Necessary changes in behavior: The Measurement Panel

Strong metrics should empower PR to impact consumer activity and business' bottom line. As underscored by the industry leaders who joined Gideon Fidelzeid in New York City for this BurrellesLuce-hosted panel, it all starts with communicators rethinking how and - perhaps more importantly - why they measure.

Participants

-Johna Burke, EVP, BurrellesLuce
-Andrew Bowins, VP, corporate reputation, Samsung
-Allyson Hugely, President, measurement and analytics, Weber Shandwick
-Tina McCorkindale, President, Institute for Public Relations (IPR)

What are some of the most common measurement mistakes PR pros make? How can measurement most effectively inform content decisions? For the answers, see the following highlights from the panel discussion. 

Measurement landmines to avoid

Burke (BurrellesLuce): "From an analysis standpoint, so many people are just taking information from Big Data – and that’s important. However, the things that really make people take action are headlines and graphics. You have to bridge the gap between Big Data and the other elements that you know will cause action."
McCorkindale (IPR): "We are still having a lot of the same conversations about what to do, how do we measure, and how we prove our value. That’s the wrong conversation to have, just as it is wrong to simply plug in a valuation or measurement at the beginning or end of a campaign without doing so throughout the process."
Bowins (Samsung): "From an analysis standpoint, so many people are just taking information from Big Data – and that’s important. However, the things that really make people take action are headlines and graphics. You have to bridge the gap between Big Data and the other elements that you know will cause action."
Hugely (Weber Shandwick): "Measurement is too often seen as the endgame. We’ve tabulated the data, packaged a PowerPoint, and our job is done. No. Measurement should never end. We need to position data as a tool to reinforce and create more sustainable, valuable relationships with our clients."

Informing content decisions

Bowins (Samsung): "When you ponder content, go back to the basics. Who is the audience we care about? What message do we want advocated? Are we creating content that reflects we listened to them, understand them, and can measure the effective action that comes from it."

Hugely (Weber Shandwick): "The concept of "explore and exploit" is also very relevant. We are doing a lot more testing of content. Social posts. Headlines on newsletters and email distributions. Images. Everything. And it’s all in an effort to not only pull them in, but also to evaluate the stickiness of content – how long they are staying with it."

McCorkindale (IPR): "Too many brands are doing content for content’s sake without stopping to ask why they are doing it. I see brand posts and it just feels like a parent trying to be cool with the kids. It’s often inauthentic and has nothing to do with the brand’s purpose."

Burke (Burrellesluce): "Big numbers are not always what tells the story. A piece of content you create can have 3 million hits. But who cares? Do you have the 72 hits you really need to adjust opinions? Are you targeting properly to get that critical mass moving? Those are the questions to ask and the results to measure."

Go here for an extended version of this panel discussion, including a deep discussion on why correlating social and traditional media monitoring is so vital, as well as advice on developing insights for those just starting their measurement journey.

Pinpointing the value of a good reputation

Prior to the BurrellesLuce-hosted panel, Catherine Blades, SVP of corporate communications at Aflac, delivered a keynote in which she detailed how the iconic insurance company’s comms team has cemented its value to the C-suite by using data and analytics to tangibly prove reputation’s bottom-line impact. Below are some highlights:

More than trend identification
"Data can be reviewed to not only identify trends, but also hone in on the most important dimensions and attributes that will influence behaviors that mean most to your business."

What to focus on – and not focus on
"You need to focus outreach on what will give [your brand] the most lift and not on dimensions that won’t. That is a philosophy any brand can and should follow."

An ongoing exercise
"You must constantly collect new data. We do it monthly and then I look at it all quarterly to see what messages are sticking, what messages are moving the needle.""

There are seven key dimensions and 23 specific attributes that, if measured effectively, can truly help any brand understand its reputation and build effective comms strategies. This is just a sampling of the detailed data Blades shared with the live audience. Go here for extended coverage of her keynote comments.

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