Standards are key to measure the effectiveness of any aspect of your online marketing, including public relations. Below are two sets of standards in the industry, AMEC and PRSA). Personally, I believe that PR professionals should also be adopting organic search metrics as well, combining both organic and social presence into a single share of voice with respect to their competitors.
The Barcelona Declaration of Public Relations Measurement Principles
The Barcelona Principles were established in 2010 at the 2nd European Summit on Measurement, organized by the AMEC, the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communications.
- Importance of goal setting and measurement
- Measuring the effect on outcomes is preferred to measuring outputs
- The effect on business results can and should be measured where possible
- Media measurement requires quantity and quality
- Advertising value equivalencies are not the value of public relations
- Social media can and should be measured
- Transparency and replicability are paramoun to sound measurement
Public Relations Society of America Standard Metrics (PRSA)
- Engagement – measures the total number of people who engaged with an item (via likes, comments, shares, views, etc)
- Impressions – measures how many people may have viewed an item
- Items – measures any content that originally appears as digital media
- Mentions – measures how many items reference a brand, organization, product, etc
- Reach – measures how many people may have been able to view an item
The topic of measurement is an ongoing debate within the industry and academia, and is a key theme within George Washington University’s Strategic Public Relations master’s program curriculum. While the guidelines outlined by recognized authorities provides a general structure for identifying WHAT to measure, the industry has yet to establish a clear standard for HOW we interpret and quantify these measurements to determine effect and ROI. One theme has become clear, however: measurement is getting more refined, and audience engagement and response carries the most weight.