In order to develop a solid PR measurement program, strive for decisions based more on data and facts, and less on opinion and experience, says Don Bartholomew, senior VP of digital and social media research at Ketchum.
"Opinion and experience are still important, and we want to be data-informed rather than data driven, but the orientation clearly needs to shift more strongly toward data and facts," Bartholomew
The 20-year communications veteran, currently vice chair of the International Association for the Measurement
and Evaluation of Communication's (AMEC) Social Media Group, will be a speaker at PR News'
PR Measurement Conference on May 15 in Washington D.C.
We recently spoke with Bartholomew
about data versus "hunches," the Barcelona Principles and measurement misnomers.
:There's a new IBM study that says the majority of marketers are relying on hunches to make informed decisions, and less on science-based information.
Do you feel this is the case with PR professionals, as well?
: I'm not sure 'hunches' is the right word, but I do believe PR pros generally rely on past experience and informed guesses to make many strategic programming decisions.
: With many clients there has been an enhanced recognition of the importance of sound measurement practices in general.
Specifically there has also been recognition that, as an industry, we must move away from invalid metrics like AVE (advertising value equivalent) and find better ways to describe the business impact of what we deliver.
: What are the most prevelant misconceptions about measurement among your clients?
: One misnomer or misperception is that all measurement is expensive.
: Learn how to describe public relations and social media results in terms of business impact, and not just media results.