Over the past 30 years, the debate about measurement and evaluation in public relations has been endless. The importance of this research has never been in question, but how it has been applied has been controversial.
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Coming to Conference is about extending one’s excellence in practice. We hear sea stories from our colleagues about what worked, what didn’t and we get a chance to learn about the latest trends in public relations.
But some of those little gems of lessons we learned happened a long, long time ago on a college campus in a land far, far away. Some of the most important lessons of practice we learned came from our PR professors.
In honor of Besty Plank, the first female PRSA president and a champion of education efforts, we asked attendees the recount the best lesson they learned from their PR professors.
Tags: education, learning, lessons, pr+measurement, Professional Development & Training, PRSA, prsa+conference
Communications and investor relations measurement (in the financial and investment community) is often binary — one-zero, on-off, up-down. Did our stock go up? Are analysts recommending our stock? More than before?
A complex cluster of stakeholders — portfolio managers, stockbrokers, institutional investors, individual investors and the financial media — couldn’t possibly be adequately benchmarked and tracked in simple binary terms. Ideally we should be looking not only at outputs (the how much and how good) but also outcomes (with what effect).
For example, with a hat tip to material from an Institute for Public Relations’ Measurement Commission paper and with some additional original thinking injected:
Research IS measurement. Measurement IS research. The same techniques and tools. The same continuum. Different times, perhaps, but they are co-dependent and co-enablers. Using research in a pre-campaign, formative capacity can put us in a more measurement-friendly place post-campaign.
Among other things, pre-campaign research can help us set measurable objectives. Probably the most common objective in the hundreds of PR plans I’ve seen: Raise awareness. What’s rare, though, is to see a number attached to this objective. (Pre-campaign awareness can be tested overnight and for as little as a thousand dollars.)
Having researched the topic extensively for a master’s thesis; having been in the research and measurement side of the biz for several years; having sat across the table talking about measurement with senior practitioners; having attended numerous conferences, speaking at several; having observed superiors, mentors and industry gurus — what’s emerged is a series of fairly common challenges, concerns, myths, misconceptions and barriers — both perceived and real — that practitioners most frequently cite as impediments to the adoption of measurement.
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