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Measuring Social Media

Amis, Rod.“You Can’t Ignore Social Media: How to Measure Internet Efforts to Your Organization’s Best Advantage,” Public Relations Tactics, May 2007.

The Internet affects the impressions of customers with as much impact as television and more impact than newspapers. The challenge for the early champions of Web 2.0 modalities in the enterprise is to address how to measure Internet efforts.

Paine, Katie. “How to Measure Social Media Relations: The More Things Change, the More They Remain the Same,” Institute for Public Relations, 2007.

The normal maxim for measurement is: If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. The problem with measuring blogs is not how to do it, but rather that the nature of blogs renders management impossible. That’s not to say that they can’t be influenced, just that it takes a new approach. The old command and control, top down message delivery is no longer an option. Dr. James Grunig’s Excellence Model of two-way synchronous communications is the rule of the day. Consumers can now choose to accept or reject your messages, depending on whether they find them useful, interesting or relevant. And they’ll be more than happy to tell you what they like and don’t like.

Vargas, Lauren. “True Tales From the Social Media Measurement Trenches,” comPRehension, October 28, 2008.

Takeaways from the PRSA 2008 International Conference panel, instructed by Katie Delahaye Paine and Shonali Burke, include information on measuring outputs, out takes and outcomes and suggestions on what your measurement dashboard should include. [Includes links to a handout of the presentation.]

Huyse, Kami W. “Breakout: New Media, New Metrics,” comPRehension, October 21, 2007.

Coverage of a Katie Delahaye Paine panel at the PRSA 2007 International Conference includes a list of must-have metrics for social media and a seven-step social media measurement system. The blog posting links to an online edition of Paine’s book, “Measuring Public Relationships.”

Southwest Airlines, with SEO-PR. “You Are Now Free to Link Public Relations and Sales,” Institute for Public Relations, 2005.

Relevant and recent press releases from companies, along with articles from thousands of traditional and nontraditional news sources, are found when consumers search the Internet for news. Over a 15-month period, Southwest Airlines was able to generate an estimated $2.5 million in ticket sales by using press releases optimized for major news search engines by SEO-PR. This case study illustrates ways to optimize your press releases and track their performance.

Bernstein, Andrew.“Monitoring and Measuring Digital Influence,” Public Relations Tactics, January 2005.

Creating and managing influence is the ultimate corporate marketing goal. As marketing professionals, our focus is often on how to create trust and credibility that result in a positive corporate reputation. Digital influence is the latest buzzword to describe the next generation of using unsolicited or seemingly unsolicited media to create credibility, sustain brand strength and promote awareness. Yet, this is not anything revolutionary, but rather a natural extension of media into more open, often unmediated forums and shared opinions.

Guiniven, John.“Are Changes in Store for Measurement, Clip Books?” Public Relations Tactics, February 2006.

How to measure coverage of blogs in clip books is still being determined. Because the credibility of the owner and makeup of the audience are known, measurement methods don’t vary between, say, the regular edition of the newspaper and its blog. For non-mainstream, nonaffiliated blogs and podcasts, the situation is murkier.

Lurie, Ian.“Schroedinger’s Kitten: Public Relations in the Online World,” Public Relations Tactics, May 2001.

Many traditional and businesses looking to promote a new website view the use of public relations as a last resort. Lurie discusses the use of the Internet to quantify results of online public relations in an effort to build a stronger case for using public relations in all media.

Paine, Katie. “Measures of Success for Cyberspace,” Institute for Public Relations, 2002.

How do you measure the effectiveness of your Web public relations efforts? Essentially the same way you’d measure any other marketing efforts. The first, and most difficult, question each Internet marketer needs to ask is: What do you hope to accomplish with your Web efforts? There are at least three major categories of purpose that are critical for public relations and covered by this paper: proactive publicity, reactive crisis management and relationship building.

Jeffries-Fox, Bruce. “A Primer in Internet Audience Measurement,” Institute for Public Relations, 2004.

While the Internet certainly does have characteristics setting it apart from traditional media — most notably its interactivity — it is really no different from other media when it comes to the basic criteria we use to judge the importance of news outlets. After reading this paper you will be able to evaluate the offerings of the various commercial services that have begun providing data on Internet audiences. You will understand the jargon and how Internet measurement terms relate to the traditional media measurement terms that you probably already know. Armed with this knowledge, you will be able to make a first cut at determining which sites to monitor and analyze.

Nail, Jim.“Media Measurement and Analysis in the Computer Generated Media Age,” Public Relations Tactics, August 2006.

Monitoring media coverage is key to understanding if your message is getting out there, but until now it has been difficult, expensive and slow to measure whether your target audience reads and accepts those messages. Blogs are the easiest type of consumer-generated media to find and monitor; you can get started in a couple of hours with a number of free, easy and accessible online tools. This article includes a listing of weblog search tools and RSS readers.

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