Posts Tagged ‘Mark Weiner’

Setting Measurable Objectives: Key to Proving PR Value

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

Setting-PR-Objectives-Infographic-CLIP-pmAs you’ve probably heard, this week is PR measurement week, part of AMEC Measurement Month.

TIP: If you’re interested but not sure you’ll be able to attend one of the live webinars this week, go ahead and register—you’ll receive an on-demand playback link afterwards!

The AMEC North America chapter kicked-off Measurement Week 2016 Monday morning with a Twitter chat. The chat was followed by an afternoon webinar on setting measurable objectives, led by Mark Weiner, CEO PRIME Research North America, moderated by AMEC North America’s Co-Chair and BurrellesLuce’s CMO, Johna Burke. In this post, I’ll be recapping that webinar.

The most common PR challenge is proving the value of our work. This is often difficult because value is so subjective and individual—varying from one organization and/or person to another.   Weiner suggests the key to success is setting proper objectives and then meeting (or beating) them.

Just what is a “proper” objective? A proper objective should be three things:

  • Meaningful – must be tied back to the organization’s goals (e.g. increasing business performance such as sales or stock price, optimizing labor by attracting and retaining top talent, avoiding loss by averting a crisis or potential reputation disaster, etc.)
  • Reasonable – openly-negotiated, aggregate opinions of top executives and discuss what is really reasonable, then get confirmation and approval to proceed
  • Quantifiable – must answer what, who, how much (by what amount should the metric change) and when (not open-ended)

Let’s focus on the quantifiable objective-setting process. In my experience, this is the step that stumps many of us.  Weiner suggests you take these steps:

  • Review past performance by looking at past objectives and the results, compare to competitors, and determine what would be a realistic increase.
  • Document the public relations objectives in writing (being sure to answer the who, what, when and how much questions).
  • Share the objectives with the executives with whom you originally spoke and with anyone who may be involved in resource allocations, negotiate final details and get authorization to proceed with the plan (as well as publishing the final plan with key executives).

The webinar wrapped-up with an objective-setting checklist (mainly covered in the previous two paragraphs) and examples of what are not proper objectives.  The examples included actions or activities (such as “create press release”, “plan special event”), and goals or aspirations (such as “get more media placements”, “improve brand reputation”. These may move you toward achieving your objective, but are not objectives in and of themselves.

In his final remarks, Weiner cautioned, “Objectives are not fate, we have to work hard to set and meet objectives. They provide direction, help departments prioritize, focuses energy and helps management align with public relations. Objectives must be specific, measurable and unambiguous.”

I want to thank Mark for all this great information and guidance, and invite you to add your own thoughts here in the comments section.

Continue to check back for more posts recapping many of this week’s PR measurement activities!

AMEC North America Kick-off with #PRMeasure Chat

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016
Word cloud image created from the chat content

Word cloud image created from the chat content

This week is the third annual AMEC (International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication) measurement week here in North America—as part of AMEC Measurement Month.  There are PR measurement-related virtual events all week. The best part? They’re all FREE! Just go to and register for any you’d like to attend. Even if you aren’t sure you’ll be able to sit-in on the live webinar, if you register you will receive an on-demand playback link afterwards.


Measurement Week 2016 kicked-off Monday morning with a Twitter chat using the hashtag #PRmeasure. The chat was hosted by PR News and featured Measurement Hall of Famers Mark Weiner, Linda Rutherford and BurrellesLuce’s own Johna Burke.

I have personally been active on Twitter since 2008 and have participated in more chats than I can remember. I don’t say this lightly and can honestly say, this was one of the most robust chats that I’ve ever participated in, with more than 20 questions and netting more than 400 tweets in one hour!  It offered so much valuable information that it would be impossible to summarize into short form—simply wouldn’t do it justice.  Instead, we’ve created a Storify for your review. It’s not every single tweet but way more than what I’d call a “recap”.

Watch here for more posts recapping many of this week’s PR measurement activities!

Measurement Week Interviews: Mark Weiner

Monday, September 22nd, 2014
Measurement Week Interview Mark Weiner BurrellesLuce Media Monitoring PR Software Public Relations Media Measurement Press clipping

flickr user HeavyWeightGeek under CC BY

Last week was AMEC’s International Measurement Week, and to honor it, we reached out to some of the top measurement experts to get their take on measurement dos and don’ts, common mistakes, and how they found themselves a member of the Measurati. We got such an enthusiastic response that we’re extending our celebration to include all their answers. We’ll be running their answers all this week, and be sure to check out our latest newsletter for measurement insights from 11 other experts in the field.

Let’s hear from today’s featured expert, Mark Weiner, CEO of PRIME Research North America. Weiner was also CEO of Delahaye and was SVP of global research at Ketchum. He is also the author of Unleashing the Power of PR.

What is your “measurement moment,” the time you knew your career was becoming measurement-focused?

My first affirmation in the research and measurement field was when I created the company which later became known as Delahaye Medialink. Medialink Research was an organization that began with one person – me – and evolved to more than 100 through organic growth and acquisition to become one of the best known and most highly respected research-based consultants in public relations. Many of my colleagues at Delahaye Medialink now lead top research firms and agency research groups which is another great career affirmation.

Based on our success at Medialink Research and then Delahaye Medialink, I realized my ability to create, develop and advance a research and measurement business. Now, as the CEO of PRIME Research LP, I’ve been given a second opportunity to work with smart associates and innovative clients to build a strong global position among research providers. While considerable time has passed since my “measurement moment,” I continue to offer gratitude for the opportunities presented to me by my colleagues, clients and peers.

What is your proudest measurement moment?  

Through the good works of my colleagues and the clients we share, the quality of PRIME’s work is consistently represented by professional awards and recognition which is always a source of pride. But a recent experience comes to mind: At the end of August, I led two-day PR research seminar to some of Peru’s top communicators at the Universidad de San Martín de Porres in Lima. Following the second day, a student approached me to say that while she learned about PR research during her graduate studies, the subject never made sense until our class. Maybe not my greatest accomplishment but one special moment among so many I’ve enjoyed.

What is your most important piece of measurement advice?

“Begin simply but simply begin.”

What’s the most common measurement mistake you encounter?

“Conventional Wisdom” is the biggest obstacle to change, including the positive changes represented by research-based public relations. It’s a mistake to believe the conventional wisdom that PR can’t be measured; that PR measurement is too complicated; or that PR measurement is too expensive. What really obstructs the PR measurement movement? Unwillingness (not inability).

Tell us a breakthrough story, in which you took your client from metrics to KPIs.

MasterCard is one of PRIME’s most visible and innovative clients. When our partnership began in 2012, the focus was volume and data. Over time, our relationship and shared vision evolved to one focused on insights rather than data. Last year, PRIME’s social media analysis helped MasterCard recognize and overcome market concerns about mobile payments.

In year one, our research adapted social media conversations and analytics for problem detection research. Once marketplace concerns were identified through social media analysis and verified through a survey, the findings were adopted throughout the MasterCard organization to refocus advertising, marketing, product development and, last but not least, corporate communication to overcome market concerns. In our second year of the study, we found that marketplace concerns disappeared due, in large part, to the efforts triggered by PRIME’s research. When PRIME helps clients go beyond PR to inform better business-wide decision-making, it’s a very good day. And, thanks to PRIME’s expert systems and talent, exceptional days are no longer the exception.

What do you see as measurement’s biggest challenge ahead?   
PR research, measurement and evaluation occupy their third stage: The first phase was human-based content analysis. It was accurate and insightful but slow. The second phase represented a rapid swing towards automated systems which were fast and consistent (useful for the torrent of content originating through social channels) but content was irrelevant, data were inaccurate and the findings were flawed.

Now, at the cusp of third wave, research firms like PRIME combine the speed and consistency of technology with the relevancy, accuracy and insights offered only through human expertise. The next big challenge is already here: more and more, research consumers feel trapped by their legacy investments in automated systems when their aspirations have grown beyond the limitations of what pure technology can provide creating a demand for a delicate balance of assets. “Talent, technology and tools” are the future.

Bonus question: You just won the lottery. What’s your dream job?

I love my job. Plus, I’m a stats guy: I can’t justify the odds for playing the lottery.


Are You Still Using Multipliers?

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

flickr_graphmeeting_2136954043_5145b15312.jpgDuring a recent PRSA webinar sponsored by BurrellesLuce I referenced the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) white paper, “Dispelling the Myth of PR Multipliers and Other Inflationary Audience Measures” by: Mark Weiner and Don Bartholomew. This prompted many follow-up questions, mostly about the “greater” credibility of editorial content vs. advertising. As noted in the white paper there are flaws in that thinking and there is no substantiated data proving this notion.

The white paper is excellent and should be read by everyone currently using multipliers in their measurement rationale and those thinking about its implications.

Here I want to provide my very “Reader’s Digest” summary for our peers who may need to recalibrate existing benchmarks if they lose a multiplier. In the real world of business, a “multiplier” of publisher supported data is an “Enron Metric.” The more you have to explain something, the more you compromise the credibility. Think about it this way: Your company has a certain number of clients. That’s the number. Would it be acceptable for the customer service department to report a higher number because they have a lot of “happy clients” or “clients who are referring business”? No. Then why would you want to put forward a number that can’t stand on its own merit?

The power of social media is thriving and growing by word-of-mouth and the influence of peers. The reason: credibility. Don’t compromise your greatest asset by taking a short cut or using numbers that aren’t straight forward and/or supported by a third-party data source.