clipping” real newspapers and magazines.
- The dreaded Advertising Value Equivalency is even more entrenched overseas than it is is here in the U.S., so the debates are fiercer over that controversial topic.
- And finally, as anyone who has tried to do measurement in Europe can tell you, the whole issue of copyright is a dominant theme that is particularly perplexing to Americans, who seem to prefer to leave the issue up to Google and other aggregators.
With that background in mind, here’s what I’ll be reporting on from the Summit:
I’ll be joining Tim Marklein of Weber Shandwick and Richard Bagnall of Metrica in a panel discussion on setting standards for social media. The goal is to fill in the details around Barcelona Principle #4, which says that social media can and should be measured. Topics for us to consider:
- Social media measurement is a discipline, not a tool. There is no “single metric.”
- Organizations need clearly defined goals and outcomes for social media.
- Media content analysis should be supplemented by web and search analytics, sales and CRM data, survey data, and other methods.
- Evaluating quality and quantity is critical, just as it is with conventional media.
- Measurement must focus on conversation and communities, not just coverage.
- Understanding reach and influence is important, but existing sources are not accessible, transparent, or consistent enough to be reliable. Experimentation and testing are key to success.
(For more on this see “Social Media Measurement Workshop first step towards Global Standards” on the IPR’s website.)
What makes this process more complex is that a dozen other organizations—Including SNCR, WAA, IAB, and the ARF—are also attempting to define social media measurement standards. The result is a very confused marketplace. (See “The State of Standards: 7 Organizations Shaping the Future of Public Relations Measurement.”) Our talk will, we hope, begin a discussion that will be carried on at the IPR Measurement Summit this fall, and culminate in our Standards Conclave in October.
The Measurement Survey
Always a highlight of the conference are the results of the annual measurement survey. (Go take it right now if you haven’t yet.) The survey gathers opinions from communications professionals around the world on measurement and will form the basis for future work on standards and best practices. Communications bodies who are asking their members to take part in this survey include: PRSA, ICCO, IPR, the Council of Public Relations Firms, Public Relations Consultants Association of India, Middle East PR Association, Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA), and UK Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA). So please go take the survey.
It was that survey three years ago that gave us the distressing statistic that AVEs were in the top three of measurement tools. Recent reports indicate an improvement on that front:
- More than four in ten (44%) believe that clients and PR consultancies have become more interested in developing programme measurement without AVEs since the Barcelona Principles were adopted in Spain in 2010.
Other recent results:
- 76% said clients were becoming more interested in linking media analysis metrics to business goals and business outcomes.
- 50% of people taking part in the survey agreed that content licensing is having a real impact on their business.
Katie Delahaye Paine is CEO of KDPaine & Partners, a company that 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.