Inside PR 84: Do you measure up?

This post was originally published on Inside PR 2.84.

This week, we feature another interview from the PRSA International Conference.  We talk to our good friend Shonali Burke, author of the Waxing Unlyrical blog, about PR and social media measurement, a subject all PR people should pay attention to because it demonstrates the value of our work and whether or not we’ve achieved our goals. 

Shonali calls out three problems in the way we approach measurement:

  1. The concept of measurable objectives has been lost – our objectives must be quantifiable and time-bound.
  2. Buzz is not a goal – because people don’t know what they’re trying to achieve, they’re not approaching communications strategically
  3. People overcomplicate. Don’t focus on the tools but on what you’re trying to track and how.

Shonali mentions the Blue Key campaign, which asks Americans to donate $5 to raise awareness and support for refugee issues and how they track the program using custom URLs, Google Analytics, Row Feeder to see the trends

She’s tired of PR professionals saying they’re not good at numbers and advises us to, ‘Stop getting freaked out by math!

Gini mentions that it’s not about impressions or ad equivalencies that are important, but how we deliver the kind of results that mean something to a client’s business.  Joe adds that being in PR, we’re dealing with digital data all the time and need to get good at that.  Martin adds that as professional communicators we are all in business – and it’s important to learn and understand the fundamentals of business.

Are you measuring your programs in a way that demonstrates real value to your clients or organizations?  Do you have any thoughts to add? We’d love to hear from you.

And thanks Shonali.


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This week’s episode was produced by Kristine Simpson.




About Martin Waxman

Martin Waxman is a digital, social media and communications strategist, content marketer, social media trainer and instructor and co-founder of three PR agencies. He blogs at myPALETTE and hosts the Inside PR podcast.