How to Break Up With Impressions: 4 Steps to Start Measuring What’s Really Valuable



Here’s a typical PR person’s dream sequence:

You: Impressions, we need to talk.

Impressions: The four worst words in any relationship.

You: That’s just it, this isn’t about relationships. I know we’ve been together for years, but I’ve come to realize that we are just not meant to be together. It’s not that I don’t want a relationship with metrics, I just don’t want a relationship with your metrics.

Impressions: I don’t understand why.

You: Let’s start with the fact that you’ve been misleading me for years, lying to me about how big you are, your power, and how far you can reach. You made me believe in things that weren’t true, and pursue strategies that were misguided. You let me down and even made me look like an idiot to the senior leadership team. Remember that time I reported that we earned 3.5 billion impressions in a quarter?  That is roughly the population of the planet. I haven't been invited back to the Senior Leaders Team meetings since. Now even the media keeps making fun of me. 

Impressions: Fine, if that’s what you want, good luck finding anyone better. You’ll be back... You’ll be back like all the rest who think they can live without me. But then they lose clients and don’t get budgets approved and end up on the streets, begging for me. I know all about your insecurities.

You: Ha! Fat chance. I’ve already found a better alternative… (Read on to find out what the alternatives are.)

Impressions and AVEs have been the bad boy (or girl) friends of the PR industry for years. We all know they’re not good for us, and that they abuse the integrity of our profession. But for years we’ve returned to them over and over again, no matter how many times they lie to us and make us look stupid.

How to Break the Impressions Habit in 4 Easy Steps

But just as there are a myriad of books to help all of us get over our bad relationships, today there are a ton of tools and techniques to help us get beyond counting impressions and column inches. Here are 4 steps to help you move on to better metrics – the ones you’ll want to spend the rest of your life with.

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About Author

Katie Paine

I've been called The Queen Of Measurement, but I prefer Seshat, the Goddess.