From our readers: PR industry has not learnt from the past

In your coverage of 'the first global standard for measurement' created at a European summit in Barcelona (Features, 20 August), I read revelations such as the need to 'set goals', measure outcomes rather than outputs, 'the effect on business results can and should be measured where possible' and the inadequacy of AVEs.

Is it possible that the industry still hasn't cracked it, that PR professionals cannot align measurable comms objectives with the client's commercial aims, that the holy grail is still 'practical advice' rather than theory?

In 1999, the IPR, with the support of the PRCA and PRWeek, published the Public Relations Research and Evaluation Toolkit that set out a practical approach to measurement. Has all that work disappeared without a trace? The toolkit acknowledged that the methodologies needed to be updated, but if the industry wants to build a new edifice, why kick away the foundations?

Has the PR industry really not learnt from the past and is this big leap forward actually a giant step backwards?

Mike Fairchild, author of the IPR Research and Evaluation Toolkit Email letters (200 words maximum) to prweekletters@haymarket.com

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