Whenever I see the names Julie O’Neil, of Texas Christian University, Emily S. Kinsky, of West Texas A&M, and Michelle Ewing, of Kent State, I know there is going to be some interesting research to follow. And so it was at the recent 25th Annual International Public Relations Research Conference. They conducted 29 in-depth interviews with senior practitioners who have experience working with data analytics. (See “Insights from PR Leaders: Navigating Obstacles, Leveraging Opportunities, and Leading Teams to Capitalize on Data and Analytics.”)
Wait—what? There are 29 PR people with data experience? They automatically become our Measurement Mavens of the Month!
The responses that O’Neil, Kinsky, and Ewing elicited from these 29 Mavens were quite revealing as to the value of data analytics. And they provide an important lesson for PR people just starting out in their careers. “Numbers and analytics are almost always the surest path to leadership,” for one example.
These respondents believe that using data and analytics help prepare them for a crisis, assist in mitigating risk, and give people more of what is really useful to them. “At the end of the day, we are in the business of leveraging insights to inform the future.” That’s measurement in a nutshell right there.
I, of course, loved this paper because so many of the responses, insights, and suggestions are ones I’ve been advocating for decades. Such as breaking down data silos to “look at the data holistically.”
And, as we’ve suggested for years (and I used to do in my company, many years ago), they recommend celebrating a “Mistake of the Month” or “Biggest Flop Award“ to encourage thinking differently about problems. (Read more at “7 Ways to Build Your Organization’s Communications Measurement Culture.”)
For their insights and recommendations, we name the 29 PR people from the O’Neil, Kinsky, and Ewing research our Measurement Mavens of the Month. Congrats! ∞