I was pleased to fill in for Shonali Burke during the last #MeasurePR twitter chat on July 12. The official summary and transcript are posted on her blog, Waxing Unlyrical, and you should definitely check it out for the full rundown. What follows below is my interpretation of what were the main points raised by the chat.
The chat runs for an hour, and the interesting thing about pacing it is that when there are many voices contributing, that hour can fly by—which was certainly the case this month.
Along with other members of the #MeasurePR community, we discussed a variety of issues that affect PR pros as they get their arms around incorporating measurement and metrics into PR programs.
One of the questions was how to get beyond using just impressions, and responses had a wide range:
- PR people measure impressions because they aren’t sure what else to measure
- They’re a “necessary evil”
- You need to ask better questions to zero in on what to measure
- Impressions are just “part of the story”—and not a particularly important one
To sum up, the best way to get beyond impressions is to identify early on what the real business impact metrics are for your particular measurement problem.
There was considerable discussion on what “smart metrics” are, and what “bad or useless” reports look like, and what a “perfect” report would look like:
- “Smart metrics” are tied to client goals and are specific
- Things like new subscribers, leads that convert, or app downloads are all specific, quantifiable, and tied to client goals—these are good metrics
- You must make sure you have an approach to measurement that fits the client
- Lousy reports—there were so many examples. Ones stacked full of AVEs, binders with a “thud” factor, and one report that contained a copy of all of the coverage received and the “analysis” section simply restated the coverage.
- Perfect reports—there were quite a few responses, but Heather Whaling offered a succinct one: an ideal report has: 1) data and insights, 2) shows the value of PR, and 3) allows a client to make informed decisions moving forward.
There was some discussion of tools, and Google Analytics continues to hold the crown for most frequently recommended free tool, followed closely by Hootsuite. Other mentions included: Simply Measured, Omniture, AirPR, and SeeDepthInc.
We’re hoping to make this “chat takeaways” a regular feature here on the Media Bullseye blog. Participate in the #MeasurePR chat today, from noon to 1 p.m. Eastern; and then catch a few of the highlights here.