Today I finally got round to reading last week’s PR Week, which gets circulated around the Wolfstar office for us all to have a flick through when we get chance.
One of the bigger articles was the results of the European Measurement Summit, taking place in Barcelona. 7 key principles were agreed on, including plans to move away from AVEs as a means to measure coverage and the decision that social media should be taken more seriously and ‘can and should be measured’.
I always found AVEs a nice way to say ‘look how much more PR is worth compared to advertising’ *smug face* but the fact is that though the results may sounds impressive when reported back to a client, it doesn’t really mean a huge amount. As decided at the summit, ‘AVEs measures the cost of media space, not of PR’. So there has been a shift to ‘quantity over quality’ which in my opinion is a good thing.
I’m also a fan of other of the issues raised – social media. Being that it’s not only a big interest of mine (in case you hadn’t already guessed), but it’s also my current livelihood working at the UK’s first speciality PR and social media company, you can imagine any news in this area is particularly important to me.
The summit attendees agreed upon the idea that social media can be and should be measured, which I guess was a inevitable decision given how many PR companies have been integrating social media into their campaigns and as my manager Stuart Bruce pointed out in his recent blog post, even management companies like McKinsey have started advising on social media. The space for social media expertise is clearly a battlefield (though reports say that PR is winning) but the push for measurement seems to be unanimous.
The answer of course is a little harder. There are so many tools of how to measure your ‘Twinfluence’ or how well you perform on Facebook or how engaging your blog is, but there isn’t really any standardisation for how companies should measure. At least with AVEs there was an official ‘industry standard’. As CIPR President Jay O’Connor puts it, ‘We need a way to cut through the social media hype’. Though the push for proper measurement of social media has been agreed upon on this summit, I think we are a long way of any kind of standardisation.
I remember learning about all the different summits in my first and second year at university and the impacts they have on PR. I wonder if future students or perhaps even next years will be learning about this year’s ”Barcelona Declaration of Research Principles’? Of course that would first mean they would need to start taking teaching social media a little more seriously…
You can see the slides from the summit here