Category: Measurement & Analysis (page 4 of 7)

The ROI of Public Relations – Friday Roundup

The AMEC European Summit of 2010 is famous for killing anyone's lingering hopes that advertising value equivalence (AVE) represents any kind of measure of the value of PR. As I like to say, AVE is a specious sum based on false assumptions using an unfounded multiplier, only addressing a fraction of the PR domain. <sarcasm>Apart from that, it works just fine!</sarcasm>

This summer, the European Summit delegates set AMEC's top priority as determining an approach to measuring the return on investment (ROI) of public relations. Sounds a most admirable ambition, but should this be interpretted in the way I think it might, I fear we may be at risk of having dethroned one false idol only to pursue another.

Why? Because investment in public relations is investment in strategically important intangible assets, and such investments cannot be designed, executed or analysed in isolation. As Drs Kaplan and Norton put it in their 2004 book Strategy Maps:

"Economic justification of these strategic investments can be performed, but not in traditional ways. The common approach is on a stand-alone basis: ‘Show the ROI of the new IT application’, or ‘Demonstrate the payback from the HR training program.’ … But each investment or initiative is only one ingredient in the bigger recipe. Each is necessary, but not sufficient. Economic justification is determined by evaluating the return from the entire portfolio of investments in intangible assets…"

What does this mean? Well consider the hypothetical instance of two organisations designing, executing and analysing exactly the same public relations strategy delivering precisely the same results for the same investment. Read more

My book, The Business of Influence, is out today

Today's the day!

It's ready for delivery in the UK today, and pre-order in other parts of the world. For those of you tweeting about availability in the US, currently listed as mid-June by some bookstores, Wiley tells me it should actually be with you mid-May. Thank you for your interest and patience.

What's it about?

The Business of Influence: Reframing Marketing and PR for the Digital AgeThe Business of Influence is a rethink.

It's about improving the capabilities of organisations to design and attend to the way in which all aspects of its operations influence stakeholders, about making sure stakeholders influence it, systematically, and about how well competitors are attempting the same. It focuses on influence as the common denominator of marketing and public relations and related activities such as customer service, sales, product development and HR, and therefore the basis for redesigning these and interconnecting them.

The book introduces the Influence Scorecard, named in homage to the dominant framework for business performance management, the Balanced Scorecard. The Influence Scorecard then is a subset or view of the Balanced Scorecard containing all the influence-related key performance indicators (KPIs) stripped of functional silo, and it may extend beyond the Balanced Scorecard should a greater operational granularity of metrics be demanded by the influence strategy.

The Influence Scorecard is a new framework for the 21st-century designed to help organisations focus on what matters rather than continue to carry the baggage and inefficiencies that come part and parcel of the typical 20th-century marketing and PR structure and approach. It's a reframing in the context of 21st-century media and disintermediation, 21st-century technology, and 21st-century articulation of and appreciation for business strategy. Read more

Social analytics on CIPR TV – with Connie Bensen, Emily Dent and Marcel LeBrun

Regular readers know that social analytics is a subject close to my heart. And would you believe it, my ebook on the matter, The Social Web Analytics eBook 2008, still gets downloaded a thousand times a month. I also made sure to include a section on social analytics in my book of course (out this month in the UK and shortly in the US), listing twelve primary characteristics of the services to assist in your organisation's tool selection and procurement.

Well yesterday's CIPR TV was on the topic of social analytics, and Russell and I were delighted to have Alterian's Connie Bensen and NMIncite's Emily Dent join us on the sofa. We also managed to interleave a three minute interview I grabbed with Radian6 CEO Marcel LeBrun at last week's Radian6 Social2011 conference.

Check it out:

CIPR social media measurement guidance

CIPR social media measurement guidelinesThe AVE (advertising value equivalence) approach to PR measurement and evaluation was simple. And utterly wrong.

It’s a specious sum based on false assumptions using an unfounded multiplier and only addressing a fraction of the PR domain – a greater waste of time and effort you couldn’t hope to find.

Measurement and evaluation is essential, but requires real strategic understanding, diligence and perseverance. For me, it represents yet another distinction between the 21st Century PR professional and the 20th Century practitioner.

The CIPR launches its guidance on social media measurement today. As chair of the CIPR's social media measurement group, I'm particularly keen to learn what you think. I'm afraid it is no silver bullet, and that's simply because there will never be a silver bullet.

Here are the links:

To the social media measurement guidance page on the CIPR's website.

To the guidance PDF directly.

Money

Let's talk about money.

Michael Porter describes strategy as defining and attending to those activities at which an organisation must excel in order to create a sustainable difference in the marketplace, and thereby create sustained value for its shareholders (or sustainable value in the case of non-profits).

Once you've articulated why your organisation exists (the mission), and what you want it to be (the vision), the strategy describes the what, who, how, when and where needed to pursue the vision, and specifically how these differ from the competition. How these help beat your competition.

However, as hard as strategy formulation is, the really hard part is putting it into action. The Balanced Scorecard Institute finds that 70% of organisations with a strategy simply fail to execute it. And this becomes the more obvious the further away from the sale / the product / the service you get; the more you get into the intangible assets pivotal to your success.

Marketing and PR are intangible assets. They are intangible investments. We all know that the right mix of the panoply of marketing and PR activities is essential to organisational success – to the successful definition of organisational strategy and its execution – but too often we're not quite sure how so. This is most apparent when, particularly in harder times, marketing and PR are considered cost centres first and foremost, and cost centres that can be cut. Read more

Social media measurement – easy once you recognise it’s not

The CIPR's social media and measurement group is committed to providing updated guidance to members by the end of January. As the group's chair, I'd better get my skates on. Here's a quick look at the main thrust of our report.

Social media measurement, like business performance management and measurement in general, must measure what's important to your organisation. Sounds simple for a moment doesn't it, except that the view of what's important and what's trivial is pretty much muddied when it comes to marketing and PR measurement and evaluation in my experience.

Take the announcement this week from Sainsbury's, one of the UK's top supermarkets: Read more

Real-Time Marketing & PR

Real-Time Marketing & PRDavid Meerman Scott's new book is out, Real-Time Marketing & PR – How to instantly engage your market, connect with customers, and create products that grow your business now.

I've been gearing a client up for real-time marketing and PR recently. I'm in the midst of helping them prepare for the launch of a gorgeous new app for iPhone, iPod Touch and Android in November. (Ping me if you're interested in social news readers and I'll make sure you get your hands on it as soon as.) And part of that preparation has focused on the active listening capabilities and the workflow management needed to keep on top of the conversation and in the conversation. Thanks to the team at Nielsen Buzzmetrics, we have prepared all the search terms and we've made use of existing infrastructure to make sure the team understands who needs to respond and by when, as efficiently as possible without headache!

GetSatisfaction is procured and configured to tempt the world to hang out in 'our place' to discuss things, but no organisation can insist the conversation takes place in one or two places of course... it's our responsibility to be listening and helping and sharing and working together with customers in defining the future roadmap wherever they want to do so. Facebook. Twitter. Blogs. Forums. Email.

I've only just got my copy of David's book but will be sure to post a book review as soon as I can (the manuscript for my book is due early November so I'm just slightly chocker!) But I can vouch for a cracking few pages in David's book on Social Web Analytics... 'cos he quotes me :-)

Here's a video of David presenting about real-time PR, and you can get the first chapter of his book here for free!

Real-Time Marketing & PR from David Meerman Scott on Vimeo.

In conversation with Robert Phillips, CEO Edelman UK

I really enjoyed having the opportunity to ask Robert Phillips (@citizenrobert), CEO Edelman UK, his opinion on the state of the PR profession. Robert believes that public relations is at a pivotal moment when, confronted by the brutal transparency of social media, the profession has the opportunity to embrace the public information and two-way symmetric models as the default rather than the exception, ditching the spin and persuasion attitudes and connotations. Resigning them to history, or at least to publicists.

Robert emphasises the re-emergent role of the citizen, an idea that appears to have played a distant second fiddle to the consumer in recent decades. And if this rings your bell you might be interested in Robert's Citizen Renaissance project.

I was particularly interested in Robert's assertion that social media is about behaviour; it is not a "channel", and PRs who regard it as one are getting it wrong.

And Robert capped this off by giving us his four outcomes for PR programmes (as opposed to outputs):

  1. Increase trust – referring to Edelman's annual Trust Barometer
  2. Deeper communities
  3. Driving behavioural change; of citizens, consumers, business
  4. And ultimately commercial success.

Lastly, Ben Matthews (@benrmatthews) gets a big thumbs up from Robert, and my co-host Stephen Waddington (@wadds). FYI, they're talking about Ben's Bright One initiative (@brightonecomms), a volunteer-run communications agency for the third sector.

Friday Roundup – Goodbye AVEs

Following establishment of the Barcelona principles in June this year and the annihilation of any idea that AVEs (advertising value equivalents) represent the value of public relations, AMEC (the Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication) has moved on to ask two questions:

  • What are the “validated metrics” to replace AVEs?
  • How do you get started in measuring social media, and what are the definitions of relevant metrics?

This work is being led by the US Agency Research Leaders Group chaired by Ketchum’s David Rockland, and formed a significant chunk of the conversation at last week's IPR 8th Annual Measurement Summit.

If you're looking for one slidestack that walks you through the principles and explores the progress made to date in answering the questions above, check out this presentation: "Validated Metrics - Social Media Measurement", delivered during the summit by Mike Daniels (Director, Report International and Chair, AMEC) and Tim Marklein (Executive Vice President, Measurement & Strategy, Weber Shandwick), and moderated by Peter Wengryn, CEO, VMS.

I think the work to date is most definitely going the right way; seeking to identify the desired outcomes of a public relations programme and working backwards so to speak to establish metrics that belie the programme's success accordingly. And I was particularly pleased with slide 25 on influence rating / ranking which corroborates my recent contribution to the Monitoring Social Media conference, "the fallacy of the influentials".

This jigsaw is coming together. We will have some operationally sound frameworks available next year, and I'm hoping my own book, "The Influence Professional", might make some useful contribution when it emerges from the publishing process in Spring. Whatever the timeline, you should have begun winding down any remaining reliance you have on AVEs by now. It's not a case of waiting to transition from mediocity to good; AVEs don't even make the cut as mediocre, they are specious, misleading and unprofessional. Period. Read more

Contribute to the Influence Professional book

I'm writing a book, provisionally titled Influence Professional. And the reading, the planning, the structuring and first few chunks of copy have been enjoyable in a hard work kinda way.

It's 27 months since I was engrossed in writing the Social Web Analytics eBook 2008, and I'd forgotten how intense writing more than 140 characters or a blog post at a go can be. It's cathartic to structure your thoughts tightly. And whereas one can say things off the cuff in conversation, when you're committing to the page you find yourself having to source liberal references to support your assertions, which is thoroughly rewarding as you can't help but learn more as you do it.

I need you...

But now it's time to collaborate. I need your input, insights, experiences and assessment of the current state of affairs in marketing and PR. I'd love you to complete my research questionnaire before the end of September; it shouldn't take more than 10-12 minutes. I'm delighted that fellow Wiley author Brian Solis (@briansolis) has just retweeted the link this evening, and thanks also to @behindthespin, @markpinsent, @RussGoldsmith, @stuartbruce. Stars.

The ebook still attracts over a thousand downloads every month, and it's just about to break through 90,000. Whilst the second half, focused on vendor information, is now out of date, I'm pleased to say the first half still makes sense. Here's hoping I can match its success this time round, with your help!

Thanks. #inflpro