One of my Twitter buddies, @welfeldpr, inspired me to write this blog post. However, before I can dig into the specifics tools to measure the tweets and conversations (which will be part II of this post) I want to set up some guidelines and introduce the new metrics for PR 2.0. Overall, how do we measure the effectiveness of PR today to include our social media activity? Social activity does affect a company’s strategic objectives and will contribute to the bottom line. In our book, “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations,” Brian Solis and I tackle a really tough subject: new media metrics that you can use to encourage business leaders to invest in PR 2.0 strategies.
There are new ROI metrics that PR 2.0 introduces to make us reset our expectations. An excerpt from our book discusses this very point:
To measure success, we must determine what success looks like in this new environment. For example, expecting PR 2.0 to result in direct sales (and thus pay for itself) is unrealistic. To gauge PR 2.0 success, we want to focus on momentum, in real time, and demonstrate what’s working. By actively listening and continually “taking the temperature” of our various engagements, we can learn how to do things better in both the short and long terms. Interactive marketing and Web marketers have often experimented with new methodologies and practices to measure the success of their work. We can learn much from these disciplines while also applying real-world experience that we gain through personal engagement. With PR 2.0, we can analyze, measure, and amend campaigns and long-term PR and relationship-building programs in real time. Using the same tools for measuring as we do for listening, we can track and record progress-real-world effects on market behavior. We can also respond to misperceptions or negative feedback immediately to reduce the likelihood of criticism based flare-ups.”
In our book, we review the Conversation Index, which is a part of the measurement discussion as conversations are pervasive and take many forms from videos and podcasts to blog posts and tweets. It is the Conversation Index that indicates your “…placement, status, ranking, perception, and participation in the Social Media sphere.” Because Social Media is rooted in conversations, participation, and engagement, these are the new trackable elements for determining ROI and success:
- Conversations or threads by keyword
- Leads or sales
- Calls to action
- Education and participation
- Registrations, membership, and community activity
The Conversation Index goes well beyond Public Relations. It touches everything from communications to sales, branding, customer service and product development. Because of the new trackable metrics, we can measure both success (and failure) of our PR strategies in ways that were not possible before. Through proactive and attentive listening and measurement, PR will be effectively measured. The new metrics will justify PR’s role in social marketing as it enhances relationships, builds trust, cultivates communities and helps to increase sales, ultimately proving to business leaders the value of investing in PR 2.0 strategies.