2009 PR People Awards: Measurement/Research Expert of the Year

David Michaelson, President, Echo Research

In his first year (2008) as president of Echo Research, Dr. Michaelson combined two important variables to create a formula for success: an unwavering grasp of reliable, insightful research and strong financial management. By doing so, he established the firm as a leader in PR measurement and evaluation; he also created a new division that added a full primary research capability. As a result, Echo has doubled its U.S. billings, leading to an overall 22% growth.

Think Tank

New clients, which include multi-national corporations, philanthropic organizations and national governments, have also been brought into the fold thanks to Dr. Michaelson’s efforts. Further, Dr. Michaelson successfully recruited leading PR measurement experts, such as Don Stacks of the University of Miami and Dr. Elliot Schreiber of Drexel University, to serve as consultants for Echo Research’s advisory group of experts.

With nearly 30 years of experience in conducting research for Fortune 500 companies, Dr. Michaelson is sought after as a leader in the field. He is often recruited to lecture on PR measurement and research issues at conferences throughout the year, and his articles on PR research are regularly published in industry journals. Recently, Dr. Michaelson was contracted by Business Expert Press to co-author a book on PR research with Stacks.

Measured Response

Dr. Michaelson’s consummate skills in PR measurement and research have made him a coveted expert in the field. One initiative that showcased his knowledge was the branding and reputation research he spearheaded for MetLife. This program featured an innovative use of media analysis that measures the presence as well as the absence of key messages in life insurance coverage. The ongoing project has received numerous industry prizes.

A Potent Echo

Another example of Dr. Michaelson’s innovative thinking is in the development of a new Echo Research product, the 13 model, which measures internal and external perception of a brand’s reputation. The model integrates research findings that help clients monitor reputation and change their communications strategies. â– 

Honorable Mention

Ashley Pettit, Public Relations Analyst, Southwest Airlines Company

In her time at Southwest Airlines, Ashley Pettit has become a true measurement ace for the company. Not only does she measure the airline’s media coverage but she has raised the bar by providing the Emergency Response Team with a report showing how quickly information is spread virally online and throughout various emerging media channels.