Katie Delahaye Paine is THE guru of measuring public relations work and she thinks that stupid metrics is the top reason that our profession gets no respect.
For years, PR people have focused on activities not outcomes. They’ve measured value in terms of column inches and the height of a stack of press releases. The latter is the famous “Thud Factor,” as in the decibel level of the sound of the year’s clip book when it lands on the boss’s desk. In today’s terms, that’s the equivalent of how many likes you got on Facebook. One result of these over-inflated stupid metrics is that PR has come to be defined by what it shovels out, rather than the relationships that it builds.
I agree that the poor work most of us do to define and measure the impact of our work has added to misperceptions of our profession, although I am not sure I place this issue as the number one problem.
Regardless of measurement’s rank on the list of things we don’t do well, Katie’s insight is spot on. A must read.