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June 15, 2011
Measure Away, PR Has a Future
 
PR people globally remain edgy over the standing of their craft. That's our take on the Third European Summit on Measurement held last week in Lisbon. The news release on the meeting suggests that at least the practitioners who attend international meetings are anxious to have PR's standing bolstered by whatever measurement techniques may be available.

The top priorities that emerged from the meeting are:

1. Determining how best to measure public relations' RO! (89 percent)

2. Creating and adopting global standards for social media measurement (83 percent).

3. Solidifying campaign and program measurement's role as an intrinsic part of the PR toolkit (73 percent.)

4. Instituting client education programs such that clients insist on measurement of outputs, outcomes and business results from public relations programs (61 percent).

True, these were measurement professionals, and one would expect them to be concerned about perfecting their craft. But the focus on the overall standing of PR itself is apparent. These are priorities for the coming decade. The Lisbon resolves follow the Barcelona Principles of Measurement adopted last year.

Mike Daniels, chairman of  the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), a sponsor of the conference along with the Institute for Public Relations, said: "The Summit identified some significant challenges for the PR profession to address by 2020. However, what we also accomplished in Lisbon, beyond setting the priorities, was to harness the commitment and energy of the industry to agree on what we need to do together."

Measuring relational gains firm by firm and practitioner by practitioner is indeed a fraternal challenge.

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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