January 3, 2012
Jessica, a promising new assistant account executive with our firm, requested a meeting due to an “emergency client issue.”
She said that she didn’t understand what went wrong.
“We had this incredible launch of the new Loved Ones Alarm Clock. Jon Bon Jovi played. There were 80 journalists at the party,” she said. “After it was over, I did a media analysis that showed we had gotten 500 hits and 10 million impressions, worth at least $20 million in Advertising Value Equivalents (AVEs). I sent the report to the client. He said that he had just gotten back from a big measurement meeting in Barcelona, had taken a look at the media analysis, and told me if he ever saw something like this again, we would lose the account. What went wrong?”
I asked what she was trying to do with the launch.
“We wanted to throw a great party to get journalists there and create buzz.”
“The client didn’t hire you to throw a great party, Jessica. They hired you to make people aware of this new alarm clock, generate sales and make sure that consumers know the special features of this product. And, when you say ‘buzz,’ do you mean the sound the alarm clock makes?”
This exchange happens often between measurement people and account people.
Jessica went to a great school for communications and she learned about measurement and setting goals. But she and many practitioners decide that cool ideas and press coverage matter more than that boring goal-setting and measurement stuff.
That’s not the case.
There are four simple things you can do to ensure a satisfied client or boss when it comes to measurement:
There is a lot more to discuss about furthering measurement in your own organization and what market analytics mean. We started this column to answer your measurement questions. Please send them, or comments about things you read in this column, to AskDocRock@prsa.org. Each month we will pick one or two of them to answer here.
We’ll also follow the travails of Jessica as her career grows. Along the way, we’ll meet a cast of characters who will teach Jessica about surveys, social media measurement and other challenges that face PR practitioners every day.
David B. Rockland, Ph.D., is partner/CEO and managing director for the research and change communications businesses at Ketchum. He has held leadership positions in corporate communications and research throughout his career, with extensive global experience in both fields. Email: AskDocRock@prsa.org
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