Measurement-Related Sessions @ PRSA’s National Conference

So many research and/or measurement-related sessions to see at this year’s PRSA National Conference.  Looking forward to attending all of these and live tweeting via @CARMA_Tweets and/or @alanchumley…keep an eye on @shonali’s #measurepr hashtag:

Communication Measurement on a Shoestring Budget

Sunday, Oct. 17:  8am-12pm

Location: Georgetown West

You have researched your audience, you understand your organization’s direction and you have executed your plan — but is the message clear? Did your audience see the communication vehicles carrying the messages? Is the communication program helping to change behavior and improve the bottom line?

In this interactive workshop, you will explore:

  • Ways to determine whether your communications are effective, even on a shoestring budget.
  • How to use observational measurement techniques for messages, channels and outcomes.
  • Ways to find free research resources, internally and externally.
  • Using pilot/control groups to show the impact of different communication strategies.


Angela Sinickas, ABC, IABC Fellow, is president of Sinickas Communications, Inc., an international consulting firm that helps organizations plan and measure successful communication, including 23 percent of Forbes’ Global 100 largest corporations. She is the author of the manual, How to Measure Your Communication Programs, as well as more than 125 professional articles. Sinickas has conducted presentations in 26 countries, and has earned 17 international communication awards. She teaches an online graduate course in communication assessment for Northeastern University.


Measuring and Communicating New Values in Today’s Media Landscape

Sunday Oct 17, 3pm

Location: Georgetown West

Martin Murtland, vice president and managing director, Dow Jones & Co.
Cindy Droog, APR, senior public relations specialist, corporate communications, Amway

Communications success is no longer limited to a front-page story or a three-minute television segment. Success can be defined as winning over Mommy bloggers or, more to the CEO’s interest, an increase in revenue. Learn from a real-life business case study, which centers on how Amway measured the impact of social media on its brand globally, and gained a perspective on how the brand was being disseminated in social media outside the United States. You will learn how to identify key influencers, best practices in traditional and social media measurement strategy, and ways to link the “buzz” to business outcomes — the type of communications measures for which executives are really looking.


How to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Your Government Relations Program

Sunday Oct 17, 4.45pm

Location: Columbia Hall 2

Enrico “Rick” L. Callender, director of government relations, Santa Clara Valley Water District
Rachael Gibson, management analyst, Santa Clara Valley Water

Government relations and public affairs are often seen as immeasurable programs by many CEOs. Yet, how do you measure the effectiveness of relationships and advocacy efforts? Why should an organization or business be a member of an association? Should we be utilizing associations for all of our advocacy efforts? This workshop will provide the tools to demonstrate how to effectively measure and show the return on investment of your government relations program.


Quantifiable Objectives: The Key to Proving PR Value

Sunday, Oct. 17, 4.45pm

Location: Columbia Hall 10

Mark F. Weiner, chief executive officer, PRIME Research

While the most straightforward measure for proving public relations success is often “meet or beat measurable objectives,” setting quantifiable objectives is one of PR’s most vexing challenges. In this session, learn proven techniques for setting objectives for success, as well as how to start fresh by assessing which priorities drive the PR value. This engaging workshop will greatly enhance your ability to improve PR performance, and enhance client buy-in and alignment for PR by linking objectives and results with the overall goals of the business. Walk away with an “objectives-setting manifesto” for establishing quantifiable objectives and building The Business Case for Public Relations™


Measuring Federal Government Communication Efforts: Top 10 Mistakes and Lessons Learned

Monday, Oct. 18: 9.45am

Location: Columbia Hall 11 & 12

John Zogby, president and chief executive officer, Zogby International
Steven Millman, senior associate, Booz Allen Hamilton

Whether preparing the public for and educating about H1N1, meeting the needs of victims of natural disasters, or equipping and informing our military, the effectiveness of the federal government’s communications has never been more critical. This interactive panel shares real-life case studies from the U.S. military and other federal government agencies, with a focus on the effectiveness of the clients’ communication strategies and methods. This session also will explore practical tips on how to avoid the 10 most common mistakes in communication measurement.


Measuring Customer Communication Outcomes: Identifying the Impact of Different Campaign Elements

Monday, Oct. 18:  11.30am

Location: Columbia Hall 11 & 12

Angela D. Sinickas, ABC, IABC Fellow, president, Sinickas Communications, Inc.

Using multiple communication approaches, you undoubtedly make customer communications more effective — but which approach created which response? Was it the public relations, the ad, collateral or event that impacted the outcome, or was it a combination of them all? Using easily adaptable examples, discover various research techniques that isolate the impact of several communications on customer outcomes. Also, learn how to calculate return on investment (ROI) for an entire communications campaign, or its elements.


Measurement in the “Age of Now”: A Common Sense Guide to the Business of PR

Location: Monroe

Shonali Burke, ABC, principal, Shonali Burke Consulting

The explosion of social media has shined a new light on the measurability of our profession. However, many practitioners still put far too much emphasis on the tracking and measuring of outputs, not outcomes. In this session, you will receive an overview of how measurement has and has not changed, and the most practical way to tackle it. Learn how to identify what key performance indicators (KPIs) are, and how to connect your efforts to your organization’s KPIs. Also, learn how to measure successfully on a budget.


Reputation, Employee Engagement and Other Measures of PR Value

Monday, Oct. 18:  3.30pm

Location: Columbia Hall 3 & 4

Louis Capozzi, APR, Fellow PRSA, adjunct professor, New York Unversity; and CEO, retired, MS&L
Helen Ostrowski, APR, retired chairman, Porter Novelli, adjunct professor, NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies
Katie Paine, chief executive officer, KDPaine & Partners

Public relations has the unique ability to provide the “big picture” as it relates to issues that business and marketing executives worry about.  Today, some of the issues at the forefront are reputation, trust and employee engagement.  A panel of distinguished industry experts debate and discuss PR’s role in building, maintaining and evaluating an organization’s reputation. Learn the role employees play in carrying out an organization’s strategy and building its brand with external constituents. Hear how measuring results of efforts in these areas demonstrate the value of PR.


What’s the ROMI of Social Media, Online Video and Press Releases?

Tuesday, Oct. 19:  8am

Location: Jefferson

Laura Sturaitis, senior vice president, media & product services, BusinessWire
Greg Jarboe, president and co-founder, SEO-PR

According to Pew Internet & American Life Project tracking surveys, 88 percent of Internet users use a search engine to find information; 62 percent watch videos on websites like YouTube or Google Video; 47 percent use online social networking sites like Facebook or LinkedIn; and 19 percent use Twitter or another status-update service.  Which one of these new public relations opportunities delivers the highest return on marketing investment (ROMI)? Also, with so many ways to engage customers across the social media landscape, are press releases still necessary? Panelists will discuss real-world examples and techniques to get the most mileage from PR in the Web 2.0 world, including the use of press releases and digital multimedia. Learn to work hand-in-hand with your Web team to see how visitors are getting to your site and moving through it.


Building C-Suite Trust Through News and Social Media Monitoring ROI

Tuesday, Oct. 19: 8am

Location: Cabinet

Jeff Trexel, chief executive officer, Infoition News Services
Linda Odorisio, vice president, U.S. Communications, CGI Group

Savvy public relations executives earn C-suite trust by spending dollars on actions that boast a clear return on investment (ROI) and align with business objectives. Join session presenters for an interactive dialogue on news and social media monitoring ROI. Launch points are data collected from five Fortune 500 corporations and a best practices case study showing what is working inside a multi-billion dollar corporation. Learn how to earn C-suite trust, or risk being ignored.


4I’s & 7C’s of Social Media Measurement

Folks chatting / tweeting about social media measurement love to apply cute acronyms or use alliteration to articulate their thinking or their model on how to measure social media.

Generally, I find that approach lacking.  Great for marketing hyperbole, but light on oomph and methodology.

Prime example:
I read a tweet yesterday about the 4 Is:

All were ambitiously and interestingly expressed as a return on…


OK.  I’m feeling a need to break my own rule and reciprocate with the 7Cs of social media measurement:

1.  Counting (site and search metrics–all the appropriate stuff we can and should count)
2.  Content (analysis, that is.  quantity and quality)
3.  Conversations (or as I like to sometimes call them conversationships)
4.  Cohesion (are folks agreeing with you?  with each other?  more importantly, are they coalescing around a core theme/idea/call to action, etc?)
5.  Community
6.  Connectedness (via network analysis:  how inter-connected, inter-related are the highly engaged/key influencers/advocates in the conversation?  how centrally located are those highly engaged / key influentials / brandvocates?  how far and and how fast is the spread?)
7.  Conversion (the so what factor…getting beyond the output and outtake into the output or impact zone…and here I don’t strictly mean conversion to a tangible like sales…it could be conversion toward any measurable MarCom or PA/issues/advocacy-based objective.  Hint on method:  have a look at Tealium or Sysomos Audience.

So how do you measure all this?

1.  Combine several approaches (content analysis, search and site metrics, network analysis, primary research), and
2.  Have those approaches be flexible enough to account for/prioritize/weight different objectives and campaign types.


Observations Post-PRSA-NCC Thoth Awards Judging

This measurement PRoponent / PRomulgator had the honor of reviewing some phenomenal work that some very talented, committed, and hard-working DC-area PR practitioners submitted in consideration for a PRSA-NCC Thoth Award. 

  Congrats and well done. 

I left the 5-hour session inspired.  Mostly inspired by the largely fantastic work submitted and the creative thinking behind the campaigns. 

But also inspired to offer up some observations based on some–the minority to be fair and clear–of the submissions.


1.  Media relations IS NOT public relations.

2.  Objectives, strategies, and tactics ARE NOT the same thing

3.  Objectives must be specific, measurable, include an audience, geography, and timeframe and something to do with either awareness or behavior.

4.  One’s objectives in the planning section of a document MUST MATCH the objectives in the evaluation section.  We shouldn’t be seeing new objectives, mentioned for the first time come the evaluation section of a document.  Objectives can’t be conveniently retro-fitted to suit the result.

5.  A clump ‘o clips DOES NOT on its own equate to measuring awareness, behaviour, advocacy, engagement, or relationships.  Outcomes not (strictly) outputs.

Barcelona Declaration of Research Principles

The folks at the European Measurement Summit have agreed on 7 principles of PR measurement:

1.Goal setting and measurement are fundamental to doing PR

2.Goals should be as quantitative as possible and address who what when and how much the PR program is intended to affect

3.Measurement should include representative traditional and social media as well as target audience changes in awareness comprehension attitude and behavior as applicable.

4.Aves are not the value of public relations

5.Social Media Can and Should be measured

6.Measuring Outcomes is preferred to measuring media results

7.Business results and outcomes should be measured whenever possible

(Measurement maven KD Paine provides the sub bullets to each of the 7 principles above here)

Pretty obvious stuff, one might say.  However, given that the Global Alliance, the ICCO, PRSA, AMEC and the IPR’s Measurement Commission are voting (along with 200 measurementarati attendees) and agreeing, that’s progress.

Measurement Standards 2 Emerge from “Commitment Conference” (again?)

(Hat tip to Jack O’Dwyer’s June 2 newsletter article from which pieces of this post were culled)

Communications and measurement industry heavyweights will using next weeks’ European Measurement Summit in Barcelona (June 16-18), as a back drop against which to talk about “establishing standard metrics and measurement techniques for adoption throughout the industry” in what is apparently being called the “Barcelona Declaration of Research Principles.”

Apparently, this will be the first time that the leaders of the global (I’m not sure they all truly are global) professional bodies–AMEC, Global Alliance, ICCO, IPR’s Measurement Commission, and the PRSA–will share the stage.

I’d like to be a fly on that conference room wall but I’ll settle for cat-like state of readiness on the live tweetstream hashtag.  HINT.

Looking forward to reading what comes out of those sessions.

I’ve always thought we need to be really careful with what, precisely, we mean by standards.

Standard metrics? in some cases, sure, but doesn’t that depend on objectives?

Standard methods? I thought we had those.  Content analysis for media content.  Surveying / polling for, well, you get the idea…and so on.

Standard set of best practices and guiding principles? OK, but I thought we already had those, too.  Didn’t the IPR Measurement Commission and PRSA do that last year?

Could this be measurement’s watershed moment?  Fingers and toes.

In any event, a dialogue like this, at a conference like this, among those organization can, I hope, only be the start of a good thing in the long run.

European Measurement Summit Looks Strong

The second annual European Measurement Summit organized jointly by AMEC (The International Association for Measurement & Evaluation of Communications) & the Institute for PR (and it’s thought leading measurement commission of which I am disciple and booster) is gearing up.  It’s in Barcelona this year; June 16-18.  (Wish I was attending but I’m looking forward to following the twit stream via hastag). 

If it’s anything like the quality of the U.S. Measurement Summit in New Hampshire (looking at the lineup of speakers there’s every indication that it will be) it’s a must attend for the measurement-curious through to the measurement thought leaders and all points between.

CARMA: my measurement fate / destiny

This (so far) Canadian-based measurement wonk is packing up both the professional tool box and personal belongings and heading to the USA, Washington DC, for a May 17 start.  I`ll be joining  CARMA International, Global Media Analysts in a senior-level management consulting capacity.

Having been on all sides of the triangle (in-house corporate PR, big 5 global agency, research and measurement supply-side) I was excited about an opportunity to work with and make a unique contribution to the senior management team.

I’m excited, honoured, and thankful.  I’m very much looking forward to working with the U.S. organization (and its clients).


  • A chance to work with some deep intellect in  Founder and CEO Albert J. Barr, SVP Alison Tedor, and VPs Chris Scully and Sonia LaFountain-Ginyard.
  • The role is an intriguing combination of:
    • Evangelist, advocate, marketing mouthpiece, networker, conversationship builder
    • Client work
    • Thought provider on method
    • Senior-level staff and client support
    • Contribution to the leadership of the U.S. operation
    • Contribution to the international operation/management team

Thanks CARMA.  Looking forward to getting started.

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