What Is the Future?

The Paine of Measurement, October 2021

What is the Future?

The simple answer is: “Who the hell knows?”

The more complete answer is much more complex and interesting. And part of our job here at The Measurement Advisor.

A month or so ago, we were looking forward to welcoming folks to Shankhassick Farm for our annual Summit on the Future of Communications Measurement. Many of us were making plans to head to Orlando for PRSA Icon. And I was trying to figure out what kind of shoes wouldn’t kill me after an 8-hour in-person seminar. Andrew Cuomo was still governor of New York, and you could still buy Ivermectin at the local Agway.

The only thing certain is change…

Clearly, social and political developments are interfering with every aspect of our lives. How and what we measure is no exception.

All communication plans are supposed to start with an objective and include a time-frame as well as action steps. But how do you make a plan when your objectives change overnight? One day it’s “Book as many in-person meetings and interviews as possible at the XYZ show.” The next it becomes “Drive as much traffic as possible to our website.”   

And what about internal communications professionals? They are tasked with communicating the new rules and norms for “going back into the building,” yet face constantly changing plans, never mind the in-again out-again nature of school these days. The future these days is essentially unknowable and unpredictable.

As all this upheaval plays out in the marketplace, we in communications are still being asked to “prove ROI,” “measure results,” and “show value.” Even though the objectives, strategies, and definition of value are changing all around us.

… but this issue of The Measurement Advisor will help you with that.

The good news is that there are some goals and objectives that won’t change, at least not in the next year or so.

The need for more diversity will only increase, and the shortage of talent will be with us for a while. As a result, on many measurement dashboards, communications are measured as much on recruitment, retention, and talent acquisition as they used to be on “reach” and hits.”  Which is why we are providing some stark benchmarks for diversity in our industry, thanks to the Diversity Action Alliance. It’s not pretty. Read “The State of PR Industry Diversity: A Long Way to Go.”

As a result of “The Great Quit” and the talent shortage, internal communications is more important now than ever. So, don’t miss the new update of one of our most popular articles: “Our 13 Best Articles on How to Measure Internal Communications.”

And if you thought corporate communications was the only discipline in a state of flux, take a gander at advertising. One of the broadcast industry’s most enduring metrics, the Nielsen ratings, may be on life support. Thanks to the explosion in streaming services and the switch to watching “television” on anything but a television, the basic metric of TV measurement is under fire from all sides. We explain the kerfuffle. Read “Nielsen vs. the MRC.”

To help you navigate all this, measurement legend Mark Weiner has a new book out. You can read Katie Paine’s review here: “Book Review: “PR Technology, Data and Insights—Igniting a Positive Return on Your Communications Investment” by Mark Weiner.

As always, we bring you

As you can imagine, we will be stuck with COVID polarization and disinformation for at least the 2022 planning cycle. All of which makes trying to figure out the future of measurement both critical and challenging. Meaning that this year’s Summit on the Future of Communications Measurement is one you won’t want to miss. Our speakers, sponsors and attendees are clearly up for the job, and it will be interesting to see where the conversations go. It’s not too late to join us: Use the coupon code “TMA” and get $75 off when you register!

Measure on,

Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash.

About Author

Katie Paine

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