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October 25, 2011


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Joe Smith

Ok, so how do you propose to actually measure social media? This is mostly the same drivel we continually hear from so-called "measurement experts." You haven't even figured out how to measure basic public relations activity and effectiveness and now you want to jump directly to social media without dealing with the "800 pound gorilla" that is staring you directly in the face. Social media is simply media. Learn to measure the basic effect of public relations first, then worry about this nuance.

Bill Paarlberg

Thanks for the comment, Joe. Excellent point. I think you might have fit right in at the conference: One general agreement was that social media measurement is being driven by whatever is the latest medium or technology, rather than more basic underlying concepts. And we need to work on those.

What stuck me at the conference was that most of the dozen or so very high-powered and accomplished pros in the room were already quite good at measuring their own PR and social media. They each had developed their own ways of monitoring and compiling data that would bear on their own situations and goals.

But those dozen pros mostly had very different programs and audiences and goals with respect to each other. Each had a pretty good handle on doing it within their own environment, but trying to get something that everyone agreed would work across several environments was, and will continue to be, very, very difficult.

And that pertains, to a lesser extent, to measuring PR in general. PR is a complex endeavor, with programs that differ greatly from one another. One measurement solution will not fit everyone.

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