10 Public Relations Measurement New Year’s Resolutions for 2015

I love the smell of possibility in the morning

A year ago, I put together a list of resolutions that PR people should make if they want to succeed. They were so popular back then that here they are again, revised just a bit for 2015. So for all of you who want a raise, a promotion, or maybe just to keep your job, here are some resolutions for the coming year:

#1. I will breakup with vanity metrics.

I will understand the business implications of what I do. Any measure of my performance or the performance of any of the programs I’ve been part of will be based on the effect that my programs have had on the business. I will use no data that doesn’t reflect a business value. (This means no “pins,” “likes,” “follows,” or “impressions” unless they contribute to the organization’s mission or goals.) This also means that I will say “No” to clients who insist on AVEs, and will reject any vendor who offers them.

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#2. I will go on a business-relevant-only diet.

I will look at all the data I am currently collecting and force rank every metric based on whether it reflects a business value. I will ignore all but the top 5 or 10 metrics.

#3. I will exercise the right side of my brain.

I understand that in order to ensure that my work is properly measured I have to understand statistics. I will either take a course in statistics or at the very least will learn how to use the data analysis function in Excel.

I will also learn to love Google Analytics, customize it to reflect my goals, and make better informed decisions from the information it provides me. (Learn how here: “How to Set Up Measurement Goals in Google Analytics.”)

#4. I will make better decisions — based on data, not gut instincts or internal politics.

To make my department more effective and efficient, I will chose and/or assign projects based on data and past performance. I will say “No” to any project that does not include a relevant business-driven measurement methodology.

#5. I will measure “influence” carefully and with respect to my market.

I will not be mislead by all the various quick fix numbers out there that purport to measure an author’s or outlet’s overall influence. I understand that a person or outlet that is influential in one market may be irrelevant to mine. I will therefore use market research data and network mapping tools to understand what is truly influencing the habits and actions of my stakeholders.

#6. I will play better with others.

I understand that I need to work cooperatively with research and marketing to get the answers and the data I need. Therefore I will regularly take my colleagues in marketing, research, and analytics to lunch. I will bring them coffee and warm, fresh-baked cookies whenever they help me out, because I understand that these experts are the key to my being able to measure my results in relevant, meaningful, and actionable ways.

#7. I will obey the rules and ensure that my program is in compliance with current industry standards.

I will adhere to the Barcelona Principles by ridding my measurement program of AVEs and including social media metrics. I will sign the pledge to support current standards and will strive to bring my program into compliance by the end of 2015.

#8. I will listen to the data and treat it with respect.

When my boss or client ask for something, but the data tells me that it won’t work, I will use that data to demonstrate that what they’re suggesting is going to backfire. I will not put my company or personal reputation in jeopardy for lack of data. I will not massage or manipulate data to make myself or my boss look good. I will report what the data say, not what I want or wish it would say.

#9. I will consume no more pie.

When I present my results I will show trends over time to tell a good story with the data. I will eliminate pie charts from my presentations because they cannot show trends, and thus will not help me improve my programs.

#10. I will ask “So What?” at least three times.

When presented with data, or when looking at my own data, I will dig deeper into that data by asking “So what?” again and again until I divine its business implications. ∞

 Thanks to Charliecurve.com for the image.

About Author

Katie Paine

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