Groups unveil measurement standards draft

GAINESVILLE, FL: The Coalition for Public Relations Research Standards has released interim principles for PR measurement and research.

GAINESVILLE, FL: The Coalition for Public Relations Research Standards has released interim principles for PR measurement and research.  

The proposed guidelines consist of three parts: a paper from the Institute for Public Relations' measurement commission on how to calculate traditional media impact; a second document from the commission about ethical guidelines for PR research and measurement; and a set of standards for social media measurement that was presented at the fourth AMEC European Summit on Measurement in Dublin, Ireland, this week.

The coalition will post the standards on IPR's website and seek feedback from the industry in coming months before revising them. The goal is to deliver an updated set of guidelines by the fourth quarter of this year, said David Geddes, chair of IPR's measurement commission and leader of the coalition.

The group is also putting together a panel of six corporate leaders to provide feedback. General Motors' head of communications research Jackie Matthews and McDonald's external communications manager Molly McKenna Jandrain have joined the committee.

“It's a long process for standards to be developed and tested,” Geddes said. “But we'll build greater credibility for PR.”

IPR created the coalition to develop measurement standards in February. Partnering organizations include AMEC, the Council of PR Firms, the Public Relations Society of America, and the Global Alliance for PR and Communication Management. The group's ultimate goal is to create a framework that can be applied across PR activities.

The coalition first formed a steering committee, which met in March to set priority areas where standards needed to be developed. Next, it convened working groups, comprised of people from across the industry, to develop the first draft of standards.

The biggest challenge for the industry will be developing guidelines for ROI, Geddes said.

“It's a much more unwieldy area,” he said.

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