I wanted to call this issue “How Technology will F__K up your life” but our editor Bill Paarlberg vetoed that idea, but essentially we all know that technological change is coming and very few look forward to it.  So we devoted this whole issue to that topic.

WAIT, stick with us for a minute. Yes, technology can sometimes be complicated, stressful, and threatening. You might rather read about better ways to perform your own colonoscopy than a whole bunch of stuff about tech and communications. But we are here to make the intersection of tech and measurement a bit clearer and more comfortable for you.

What will new technology be throwing at you, and how can you best adapt and take advantage of it? This issue is about more than just the next cool new measurement system. We look at big picture technology trends that will shape the way you do measurement in the future.

A glance through the past month or two of emails reveals a torrent of dire warnings about how technology is going to destroy/change/upend/disrupt (pick your own verb of the week) the business of communications. But before you get even more anxious, remember that tech has already disrupted comms. Who’d have thought a decade ago that the President would replace press briefings with Tweets? Yes, technology is changing things, but that’s nothing new; we’ve been living it for years.

Technology: will it help you measure?

At least once a week I get a request from someone about how they want to junk their traditional media reports and replace them with something that “shows their value.” Well, of course. The reality is that the usual clip books and lists of articles “placed” not only have no value, they position whoever is producing them as the quintessential dinosaur. But even all those “new” metrics that your monitoring platforms are spewing out have little or no meaning. Sooner or later someone is going to question the value of all those likes, impressions, and followers.

The folks in the sales, marketing, and/or development department now have access to reams of customer behavior data that inform their every move. So, senior leadership can’t fathom why the “earned” media side of the house isn’t making similarly data-informed decisions. No wonder you are having a hard time getting your budget approved.

Don’t get us wrong, this issue isn’t about how technology is going to solve all your problems. Technology is a tool and, we hope, a means to an end. That end is showing value and making better informed decisions about what to invest in and what to say no to. No amount of shiny new metrics is going to tell you that without human insight and analysis. What we hope you get out of this issue is how to cope with these new technologies, and how to use them to get to that that holy grail of “value.” Technology is only useful to the extent that it helps you do that.

In this issue

Although we probably can’t give you a nice tidy little answer to your measurement tech problem, or fix your tech anxiety, we can definitely help. In this issue, we’ll talk about:

We hope you enjoy this month’s issue.

Thanks for the image to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on flickr.

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