Researchers believe 'tree' can help PR pros choose a measurementsystem

GAINESVILLE, FL: A group of researchers has devised what it says is

a graphical method PR people can use to select a measure of campaign

effectiveness.



Jack Felton, president and CEO of the Institute for Public Relations

(IPR), said he felt a problem in trying to measure PR is a lack of

common practices. So to pit like against like, IPR members designed the

Measurement Tree. "If we have everyone working in one pattern, we will

have enough commonalities to determine how well we're doing," said

Felton.



Explaining the need for the Measurement Tree concept, Felton added,

"Because there is no one yardstick, template, or temperature gauge that

fits the many different kinds of programs PR practitioners do, the

Measurement Tree concept offers a pictorialized way to answer, 'What

happened, and how effective was it?'"



The tree encourages users to measure certain types of PR campaigns in

certain ways, with the idea that if enough standardize their

measurement, results may be effectively compared and measured.



Gary Getto, EVP at Surveillance Data market analytics company, praised

Felton's process, but questioned the accuracy of the product's name.



"It doesn't sound like measuring; it sounds like a process that creates

a program that checks goals and determines if they have been met," said

Getto, who added that the Measurement Tree did, however, sound like a

useful tool to help practitioners craft campaigns.



Felton agreed, saying one use for the Measurement Tree is as a

campaign-creation tool.



"We're trying to make better-planned programs," said Felton. "A lot of

PR people get a great idea and fly by the seat of their pants. Sometimes

they're successful, but if you're trying to plan a long-range plan, you

need a better plan and structure."



One of the designers of the Measurement Tree, Katharine Paine of

research firm Delahaye Medialink, said the Measurement Tree is just one

step in a long process.



"We haven't found the magic bullet for measuring PR, but the Measurement

Tree allows us to use systems that get us closer to the goal of defining

and charting effectiveness than we have ever been able to before,"

explained Paine, who is chair of the IPR's measurement commission.



The Measurement Tree can be accessed online at

www.instituteforpr.com/measurement_tree.phtml.



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