The Evolution of Media Measurement: Dr. Jim Grunig, University of Maryland, Interview with Johna Burke at the 2011 PR News Measurement Conference

March 30th, 2011

Transcript –

JOHNA BURKE: Hello, this is Johna Burke with BurrellesLuce, and we’re here at the PR News Measurement conference. I’m joined by Dr. Grunig.

Dr. Grunig, will you please introduce yourself?

Dr. JIM GRUNIG: My name is Jim Grunig, or James Grunig. I’m a professor emeritus of public relations from the Department of Communication at University of Maryland.

BURKE: Also, very humbly, one of the new inductees into the PR News Hall of Fame, rightfully so. You know, part of your career has, I’m sure, seen the evolution of measurement. What are some of the biggest changes that you’ve seen in the growth in the industry over the last few years?

Dr. GRUNIG: Actually, the questions that are asked seem to be about the same as they were in the 1970s when I first started working on research and measurement and evaluation as a consultant at AT&T. People still want to show that they have some sort of measurable effects. I think there is an interest, I hope, in moving beyond just program evaluation, which there’s still a great deal of interest in–that is, how do we measure the effects of media relations or employee relations or marketing communications consultant–to get into the longer-term kind of value of the communication function to an organization.

And I think that’s best done through measuring relationships, and this is something that I’ve probably several articles on that’re published on the website of the Institute for Public Relations. And I think the emphasis on reputation is something that has occurred probably mostly in the last 10 years, and I think reputation can largely be explained by the quality of relationships that an organization has with its publics. And in turn, that can be explained by how the organization behaves. So our greatest value, I think, is in changing the behavior of the organization as much as changing the behavior of publics.

BURKE: Great. Thank you so much for your time. And I think that after that it’s no surprise why you are a highly revered person in the measurement community, and we’re so grateful to have the time with you today. Where can people connect with you online or in social media?

Dr. GRUNIG: Well, you can reach me by e-mail at I’m also on both Facebook and LinkedIn if you would like to contact me there.

BURKE: Thank you so much for your time.

Dr. GRUNIG: Thank.

Leave a Reply