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Measurement

Why We Need to Learn More About Social Measurement and ‘Predictive Marketing’

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We’ve all heard quite a bit about measurement lately, haven’t we? The stories about next-big-thing trends in targeted marketing, real-time marketing and now “predictive marketing” tie into the thread insisting that PR needs to better prove its value with data.

That’s tough, of course—just this week we learned that shares may not be worth much of anything at all, because many of the people who “share” a given piece of content never actually “read” it.

Eileen Bernardo, marketing/communications manager at social analytics firm ViralHeat, recently told us why PR should pay attention to all these digital marketing stories.

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So Is That Why You Made All Those Changes? Lithium Technologies to Buy Klout

kloutWe were supposed to have a call with Klout yesterday after posting this story about all the changes the company made to launch #NewKlout. But at the last minute, we were told something came up and the call would have to be postponed. That something was likely the news that the company was being purchased by Lithium Technologies for at least $100 million.

According to the scoop by Re/code, Lithium, a company that provides “social customer experience management software for the enterprise,” is preparing for an IPO. And the two companies complement each other.

“It’s a dead-on fit in terms of topic focus for the two companies, but it’s also a save for San Francisco-based Klout…” Re/code continues. Mashable speculates that Lithium was attracted to Klout for Business’ 200,000 users.

In light of the sale, it’s worth it to take another look at all of the Klout updates.

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The Evolution of Metrics

RIP-AVEA long time ago in a flackdom not too far away lived a gaggle of PR professionals that were under the impression the only way they could quantify what they did for a living was through an obscure metric known as Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE). Since 1949, AVE has been heavily debated — albeit, it’s been used by agencies across the nation — but griped about nonetheless.

Then, some highfalutin flack questioned the ethics of it all because ad numbers tend to be, shall we say, mercurial. That was 2010, and pretty much the end of AVE. However, I am in the minority when I say it will never be completely eradicated. Why? Try telling a small business owner about his exposure and influence among paid, earned and shared media and he or she will point your narrow behind to the door. Show him or her numbers (no matter how obscure they are to define) and you will find a happy client.

Because measurement — to a client, not to an agency — has to be seen, experienced and measured in order to be real. What do you say then? How do you validate your effectiveness then? Let’s discuss ethics and possible solution about this quantifiable evolution after the jump…

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The PR Measurement Debate Enters a New Stage

Going up...

Putting the usual cultural/political flotsam and jetsam aside, these are two of the month’s most interesting developments in the PR world:

1. A majority of marketing execs think PR should handle social media duties

2. Many clients are ditching the idea of “social ROI” altogether

In short, an increasing number of people think that PR is best equipped to do social, and many within the industry are pushing for a bigger focus on measurement. At the same time, the concept of measuring the success of social campaigns in dollars-and-cents terms is losing favor among certain higher-ups.

The second point got a big boost last week when four major corporations announced plans to adopt measurement standards developed by the Coalition for Public Relations Standards, a group created in 2012 with the participation of nearly every major PR industry group.

What does this mean?

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Is ‘Social Media ROI’ a Dead Idea?

Here’s an interesting response to yesterday’s story on the study confirming that ad/marketing execs think social media is PR’s problem:

So: PR should handle SM, and PR should focus more on ROI to prove its value, but SM ROI remains elusive despite the fact that many continue trying very, very hard to measure Twitter campaigns in dollars-and-cents terms.

It can get confusing—and today we learned that more and more companies are abandoning the very concept of social ROI even as such efforts grow more integral to the operations of your average PR firm.

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Brands Placing Less and Less Emphasis on Facebook ‘Likes’

Earlier this month we ran a story on the fact that Facebook likes do, in fact, encourage more likes. You really can’t dismiss the psychological power of someone making a simple click to say “I approve of this message”. We certainly enjoy the instant gratification of likes on our most popular stories.

At the same time, brands and marketers have come to rely less and less the number of likes as a measure of success. Today our sister site AllFacebook posted a report on the change, noting that likes don’t translate into ROI statistics as easily as site traffic, page views, conversions and sales.

This isn’t terribly groundbreaking news, but it’s worth remembering in the face of recent changes designed to help ad and page managers better measure the success rates of their content. Another interesting revelation: media buyers have recorded greater ROI for local at-scale promotions that push consumers to visit brick and mortar stores. Marketers take note.

Do We Need Universal Standards for Measuring Success in PR?

The art (and it is an art) of measuring success for clients has long been a challenge for PR firms. In the era of “Big Data”, most industry veterans agree that metrics, otherwise known as “numbers”, are more important than ever–and that the PR business needs to continually work on improving the ways we show clients the true value of our work.

A recent Council of Public Relations Firms blog post by vice president of research and development David Geddes proposes the creation and adoption of industry-wide measurement standards. When every firm has a different way of measuring success, clients understandably get a little frustrated: how can they compare and contrast individual campaigns?

Geddes and his group, The Coalition for Public Relations Research Standards, brought together various industry organizations including the Council of Public Relations Firms, Institute for Public Relations, PRSA, Global Alliance, and AMEC to try and tackle the project. They also organized a panel of big-name clients like McDonald’s, General Electric and more to review the results of their efforts and determine, as PR customers, whether the standards are relevant and “usable.”

Their goal: come up with universal ways to show that projects involving social media, traditional media and even ethics are really working for clients.

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Breaking: Facebook Clicks Are Worthless

Well, clicks aren’t completely worthless—but their importance is vastly overstated. That’s the verdict rendered by Facebook’s own Brad Smallwood in a report beamed in from this week’s IAB MIXX Expo—and it’s something of a revelation for those who use data to drive marketing/promotional strategy (aka all of us). But what does it mean?

According to Smallwood, all professionals trying to measure the success of Facebook ads or branded content should focus on three things:

  • Impressions – number of people who see your content
  • Reach – size of audience vs. cost of promo efforts
  • Frequency – achieving a “sweet spot” balance between over-exposure and under-exposure

The overall message: Don’t use click-through rates to judge the success of any given campaign. It makes sense because many users see Facebook posts and ads without clicking on them–good luck selling that point to any marketing department, though. The issue may be a bit more complex than that though, and the people at HubSpot aren’t quite on board:

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Coalition for PR Research Standards Has A Few Standards to Share

The Coalition for PR Research Standards — the group composed of the Institute for Public Relations (IPR), Council of PR Firms, the Public Relations Society of America, the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), and the Global Alliance for PR and Communication Management — has released two papers that offer recommendations for metrics and ethics for the PR industry. Both papers are part of the Coalition’s ongoing work towards a set of industry standards, and both are open for comment on the IPR website.

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‘A Call for Accountability’ in a Competitive PR Market

The role of PR has expanded over the years. The means for measurement and data analysis, though still a work in progress, have improved. Companies depend increasingly on public relations activities for building their businesses. As a result, PR has a greater responsibility to be accountable in ways that speak to a business’ bottom line.

In today’s guest post, Matt Rizzetta, CEO of the North 6th Agency issues his “call to action” based on the role that PR is playing in the modern marcomms landscape. It’s a landscape filled with options for businesses. So, Rizzetta says, showing your value is a mandate. What do you think? Click through to read on.

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