Seeing as how I’ve been ill for the last several days (sinus infection, burn on arm, you don’t want to go there), my blogging took a back seat to lying on the couch (or bed), feeling sorry for myself and immersed in a Lost marathon.

Image: Flickr user Bart, CC 2.0

No, I didn’t watch it when it was on the air. And I’m kinda-sorta happy about that, because I don’t know if I would have been able to put up with the suspense, not to mention the hole it would have left when it ended. I had a bad enough time with Friends.

I’m up to Season 4, Episode 4, in case you were wondering.

No spoilers, please!

Is measurement lost?

I didn’t think I’d get back into the blogging saddle for a few days yet, but I couldn’t help it when I read this excellent post from Nick Lucido on the problem with PR measurement.

You should know that Nick is a former mentee of mine, though I don’t think I taught him anything he didn’t already know. He’s a smartie if ever there was one.

But look at what he says when examining what someone wrote in an article entitled “public relations comes of age”:

Besides not knowing the difference between public relations and publicity (see Seth Godin’s definition here), the author clearly missed the boat by thinking public relations measurement is based on WOM and media mentions.

The biggest problem with measurement is a lack of understanding of the basic principles of this art. Students are not taught about new practices, since proprietary tools and techniques often remain with hidden with the agencies and companies that create them. If there’s one thing students and young PR pros should pay attention to, it’s learning new techniques to measure public relations efforts.

Sure, it’s a lot easier to teach advertising value equivalencies and say that’s how to measure public relations efforts. But the true art and science of public relations measurement should get out of the marketing mix and go beyond traditional AVE metrics.

This is a young guy in college, and he gets what measurement is and isn’t. He also gets what PR is and isn’t, which most practitioners in the field still don’t.

It’s time to up our game, pros.

Don’t make me go all Benjamin Linus on you.

A good way to start, if you haven’t done it yet, would be to join tomorrow’s #measurePR chat with Don Bartholomew. We’ll pick up where we left off last week, discussing social media ROI.

You in?

Shonali Burke
Founder and publisher of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke helps purpose-driven brands bring big ideas to life. She teaches at The Johns Hopkins University, has gone back to school herself with the Harvard Business Analytics Program, and is creator/lead instructor at The Social PR Virtuoso® online training hub , where ambitious PR pros learn how to unleash their inner Social PR superheroes. Owned by Lola the Basset Hound, she's mad about ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis, though not necessarily in that order. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke

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