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July 20, 2010


Linda VandeVrede

With all due respect to Mr. O'Dywer, I don't see PR's role as one of "rescuing the media," but in establishing relationships. Measurement of those relationships goes far beyond just measuring the media, also. Glad you spoke up, Katie!

Stephanie McFarland

Katie, I just read O'Dywer's response to your position. Sadly O'Dywer appears to be taking the stance that PR is media relations and/or marketing communication.

That just frosts my cookies!

PR is about identifying, developing and maintaining relationships with stakeholders who have an impact on your organization, and vice versa. It is not sales. It is not marketing. It is not media relations. It is not even communication.

Those are only tactical approaches to achieving the end game. It's about public (stakeholder) RELATIONSHIPS!

AVE can't measure relationships! Plain and simple! It can tell you if your press release or news pitch got picked up. But that's it. I mean, that's it! And believe me, I started out an AVE advocate years ago (many years ago). But I am happy to say I have evolved over the years to a higher plane of measurement. And the C-suite do appreciate your prescribed approach to more effective measurement. In fact, they often wave off AVE.

I'm always disappointed when I see a Silver Anvil Award winner that started out with an objective like: "Encourage 20 percent more members to participate in the annual giving program by Dec. 1, 2009," and then read down to the eval section to see they measured their success by how much media coverage they recieved. The two do not link up.

I have a head full of real examples of how to measure far and beyond the AVE. But not enough time or space to share them. So let me just say this: Keep up the good fight. I'm with ya!

Stephanie McFarland, APR

Mike Maney

"Focus on the PR industry should be on rescuing the remaining media?" Did I read that right? I mean, did I seriously just read that right?

I think you just made everyone else's point, Jack. The profession of PR has moved beyond traditional media (heck, it did that a long, long time ago). Legit media? C'mon, now you're just trolling for debate.

I do agree with you that we as a society need independent journalism now more than ever, but that isn't the role of the PR industry; it's the role of the media industry to rediscover its rightful role (which is not "breaking news" that Lindsay Lohan is stepping into a car to go to jail). What the PR industry's role is is to communicate using the best and most effective channels available to it. Sometimes that channel will be the remaining traditional media. Increasingly, however, that channel will be something non-traditional (at least non-traditional to old school PR pros).

So, no, I don't think measurement is a barnacle. It's a necessary (and powerful) tool that helps me beat my competitors who still value their PR programs on "Mad Men"-era criteria.

Jack O'Dwyer

Hi Katie:

I don't know what you mean by I don't have my facts straight? What facts are you talking about.

With the demise of so many media (about half the reporters from 2001 still have their jobs) PR should be concerned with saving the remaining media, especially those that are independent and credible like New Yorker, Vanity Fair, etc.

You have nothing that measures credibility. You're trying to put a ruler on a cloud while there is a severe drought and plants are dying, people are thirsty, etc.

Focus of the PR industry should be on rescuing the remaining media and not demanding proof that items in the media sell product. Pretty soon there won't be too media left for PR people to make placements in.

The giant corporations regard themselves as their own "media" and many don't subscribe to or advertise in legit media. At least 50,000 media jobs have been lost in the past couple of years (check unityjournalists.org) and this means not only fewer writers to re-write releases, but 50,000 reporters seeking PR jobs and displacing PR people.

You researchers are fiddling while Rome burns. --Jack O'Dwyer

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