Turning Marketing Measurement on its Head

April 5th, 2011 | Shonali Burke | 5 Comments

Last week Seth Duncan of Beyond stopped by the #measurePR Twitter chat to talk about something I thought was very intriguing.

Instead of always talking about what PR can learn from marketing analytics, what if we asked what marketing can learn from PR measurement?

Pretty radical, eh?

Seth and I had been brainstorming ideas for the chat, and when he suggested this one, I said to myself, “Bingo!”

So that’s what we talked about.

It was really interesting.

Here are some of the “sound bites.”

On why frame the question this way instead of the other way around (all quotes/notes from Seth):

“Social media marketing shares one key goal with media relations and PR: obtaining lots of good earned media. The campaign content and its distribution tends to be different, but the media-related research questions are similar.”

“What sort of reach did we get, was the response positive, were messages picked up, etc.?”

“PR has been answering these questions using media research for a long time,” but they are much newer to marketing.

On specific PR measurement processes marketing pros can implement:

  • How to best mine social media content for customer sentiment & messages
  • At the moment, marketers are relying too heavily on automated content analysis
  • Tools like Radian6, Netbase, etc., don’t work without analysts

On what PR pros can do to educate their marketing counterparts:

  • Campaign evaluation is going to be more exploratory than it used to be, since social media marketing is starting to look more like traditional communications in some ways (once the news release is sent out, you don’t know exactly where/how it will be picked up)
  • Tell your marketing counterparts of your own experiences on how to find and then analyze earned media
  • Share PR data and reports since, with good analysis, they can spark a lot of ideas for marketers

On what marketing can learn from PR on a philosophical level:

  • Customers are going to talk about your campaign in ways you won’tanticipate
  • So analysts need to sample and read social media posts before you quantify anything
  • Don’t rely just on sentiment; look for messages and message accuracy

The transcript of Seth’s second visit to #measurePR is worth a read, because you’ll really get a flavor of the conversation from it.

So go ahead and download it.

That’s what it’s here for, after all!

Many thanks to Seth for making the time to do this.

He’s such a smart guy; you’re already following him on Twitter and reading the Beyond blog, right?

And next week, I have a special treat in store for you.

Since I’ll be traveling, my good friend Sean Williams – another smartie – will step in to guest-moderate #measurePR.

Sean is way way smarter than I am, so this is likely to be a really terrific chat.

Don’t miss it.

And make sure you’re reading Sean’s blog as well.

It’s next Tuesday, April 12, from 12-1 pm ET.

I’ll miss you all, but I’m looking forward to the transcript and I know you’ll be in good hands.

Image: Lynae Zebest via Flickr, CC 2.0

Shonali Burke
Head honcho of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke is President & CEO of Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc. Based in the Washington, D.C., area, she loves helping for- and non-profit clients, both small and large, turn corporate codswallop into community cool™. She also loves ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke

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Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

This has been up in my browser for quite a while. I really like the angle you take here. As @Shonali I am learning the cross over the hard way with my feet in the fire. But I am very unique. My background is not Advertising which I am in now, its Finance/B2B Sales. I could just imagine if my degree was in Marketing with me graduating in 1991 pre-internet and what I would be dealing with now if I had been groomed at Ad Agencies or Media Companies what my outlook would be like. Coming in fresh in Jan 2008 which at that time there was no Social Media Marketing or Listening in general there were still walls up, But I don't have any bad habits to break.

One powerful tool that I think would really help marketers and advertisers come around to PR is Google Alerts. Best with a small business but just seeing mentions generated randomly is fascinating. You start understanding more the power of the chatter for helping your efforts. I know Marketers use Google alerts. I meant everyone should set them up. Vs just certain people in each org.

The cool thing is in the past all this chatter was behind your back. Now you see it and you will react and you will look at things differently.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@Shonali oops hate that non-edit feature. It was meant 'As Shonali knows I am learning the cross over'

Shonali moderator

@HowieG Ha, yes, I knew what you meant.

One of the things we used to do at my old job was send out a daily report to the execs (team was decided by the C-suite and they were asked to share with their teams, so that we weren't doing all-employee emails) with key stories - not just on the organization, but competitors, relevant news for the field, etc.

This is pretty standard practice for agencies & PR pros, and I do think it helped the org. in general. First, because everyone else felt they were valued enough to receive the information; second, it helped us because we didn't have to suffer "did you see this" kind of emails. I think it helped that it was centralized - we certainly didn't stop anyone from setting up their own - and that kind of system is very easy to set up. I think that's a good practice in general.


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