Updating the framework: The European Summit on Measurement, part 2

August 1, 2012

Jessica, our account executive, recently came into my office with an exasperated expression on her face.

“I could spend my whole day looking at the social media measurement offerings from different companies,” she explained. “ They all say that they found the ‘magic solution.’  Where do I start?”

Jessica’s understandable confusion illustrates the needs for improved and established best practices in social media measurement.

Measurement leaders recently took another step toward this goal. More than 200 delegates from 30 countries gathered at the 4th Annual European Summit on Measurement in Dublin this past  June 13-15.  The International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) hosted the event.

View from the Summit

The conference featured many valuable workshops and discussions. Richard Bagnall of Gorkana, who also chairs AMEC’s Social Media Measurement Group, best described the results of the Summit:

“We took three significant steps forward by launching an updated, valid metrics framework for social media, an approved transparency table to be used as a report methodology and a central repository for definitions and terms in social media measurement,” he said.

These three initiatives will help minimize confusion, better educate global practitioners in the right approach to social media measurement and offer the PR profession far more transparency, Bagnall said.

While we update the valid metrics framework to reflect the ever-changing world of social media, the current one is still a good place to start.  You can find it on PRSA’s website under the Business Case for Public Relations on the Measurement Standardization page. (I also featured the framework in the March edition of this column.)

Here are two other quick highlights from speakers:

  • Don Bartholomew, senior vice president for digital and social media research at Ketchum, offered a framework for measuring social media: awareness, engagement, impact and value.
  • David Kellis of Clorox showed how you measure the ROI of social media by including social media awareness and engagement data into a market mix model.  So, if anyone asks you if you can measure the ROI of social media, then the answer is basically “yes.” (We will talk more about market mix modeling in future columns.)

One other important point to make:  There are many companies claiming that they have the solution to measure social media, but their approaches are often vague. Some of these fly-by-night companies seem to quickly disappear.  Always search for an established measurement partner that is turning a profit and has clear methods. (From my firm’s perspective, we’ve had success with Sysomos and Radian6.)

To learn more on the topic, consider attending the Measurement Symposium at the PRSA 2012 International Conference on Oct. 14 in San Francisco. This event will feature speakers from FedEx, Starbucks and Microsoft, among others. Participants will also receive a toolkit to use in measuring the value of their work.  Visit the PRSA website for details.

Learn more: Measurement presentations from the Summit, including David Rockland’s presentation, “How to Be Compliant with the Barcelona Principles,” are now available on AMEC’s website.


David B. Rockland, Ph.D.

David B. Rockland, Ph.D., retired as CEO of KGRA in 2017, but continues as part-time chairman. He and his wife, Sarah Dutton, who recently retired from CBS News, have also started their own research and consulting firm to work with Ketchum and other clients at rocklanddutton.com.


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