3 Questions for Measurement Hall of Fame Inductee Katie Paine

PR Measurement Hall of Fame inductee Katie Paine To say that Katie Paine's name is synonymous with PR measurement might not be an overstatement. She's a top adviser and strategist for major brands seeking to develop communications programs that have at their core metrics linked to organizational success. Just as important, she's developed and trained scores of what she calls "Measurement Mavens" in her blog, The Measurement Standard.

Currently the CMO  for News Group and chairman and founder of Salience/KDPaine & Partners, Paine will be leading an interactive clinic on developing key performance indicators at PR News' annual Measurement Conference on May 15 at Washington, D.C.'s National Press Club. During thet conference Paine will be inducted into PR News' Measurement Hall of Fame, along with James Fetig, Diane Lennox, David Michaelson, Mark Weiner and Donald K. Wright.

Paine, who also writes the popular Image Patrol crisis comparison features for PR News, looks back at her beginnings in PR measurement and the future of social media measurement.

PR News: What led you into PR measurement and who were your mentors? 

Katie Paine: After working in corporate communications for nearly 10 years in five different companies, I realized that at some point someone always asked me for my results, and I would come up with reach metrics, messaging analysis, intent to purchase calculations. At some point I realized that I wasn’t the only one with this problem, so I left my job at Lotus (now IBM) and started the Delahaye Group in 1987. I’ve been measuring results ever since.

I pretty much had to invent everything myself because, back then, there really wasn’t anyone doing much around PR or communications measurement.  When I finally figured out what I didn’t know, I sought out the leading academics, like Don Stacks, Jim Grunig, Don Wright, Jim Macnamara [and] Brad Rawlins  to teach me proper research methodologies. Other early pioneers like Avinash Kaushik and Walt Lindemann were also my heroes.

PR News: What is the state of PR measurement standards right now?

Paine: On the social side, the Social Media Measurement Conclave is working very hard to have all the standards finalized in time for the AMEC Measurement Summit in Madrid on June 6. We have four out of the six standards up on www.smmstandards.org (which are available for comment). The Coalition that includes the Institute for Public Relations is also making good progress on their standard definitions.

The last step will be to conduct our own version of a 'conference committee' to reconcile any confusion in terminology. That will happen this summer.

PR News: Just how revolutionary an impact has social media had on PR measurement?

Paine: It has completely transformed it from primarily a “media relations” function to a true relationship function, in which PR people are forging relationships in social networks with their key stakeholders. That means that on the measurement front, PR people are now measuring impact and outcome rather than just activities and silly metrics like AVE.

Katie Paine, Jackie Matthews of General Motors, David Woolwine of Allstate Insurance, Marianne Eisenmann of Chandler Chicco Companies and other leading measurement experts will share tips and best practices at PR News' PR Measurement Conference, which takes place May 15 at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

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