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IPR and Partners To Devise New Measurement Standards

The Institute for Public Relations has teamed with the 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 to create a series of standards and best practices for PR measurement and research.

According to the IPR, the coalition will each tap agencies, clients, and others to come up with a set of standards that will be used voluntarily to analyze traditional media efforts, social media work, and corporate communications efforts.

Among those working on the project are David Michaelson, principal at David Michaelson & Company and Philippe Sadron, director of research at RF|Binder Partners.

PR measurement standards, particularly in the era of social media, have been a topic of discussion for quite some time. This effort was set in motion back in November, but in August, Andy Polansky, Weber Shandwick’s president and chairman of the Council for PR Firms, told us that it’s important to have a “common standard beyond the Barcelona Principles.”

“Firms will continue to have their own proprietary approaches. But when there are no common standards, it can create confusion in the market. If we have common standards that resonated with the client and procurement communities, then I believe it would bring more money into the profession. We would have the data to support our proposition,” he said.

With so many firms coming out with their own measurement and research tools (those links are just a sample from recent months), we wonder how big a task it will be to get firms to come to a consensus on a voluntary platform. Or what it would mean once a consensus is reached.

After all, the selling point for many firms on their service is its proprietary nature, which, in theory, is completely unique and a step above what other firms are doing. So do you give the thumbs up to a set of rules compiled by this coalition but then say, “We agree with those recommendations, and our tool is even better than that”? Will clients compare the individual firm offerings with what’s being recommended by this coalition? There are still details to work out it seems. And the coalition has a lot of work ahead of them.

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