Your April 2021 Communications Measurement Reading List

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There is always too much communications measurement reading. Here is the best of what we’ve read recently:

Industry News

Meltwater announces agreement to acquire leading social media intelligence company Linkfluence for 50 million euro in a combination of cash, equity, and earn-out
“Meltwater B.V., a leading global provider of media intelligence and social analytics, has entered into an agreement under which it is committed to acquire Linkfluence, a French SaaS company using artificial intelligence to algorithmically mine social media for consumer insights. The Linkfluence acquisition would be Meltwater’s ninth since 2016…”

Cision may be looking to spin off PR Newswire, report says
Seeking Alpha
“Cision, which owns PR Newswire, is reportedly looking to spin off the press release service, one of the main competitors to Berkshire Hathaway’s Business Wire.”

Measurement all around

Is This Thing On? Considering the Value and Measurement of PR
The Toy Book
In praise of a holistic approach to PR and measurement.

The official Girl Scout cookie power rankings
Los Angeles Times
“Welcome to the conclusive, unassailable and 100% correct Girl Scout Cookie Power Rankings. I have pored and pondered over these delicious snacks, and have rated them by 1) taste (at room temperature) and 2) taste when they’re right out of the freezer.”

How to do measurement

The Communicator’s Guide to Research, Analysis, and Evaluation
The Institute for Public Relations
“…A five-step cyclical process based on the core components of communication research, analysis, and evaluation serves as the cornerstone of this report.”

How to Measure SEO Performance With Google Analytics in WordPress
“…not many people use Analytics to its full potential. Mainly because finding the right information and extracting useful insights can be tricky, especially for beginners.”

How to Measure Authenticity Online & Protect Brand Trust
Yonder explained (via email): “Yonder’s Authenticity metric measures where a conversation sits on the spectrum from “one person, one voice” (high authenticity) to spammy behavior (low authenticity). The primary component to this metric examines the distribution of posts among users: Is it equally distributed, does it follow a natural slope from high- to low-passion users, or is it dominated by a small number of accounts spamming the conversation?” Katie Paine’s take: “Although it is not based on academic research, it’s not a bad formula and not a bad thing to pay attention to—just may not do what you think it does.”  

Real news about fake news

Why Is All COVID-19 News Bad News?
National Bureau of Economic Research
Sacerdote, Sehgal & Cook: “We analyze the tone of COVID-19 related English-language news articles written since January 1, 2020. Ninety one percent of stories by U.S. major media outlets are negative in tone versus fifty four percent for non-U.S. major sources and sixty five percent for scientific journals.”

Why do Americans share so much fake news? One big reason is they aren’t paying attention, new research suggests
The Journalists Resource
“Lack of attention was the driving factor behind 51.2% of misinformation sharing among social media users who participated in an experiment… The results of a second, related experiment indicate a simple intervention — prompting social media users to think about news accuracy before posting and interacting with content — might help limit the spread of online misinformation.”

Seeing Isn’t Believing: The Fact Checker’s guide to manipulated video
The Washington Post
“The Fact Checker set out to develop a universal language to label manipulated video and hold creators and sharers of this misinformation accountable.”

Massive Facebook study on users’ doubt in vaccines finds a small group appears to play a big role in pushing the skepticism
The Washington Post
“Facebook is conducting a vast behind-the-scenes study of doubts expressed by U.S. users about vaccines, a major project that attempts to probe and teach software to identify the medical attitudes of millions of Americans… Its early findings suggest that a large amount of content that does not break the rules may be causing harm…”

Your partisan filter bubble is now following you around in the real world
Fast Company
“Not only do Democrats and Republicans segregate themselves online—Harvard researchers find they do so in the real world too.”

Data, always more data

What Data Can’t Do
The New Yorker
“Whenever you try to force the real world to do something that can be counted, unintended consequences abound.”

The Axios Harris Poll: 2020 Corporate Reputation Rankings
The Harris Poll COVID-19 Tracker
The Harris Poll
A lot of useful information.

Is the ’Gram Doing It For You?
Trust Insights
“In this presentation from the Agorapulse Instagram Summit, Trust Insights Chief Data Scientist Christopher Penn digs into what’s working on Instagram in one of the largest datasets on the subject.”

Why, yes, polls do still work

Politics Podcast: The Gold Standard For Polling Has Changed
“In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, editor in chief Nate Silver talks to Galen Druke about why the gold standard of polling has changed and what this means going forward. With the benefit of hindsight (and updated pollster ratings), they also assess how polls performed in 2019 and 2020 in general.”

Why Polling On The Issues Probably Isn’t As Broken As Horse-Race Polling
“…here are the big things you should keep in mind when looking at public opinion polling in 2021 and beyond.”

What 2020’s Election Poll Errors Tell Us About the Accuracy of Issue Polling
Pew Research Center
“…what is the relevance of election polling’s problems in 2020 for the rest of what public opinion polling attempts to do? Given the errors in 2016 and 2020, how much should we trust polls that attempt to measure opinions on issues?” ∞

Photo by Susan Q Yin on Unsplash.

About Author

Bill Paarlberg

Bill Paarlberg is the Editor of The Measurement Advisor. He has been editing and writing about measurement for over 20 years. He was the development and copy editor for "Measuring the Networked Nonprofit" by Beth Kanter and Katie Paine, winner of the 2013 Terry McAdam Book Award.