June 14, 2012
PR Measurement Standards Beginning to Measure Up: Coalition for Public Relations Research Standards Formed as Major New Steps Are Revealed Toward Traditional and Social Media Measurement, Analysis and Ethics
Three major steps toward standards for public relations research and measurement were unveiled this week, addressing traditional media analysis, ethics and social media measurement. The Coalition for Public Relations Research Standards will seek additional industry input on the proposed interim standards, followed by review by a panel of major research customers and rigorous validation. This week's steps include a paper from the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) Measurement Commission on "Proposed Interim Standards for Metrics in Traditional Media Analysis." The paper, authored by Marianne Eisenmann, head of communications research and measurement, Chandler Chicco Companies, makes recommendations for calculating some of the most common data points in traditional media analysis such as impressions, tone and quality. Interested parties may comment on the evolving interim standards on the IPR website. Second, at this week's International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) European Summit on Measurement in Dublin, the first phase of proposed interim standards for social media measurement will be presented by Tim Marklein, practice leader for technology and analytics at W2O Group. These emerging standards represent work by AMEC, the Council of Public Relations Firms (CPRF), the IPR Measurement Commission and other organizations. AMEC will seek additional input from conference participants to reach a consensus on the proposal. Third, the IPR Measurement Commission has published a paper by Shannon Bowen, associate professor of public relations for the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, on "Ethical Standards and Guidelines for Public Relations Research and Measurement." This discussion document will be further developed as proposed interim standards for ethics in research and measurement. "We intend to follow International Standards Organization processes adapted as necessary for our field," said David Geddes, managing director of Geddes Analytics, and chair of the coalition, in a news release. "We will promulgate proposed interim standards with broad industry input, which become approved interim standards after the customer panel review, and ultimately validated published standards."
The Coalition for Public Relations Research Standards was formed earlier this year to create a broad platform of standards and best practices for public relations research, measurement and evaluation. The participating organizations include AMEC, CPRF, the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, IPR and the Public Relations Society of America.
The membership of the customer panel will include about six corporations that are major purchasers of public relations research and measurement services. Initial members include Jackie Matthews, communications researcher at General Motors, and Molly McKenna Jandrain, external communications manager at McDonald's USA.