Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A single measure for the media.....really?


Can I be the only one to find it difficult to conceive of the idea of a single measure of PR value? Is it really possible that there is an all-encompassing, universal catch-all for all the nuances of the media's exposure, representing its impact, favourability and message content?

'5.9' on the scoreboard...
Many in PR and research are becoming concerned by the rising trend of providing a single score of media effectiveness. To adopt an analogy from ice skating when the Russian judge holds up the board with 5.9 on it...what does that actually mean?

Measures to match goals.
My biggest problem with a single measure is its inability to treat organisations differently. Every organisations PR strategy is different and hence the metrics applied to understanding media impact must reflect different goals.

The former Chairman of CGI Europe Adrian Wheeler (now with Firefly), said at a CIPR seminar that the nature of the media is 'fuzzy'. It is hard to see how a single measure can adequately capture the meaning of such a medium.

The truth is surely that a multitude of measures needs to be carefully considered. Often the problem is that as PR revolves in a world absent of absolutes, it is easy to grab a hold of some sort of all-encompassing measure as a sum of all achievement.

To continue my earlier analogy, the ice dancer can learn a lot more by going through her performance with the judge in front of a video. In the same way, far better to carefully consider a range of measures tailored specifically to an organisations strategy.

Alan Chumley with Hill and Knowlton, Canada, further developes this idea and illustrates it particularly effectivley through an example on his blog.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Problems understanding the measurement of social media....


Start here. This item on the Net-Savvy Executive is a superb summary of what matters in measurement of social media and very importantly what aspects are key to which discipline - great piece Nathan!

Hardening up the fuzz


I recently revisited a comment by Adrian Wheeler, the former Chairman of GCI Europe who at a talk at the CIPR looked at the current impression of PR amongst its other contemporary business functions. Importantly he also outlined a view on where it should be going. His current view was that the discipline could be described as ‘soft, fuzzy’. ‘Soft’, as in its ability to interact with other disciplines and departments and ‘fuzzy’, as in the nature of media.

The proposed move is towards a ‘hard, fuzzy’ position, where the discipline displays a sharper understanding of needs of business, is accountable and commands respect for the contribution it can make towards the management of corporate reputation.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

FIR Geek Dinner


The dual weekly podcast FIR broke out of its strictly aural format with a fan-fest at a super little restaurant in Windsor, UK last weekend. I tried to upload a shot to Flickr (not sure if worked) but this is a shot I took.

Big thank you to Shel and Neville for organising the event - brilliant job! It was also a pleasure to meet with the other dozan or so attendees including Jed Baxter, Alan Richardson, Martin Davis, Michelle Holtz, Ronna Porter, Laura Hobson and David Phillips. I had a brief conversation with Kerry Bridge from Dell who was very interesting if interupted by Shel wanting to film an interview underneath a street lamp outside the venue - all rather unlikely!