I was going to write rant about the Digital Death campaign, because I find it so narcissistic offensive miserable … well, since I can’t even find a word that adequately sums up the horror nausea incredulity (see what I mean?) it evokes in me, I decided not to.

Instead, I’m going to write about something that decidedly gives me value and, I hope, many of you as well.

Measuring public relations.

More specifically, a quick recap of last week’s chat with Seth Duncan, when we talked about automation in PR measurement, and prior to which he wrote a terrific guest post on the subject.

I should probably be used to this by now, but the enthusiasm for the topic, kindness to our guests and willingness to share information among the #measurePR crowd never ceases to amaze me.

It seemed everyone was also in a particularly witty mood (maybe because it was just before Thanksgiving?).

Here are some of the more memorable quotes (I’ve cleaned up some punctuation, otherwise they are verbatim):

From Seth: “automation” isn’t one thing. It can mean content finding, cleaning, or analysis.

From Alan Chumley aka @CARMA_Tweets: On cost of #measurepr Expensive? Really? Can’t afford to? Can you afford not to? Waste much ammo when we don’t know where 2 shoot.

Also from Alan: We don’t need to ask automation vs. humans. I think the theme today is that we need to do a hybrid #measurepr. Q is what proportion?

And the crowning jewel from Seth: “rear-view mirror” listening is a job for tools, forward looking research requires good analysts #measurePR

One thing seems to be clear: automation isn’t going away, so the sooner it is refined, the better. Exciting times.

You can download the transcript of #measurePR with Seth Duncan to go through at your leisure, if you like.

A couple of other things you might find interesting:

Thanks to David Phillips, I was given a heads up on G’lerts, which is essentially an analytics dashboard for Google Alerts. I played with this a little yesterday, and it’s very interesting, as this video shows.

Of note, you should tweak your search terms to try to get the best results possible.

Also, once you do that, go into the Results Editor to also adjust the sentiment, because as we know, 100% automated sentiment is not going to be accurate… at least not now.

No matter how cool the tool, we still need human eyes.

Finally, I just set up #measurePR groups on Facebook as well as LinkedIn, to extend the conversation.

The LinkedIn group is pretty easy to join; the Facebook group is currently private, but all you have to do, if you’re interested in joining, is send a request and I will open the door.

This is not to keep anyone out per se, more to keep the spam from coming in, as some group members have requested. We may very well open it up in the future, we’re simply testing for now.

If you do join either group (or both), do share valuable information, opinion, commentary and ask questions.

The whole point is to keep learning from each other, right?

I don’t know if these groups will die a digital death, or if one will do better than the other in terms of engagement.

I figured it was worth trying, to see if they can help us all move another step ahead in our joint quest to better our industry.

While some may play at digital death, we march relentlessly (I hope) towards digital life.

Hey, don’t forget that we’ll be chatting all things measurement – a community chat, no guests – next Tuesday, December 7, from 12-1 pm ET.

Join us?

Image: Emily Correia via Flickr, Creative Commons