Measurement Conference: Understanding the “What, Why, Who and How” of Measurement


Measurement is one of the most complex issues facing the PR industry these days. But the speakers at PR News' Measurement Conference in Washington, D.C. handled it with aplomb. Jackie Matthews, a research strategist from General Motors Communications, and Sandy Malloy, Business Wire's senior information specialist, kicked things off with a presentation that covered everything from identifying what you should be measuring to a refresher course on the Barcelona Principles.

Next up was a presentation on developing business metrics that will resonate with the C-Suite. "Executives want facts and figures," said Marla Bace, GM of marketing and operations at Sodexo division, Circles. "If you don’t have any to validate your point, good luck getting upper management’s support.”

Several speakers touched on social media metrics, and how social platforms can—and should—be incorporated into business metrics. Don Bartholomew, senior VP of digital and social research at Ketchum, stressed that social media metrics should measure impact and value whenever possible. Finding and making the most of influencers is another crucial part of social measurement. Margot Sinclair Savell, senior VP of global measurement research and data insights at Hill+Knowlton Strategies, provided attendees with five steps that are designed to engage influencers: Listen, strategize, engage, measure and repeat.

There were other valuable PR tips during an interactive clinic on how to develop KPIs that can connect to your organization’s overall goals.

“What outcomes is this strategy action or tactic going to achieve?” said Katie Paine, chairman and founder of Salience/KDPaine & Partners. “What are your measurable objectives?” Scorecards and dashboards dominated the afternoon, beginning with a how-to session and ending with three case studies.

Amy Gerkoff, global director of analytics at Burson-Marsteller, capped off the day with takeaways from her experience on the Obama reelection campaign. “Don’t get bogged down by dozens of different goals,” she said. “Isolate a directive and focus your efforts on achieving it.”

Follow Lucia Davis: @LKCDavis

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About Lucia Davis

Lucia Davis is community editor for PR News. Prior to returning to NYC, she was associate editor at iMedia Connection in Culver City, CA. In addition to PR News and iMedia, Lucia's writing has appeared in minonline, "The Minetta Review," "EQUITIES Magazine," and "The Foothills Paper."

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