Your September 2021 Communications Measurement Reading List

An image of newspapers to illustrate the concept of a communications measurement reading list.

It’s been a busy summer of great things to read in the world of communications measurement. Here is your measurement reading list, composed of the most interesting recent items we’ve come across:


Corporate America’s $50 billion promise
The Washington Post
“A Post analysis of racial justice pledges after George Floyd’s death reveals the limits of corporate power to effect change.”

2020 Race and Ethnicity in Public Relations and Communications Benchmark Report
Diversity Action Alliance
“…100+ strategic communications organizations in the U.S. contributed their raw race and ethnicity data, creating a starting point by which we will measure our progress collectively year over year.” Says Katie Paine, “It’s a damming report on the industry that shows its basically all white.”

Diversity Calendar 2022
Diversity Resources
A year-long diversity and inclusion calendar for 2022, with a list of religious holidays and monthly diversity program themes.


Dissecting the Root of Vaccine Misinformation on Pinterest: Examining Anti-Vaccine Organizations’ Conflict Strategies and Risk Communication
Jeanine Guidry, Sungsu Kim, Michael Cacciatore, Yan Jin, Marcus Messner, and Caroline Orr of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia. Presented at the International Public Relations Research Conference, 2016
Interesting insights for our present pandemic situation. This paper won the 2016 International Aberje Award.

The ‘woke’ Olympians did just fine this year
The Washington Post
“Early in the Olympics, a narrative began forming in some portions of the political right. …The athletes were too focused on being “woke” and not focused enough on winning.” Events proved this narrative false.

Facebook sent a ton of traffic to a Chicago Tribune story. So why is everyone mad at them?
Nieman Lab
“Because that story was a hit among anti-vaxxers — showing you don’t have to be a “fake news” outfit to put public health at risk.”


Berky’s Marketing English: A Quaint Compendium of Meaning for the Modern Marketer
David Berkowitz
Very humorous. From the introduction: “The first entry was ‘Impressions,’ and I started defining it as ‘a metric that never determines if a unit of advertising made an impression on someone.’ This is not how marketing guides are written, so I kept writing.”


When Graphs Are a Matter of Life and Death
The New Yorker
“Pie charts and scatter plots seem like ordinary tools, but they revolutionized the way we solve problems.”

Industry news

AMEC Launches PR Planning Resources
“The new guidelines and materials underline the growing importance of strategic campaign planning for the communications industry.”

The ultimate guide to the public relations industry, from pay and hiring to growth areas
“…resources to guide people looking to learn about the industry, grow their existing PR businesses, or break into the field.”


The Profitability Of Trust
MediaPost MediaInsider
“…a business will be trustworthy as long as fits its financial interest to be trustworthy. But what happens when those two things come into conflict, as they inevitably will?”

For Leaders, Empathy Is Everything
MediaPost The Marketing Insider
“Empathy is a very important trait for business leaders to exhibit, but it’s particularly critical during a crisis. And, ironically, this might be the most difficult time for them to do so.”


Time For Another Rant: Dear Digital D2C Marketers
Maarten Albarda at MediaPost
“You should be able to link what I have bought or accessed in your universe with what you are offering, pandering and dangling in front of me. Yes, you, airline that offers me destination emails to places I have just booked. And you, hotel chain, offering me reminder emails to complete bookings that I have already completed on your website. And you, home improvement store, sending me emails wondering if I still want those items that have already been delivered to my home.”

Marketers And Funnel Vision
MediaPost MediaInsider
“We don’t live in a world of funnels. We live in a world that’s a maze of diverse and complex potential paths. At each intersection we reach, we have to make choices. For a marketer, that seems like a daunting thing to analyze. The funnel model simplifies our job by relying on successful conversions as the gold standard and working backwards from there. By relying on a model of a funnel, we can only examine ‘the road taken’ and try to optimize the hell out of it. We never consider the ‘road not taken.’ ” ∞

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.