Posts filed under ‘Measurement’
Last week marked the first #measurepr Twitter chat, hosted by Shonali Burke and Katie Paine, two measurement gurus. I highly recommend looking out for the next chat because there were a lot of good ideas and thoughts, and you should read the chat transcript here.
During the chat, Shonali made a comment that really struck me. We were talking about measurement in public relations and how to improve our efforts. And Shonali had this to say:
“I think you have to get into a “measurement state of mind.” Always questioning.”
I could never have said this better myself. When you’re trying to start measuring in PR or otherwise, it’s important to fully immerse yourself and get into a measurement state of mind.
While I don’t want to be extreme and insist that you measure absolutely everything you do, I think it’s important to view everything you do with an analytical eye. As you begin each new campaign or program, one big focus should be not only what your goals are, but how you will measure those goals.
Measurement along the way and at the end are both equally important, and that’s why you should always be questioning. It should never been something you do at one stage in the process, measurement should be on your mind all the time.
This is something I find myself doing, almost to a fault. I know I must sound like a broken record when every time a new technology or tool emerges, my first thought is: and how will we measure that?
Whether or not it’s something that falls under your particular job description, I encourage you all to think about how you can incorporate measurement into your work every single day. As public relations continues to evolve, there will be a constant struggle to prove its worth, and not just to our own bosses anymore.
How will you show your value to your company, to your department? In what ways could you integrate measurement into your current daily routine?
In July, I switched my social media mindset to take on a more professional tone. At this time, I set some goals for myself and decided that I would track my own progress and growth. However, at the same time, I knew what my ideal results would be, and in hindsight, I let this affect how I measured. While it’s always important to understand your goals and ideal results, sometimes we get too focused on these and lose sight of the truth.
Think about it. When you measure, are you thinking of the true results or your end goals?
I am guilty of focusing too much on the end goal. During my first month of blogging and Tweeting, I measured myself based upon the number of followers I gained. During the next month, though, I focused more on the number of @replies I got on Twitter, that is, I focused on how many people were responding or talking to me. But why the change?
Simple. I had far more total @replies than increase in followers during my second month. Is this accurate? Technically, yes. But does it really show the whole picture? Does it honestly track my progress? Of course not.
It’s such an easy trap to fall into. It’s easy to track the metrics which paint the best picture instead of consistently using the same metrics to measure your real progress. Catering to true goals and date, not to results, it the key.
This is not to say that sometimes mid-way through a campaign or program you can’t change your metrics or focus. Sometimes we realize after getting started that there are metrics we hadn’t considered which are much better suited to our needs. In this case, switch! Just be sure to retroactively asses your entire progress and not just recent weeks.
As measurement is becoming thrust on more and more of us, I beg you to think about whether you are truly measuring what you mean to be? Or are you just looking for the results you want?