I had a very proper friend who whenever she got really frustrated with someone always whining about something, but never doing it would politely ask them to “please defecate or decommode.” That’s what I feel the PR and Social Media folks need to do. They’ve been talking about needing standards for measuring PR and Social Media for as long as there has been PR and Social Media. So why, now that we have standards in place, aren’t they widely adopted?  Mostly, I’m guessing it’s because some people don’t want to change the way they’ve “always done things,”  but part of the blame goes on the shoulders of those of us who have a good job of writing standards and getting them approved, but a lousy job of getting the word out.

That all ends today.

Those of us who are part of The Conclave for Social Media Measurement Standards and The Coalition have set as a goal to increase by seven-fold the number of organizations who have publicly pledged to support the standards. (Okay, at the moment there are only 15 and the goal is 100, but as they say numbers are like political prisoners — torture them long enough and they’ll say anything.)

I’ll let this letter from David Geddes who chairs the Coalition for PR Research Standards speak for the PR measurement side of the standards effort speak for itself:

Dear Colleague:

There has been considerable interest in and demand for voluntary research and measurement standards in public relations. Several professional organizations have created the Coalition for Public Relations Research Standards (CPRSS): the Council of Public Relations Firms, the Global Alliance, the Institute for Public Relations, the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communications, the Public Relations Society of America, and the Social Media Measurement Standards Conclave. More recently, the Associação Brasileira de Comunicação Empresarial (ABERJE) has joined the Coalition.

Thus far, coalition-supported teams have developed voluntary standards in areas ranging from traditional media and social media measurement to the communications lifecycle, return on investment, and research and measurement ethics.  The current versions of these standards can be found online at

Four major corporations – General Electric, General Motors, McDonald’s USA, and Southwest Airlines – have joined our customer panel, endorsed the initial set of standards, and begun deploying these internally and in their relationships with agencies and research firms. According to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the marketplace drives the development and adoption of voluntary standards, and that has been our approach.

Now that we have a number of standards in place, we are inviting more clients, public relations agencies, research providers, professional associations, and universities that teach PR research for professionals to support and implement the standards.  We also hope you will begin using the attached compliance statements in RFPs for research services that you may issue and research reports that you may produce.  Of course, we want you to participate in the further development of a broad platform of public relations research standards.

But at this point, we are not asking for anything beyond your commitment to the standards and permission to add your organization to the growing list of such names.  You can reply by any convenient means, traditional or digital, or go here to sign on.

Thank you for considering it.  We look forward to your reply.

David Geddes
Chair, Coalition for Public Relations Research Standards

Speaking as the “Chief Cat Herder” of the Conclave, I can only say “ditto” for social media standards. I’ve put together all the standards documents here including sample statements for including in RFPs and Research Reports.

So please, read all about it, then take the pledge today!



Recent Posts
  • Alex

    Excellent. I’d like to see a hashtag created for these kinds of issues: #elevatePR

    I’ve added you to a Twitter list of people who care about elevating PR