IPR roundtable finds meaurement firms showing market growth

NEW YORK: Fear is still a factor that influences a company's buy-in to measurement programs, according to some participants in a roundtable on the topic last week.

NEW YORK: Fear is still a factor that influences a company's buy-in to measurement programs, according to some participants in a roundtable on the topic last week.

But the companies offering these services are seeing the market growing and becoming more sophisticated.

For the transcript of the roundtable, click here.

"[Companies] are sometimes reluctant to move beyond just the amount of coverage measurement to the quality and the effect that it has on an audience," explained Annie Weber, VP of NOP World.

The discussion was the third in a series of four roundtables that PRWeek and the Institute for Public Relations have held on the topic of measurement, seeking to identify trends and ultimately to offer guidance on how best to implement and use measurement programs.

"There's a freedom to being off to the side," said Bruce Jeffries-Fox, president of Jeffries-Fox Associates. "If you want to be in the mainstream, you're going to have measurements, you're going to be stacked up against other people. If you say you just want to stay off to the side, you can do all the things that PR people love to do."

Accountability is inevitable as PR moves increasingly in sync with the rest of the marketing mix, said Rick Watrall, SVP of ImmediateFX. "There was a nervousness on the marketing side years ago. But whether they like it or not, they are going to be brought into it."

In spite of the latent fears of consumers, most participants agreed the market for measurement services is growing.

Mark Weiner, CEO of Delahaye Medialink, said that the business of offering measurement services is robust.

"I'm very optimistic," agreed You Mon Tsang, Biz360 CMO and founder. "There are more RFPs now than I've ever seen. Many try to tie back to business objectives and companies are much more sophisticated about the way they measure. They're very deliberate about it."

He added that the generation of PR professionals coming out of universities now is more analytical, generally, and less fearful of quantifying efforts.

Jack Serpa, VP with Bacon's, agreed that the trend is moving even further away from the clip book. "Kids coming out of college today aren't interested in glue stick," he said. "They're interested in analysis."

Other companies participating in the roundtable included Carma, David Michaelson & Co., PRtrak/SDI, Vocus, and Millward Brown Precis. A transcript of the roundtable is available here.

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