It has become almost cliché for media professionals to complain about the lack of measurement tools for new media campaigns. The Internet is the most measurable medium ever invented, yet marketers continue to squabble about which metrics are most meaningful.
So it was a pleasure to read Katie Paine’s newly released book, Measuring Public Relationships. Paine is one of the acknowledged gurus in this area, and her opinions command widespread respect. The reports and tools that her team produces on the Measures of Success website make it a must-bookmark for PR pros. In this compact (204 pages), readable book, Paine gives us her best stuff. After reading it, you’ll wonder what all the fuss was about.
Paine boils down the issues to a few key factors. Outputs are the results of publicity efforts, such as clips and blog mentions. Outtakes are how people think as a result of experiencing outputs. Outcomes are how their behavior changes. All are measurable, she argues, so once you decide what tools you’ll use to measure them, the rest is just execution.
As Paine works through the various audiences that PR people must satisfy – journalists, bloggers, event audiences, local constituents and even internal employees – she uses repetition to drive home the point that measurement is all about sweating a few basics. Decide who’s important, figure out how you want to measure the results of your actions, set baselines and benchmarks and choose measurement tools. Although there’s good advice on the pros and cons of various online metrics, this book isn’t about page views vs. unique visitors. It’s about choosing the right metrics for your situation and then applying them in a disciplined manner.
Measuring Public Relationships brings welcome clarity to a debate that has become bogged down in complexity and minutiae. Read it and then pass it along to your boss.