Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
June 19, 2012

Setting Standards: Measurement Qualifications for PR Pros

AMEC’s European Summit introduced a glossary of social media measurement terms and a proposed update to the public relations valid metrics framework. The current public relations valid metrics framework is included in the PRSA Business Case for Public Relations.

Many of the measurement presentations from the Summit, including David Rockland’s presentation “How to Be Compliant with the Barcelona Principles,” are now available on AMEC’s website.

The International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) hosted the fourth European Summit on Measurement, where representatives from more than 30 countries gathered in Dublin, Ireland, on June 13-15 to debate competency standards for PR measurement professionals and for PR practitioners in general.

What do you need to know to be an expert in measurement and what do you need to know about measurement to be good at public relations?  This question stems from the Barcelona Principles.

Here are some of the qualifications under consideration:

  • Knows quantitative and qualitative research techniques
  • Writes clear goals and objectives
  • Selects appropriate metrics for outputs, outcomes and business results
  • Measures quality and does not rely on simple quantitative measure, such as clips and impressions, alone
  • Understands the benefits of different media measurement techniques
  • Has knowledge of different outcome measures
  • Can create effective research proposal requests, follow vendor and tool selection best practices and develop research budgets
  • Integrates analytics into communications efforts across channels
  • Emphasizes transparency in all facets of research
  • Measures traditional and social media consistently

I think that PR practitioners should be conversant in most of these things. If we don’t want to be considered a lightweight profession, then we must set higher expectations and talk the language of business.

But what do you think? Following the meeting in Dublin and throughout most of this summer, we will debate the concepts to include in a PR measurement credential — likely concluding the conversation in time for the Measurement Symposium at the PRSA International Conference in San Francisco on Oct. 14. We’d love to hear from you.

Do you have any questions? Ask Doc Rock.

A longer version of this article appeared in the June 2012 issue of Public Relations Tactics.

David B. Rockland, Ph.D. is partner/CEO and managing director for the research and change communications businesses at Ketchum. He has held leadership positions in corporate communications and research throughout his career, with extensive global experience in both fields

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