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Social PR’s Value and Snackable Measurement Insights!

AMEC Measurement Week in NYC kicked off on September 15 with a great presentation by Mark Schaefer and an informative panel moderated by Peter Himler and featuring Shonali Burke, Chris Penn, Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer and Heidi Sullivan.

While nothing beats seeing the action first-hand, here are some of the key takeaways from each of the speakers at the event.

Perspectives on Social Media’s Value

Mark Schaefer - Social Media - PR Measurement Week

Mark Schaefer breaks out with hives when he hears people say that social media is un-measurable or that PR pros who don’t have to calculate social’s ROI are lucky.

Not only is social media measurable, it’s imperative, Mark says. Here are some takeaways from Mark’s presentation.

1. Find the implied value

Value - PR MeasurementAlmost every company has financial hardships at some point in their lives. This makes understanding the implied value of your social media important to you and to the organization. Being able to show what sort of impact your social media efforts have on your organization can save your job and help the company as it strategizes a return to profitability.

2. Understand passion

Brands build emotional connections with their audiences over time. This, Mark says, is where the “drip, drip, drip of communications” from social media excels.

A century ago, the era of mass communication created a digital divide. Social media has bridged that divide, giving brands an opportunity to create loyalty among customers.

Having loyalty as a goal means looking beyond quarterly sales goals and finite campaigns to considering how to build long-term relationships.

3. Forget spreadsheets…sometimes

Social Media PR Measurement - AMEC Measurement Week

A lot of the value social media provides won’t fit on a spreadsheet. Social media PR largely produces qualitative results, and PR pros need to figure out the best way to show it.

Mark told of how he recorded testimonials at a corporate training event and showed it to decision makers. The compelling content convinced the executives to double PR’s budget.

4. Own the conversation

People no longer spend time with commercials. Instead, they spend time with content. Having content in the right places, allows you to control a disproportionate amount of the chatter related to your product or service.

Listerine, for example, held a small portion of the influence within the topic of oral care. Bloggers held 75 percent of the influence. By engaging the bloggers, Listerine used their influence to gain a much bigger piece of that conversation.

“If we want to have a bigger share of the conversation, shouldn’t we know our influencers?” Mark says.

To identify influencers, one brand Mark discussed divides its industry into subsets and has a person dedicated to engaging the influencers within those subsets. The goal is to drive them up the engagement curve, own a disproportionate share of the conversation and give the influencer a friendly face.

“If you’re leading the conversations, at least the positive conversations, I think that’d be an interesting way to say this is how I contribute to the bottom line,” Mark says.

5. Consider relevance

Relevance - PR Measurement

Paper atlases could be found in almost every car for a long time, but many of the industry giants never adjusted to the digital revolution and have shriveled.

“Sometimes it’s not about ROI. Maybe it’s about relevance. What’s the ROI of bankrupt?” Mark says. “To survive, we need to be thinking of how we’re going to be showing up in the digital workspace.”

Think a few years down the road. Millennials will make up a significant part of the workforce by the year 2020. How will you connect with this generation that has grown up relying on texting and social media as a primary means of communication?

The State of PR Measurement

State of PR Measurement Panel

Peter Himler started the conversation of PR measurement with an anecdote about the time he built a clip book for actor Alan Alda in order to show all the interviews they had set up.

PR measurement has changed. But how so? Here are some snackable insights from each of the panelists.

Shonali Burke

  • PR pros need to match their goals to their metrics. You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole when it comes to measurement.
  • Although there’s nothing wrong with complicated metrics, you don’t need them to measure PR. It’s more important to understand what you want to achieve and how the numbers you have relate to that.
  • The three tools anyone can use to measure their PR regardless of budget? 1. Excel or Google spreadsheets 2. Google Analytics 3. Your brain.

Heidi Sullivan

  • A big challenge for PR is that marketing is seen as a profit center, not a cost center, because they’ve already figured out and implemented ways to measure.
  • Modern PR doesn’t have a data problem. It has problems drawing actionable insights from all that data.
  • If you find a piece of owned content or a key message starts to take off, that’s when you add paid amplification.

Chris Penn

  • PR should be measured by our ability to generate and retain the right audiences so that marketing can create leads and sales can convert them.
  • You need to measure new users, returning users and dollar value. If you’re not getting new users you’re in trouble. If your digital experience is so shoddy no one returns, you lost a chance to build loyalty. The audience you generate has to have a monetary value to marketing.
  • When considering paid amplification, look at your seven-day average and your 30-day average. If your content exceeds the former, add some paid amplification. If exceeds the latter, add even more.

Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer

  • PR lives on in perpetuity. You need to focus on measuring it using a long-term perspective.
  • PR is designed to drive the right traffic. Look at the results of your PR efforts and determine how influential the voice is, the quantity of conversations that you’re involved in where someone will buy, and how it compares to competitors.
  • PR pros have so much data coming at them. The key is to figure out what from that data is responsible for moving the needle.

Want to learn more about PR measurement? Read Cision’s free “How to Replace AVE for Modern PR Measurement” tip sheet today!

About Brian Conlin

Brian Conlin is a content marketing manager for Cision. A former journalist, he enjoys researching and developing accessible content. When not writing, you will find him watching baseball and college basketball, sampling craft beer and enjoying Baltimore. Find him on Twitter @BrianConlin13.

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