Posts Tagged ‘Public Relations Measurement’


3 Reasons Not to Rely Solely on Software for Measurement

Monday, June 9th, 2014

3 Reasons Not to Rely Solely on Software for Measurement Ellis Friedman BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas Public Relations PR Media Monitoring Press Clipping News ClippingThe Secret Service is in the market for a social media monitoring and analytics software that can, among other functions, detect sarcasm in social media posts.

Yeah. Because computers are renowned for their wit.

As The Washington Post reported, the Secret Service wants to automate their social media monitoring process and quantify their social media outreach and lots of other things public relations pros and their organizations want.

“More specifically, the orders ask for a long list of specific tools, including the ability to identify social media influencers, analyze data streams in real time, access old Twitter data and use heat maps.”

Is a computer program really the best way to detect sarcasm? Machines don’t have a sense of humor and are notoriously poor at correctly identifying sarcasm and irony; when given a pool of sarcastic tweets, computers identified sarcasm successfully only 65 percent of the time. And that’s when all the tweets were already sarcastic. So why search for a computer program to do a mediocre job when you could hire human analysts to do the job with more accuracy?

Here’s what we know at BurrellesLuce: Software makes an excellent first tier for sorting through data, but there are things computers just can’t do as well as humans. Here are just three reasons that computers are not the pinnacle in measurement:

  • Qualitative analysis improves predictive models: A human will produce more targeted results when going through a random sample of captured data. Those results will improve your predictive models for recurring situations.When you have a set of captured data, a human going through a random selection will produce more targeted results that can be used toward a predictive model for recurring situations.
  • Accuracy through qualitative measurements: When assigning tone, a majority of software programs default to labeling something “neutral” when tone is not clear. If increasing positive coverage is your goal and you know you’re using a program that defaults to neutral, you’re already starting at a deficit and looking at potentially skewed results.
  • Cost vs. Price: If you’re relying solely on a computer sort tone, there will be false positives and false negatives that a human must sort through. The resulting cost in personnel is – more times than not – much higher than outsourcing the original work to a company like BurrellesLuce, which has a dedicated workforce which specializes specifically in gathering and analyzing that data.

So maybe it’s more a question of why are we willing to cede tasks at which computers do not excel to computers? Maybe this is just the next step toward cybernetic revolt. Or maybe it’s time for us to integrate technology with the advanced machines that reside in our heads. CC John Connor.

Heels vs. Flats: The Qualitative Metrics Your Measurement Might Be Missing

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Heels vs. Flats: The Qualitative Metrics Your Measurement Might Be Missing Johna Burke BurrellesLuceHeels vs. flats; of course there’s a difference.

No, this isn’t a misdirected post intended for 5inchandup; this is very much about media analysis and intended for those of you who rely on technology alone to gain insights from your news coverage.

How are shoes relevant? Because if you rely on software alone to tell the story of your media results, you’re potentially sawing off the branch you’re sitting on – the branch needed to demonstrate the value of your media relations efforts to your organization.

You see, I love my Jawbone Up Band and app, which tracks fitness, food, and sleep. It provides me a baseline to understand how active or sedentary I am day to day. On any given day I wear heels or flats – some days both. There’s no way to log this into my app, but I feel the difference in my legs and shoulders depending on the weight of my computer and whether I’m wearing flats or heels. My app consistently tells me the number of steps and distance I’ve traveled, but without the ability to qualitatively alert my device to the external factors (heel height, weight of computer bag, flat or hilly terrain), the app is limited to what true insights I can gain.

The same goes for your media coverage.

All media coverage is NOT created equal. Often times an outlet is a primary sorting field for many organizations, but depending on the goal, a hyper-local outlet could be far more influential based on the measurable objective. Example: An organization has a production plant in Bisbee Arizona. The media relations department has a goal to reduce talent acquisition costs by 10 percent for the fiscal year. This includes recruiting more local talent who do not require relocation services. In this example, it’s easy to understand that The Bisbee Observer, the town’s weekly newspaper, would be far more critical to achieving the goal than, say, The Arizona Republic. Unless your goals are aligned with your efforts, it is nearly impossible to show anything more than activity.

One common misconception in the marketplace is that public relations practitioners have to settle for the metrics provided by their software because they either have no extra time to drill into the results qualitatively, or it’s too expensive. That’s simply not true. In order to better understand if you are making progress toward achieving your goals (and ultimately saving money on efforts that are not supporting the end goal), you can work with a random sample of your coverage to glean real insights.

Granted, if you are reporting on only a sample (i.e. Google Alerts) of data, the challenge becomes more problematic. Without a larger purview  your ”sample” could be very limited and as a result, your insights and ability to project future actions and insights is equally as limited. The ”cost” of not doing deeper analysis could be much more costly to your organization if you continue down a path that is not garnering the results needed to achieve your goals.

While I’m not a digital native, I love my technology. I wear it, carry it and I’m lost without it should a battery need charging. At the end of the day there are other factors that let me know my Up Band is really working, and those results are reflected on the scale, in blood pressure results, and in overall well-being, things which my device alone cannot provide.  There’s no silver bullet to health and without adding insights to the fast metrics available, there’s no silver bullet to bettering your communication efforts as they relate to supporting your organization.

The Infographic Guide to Measuring Your Public Relations Efforts

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Measurement has been a big topic in PR for decades, but it continues to dominate our discussions because the digital age has given us more tools, metrics, and points to measure than ever before. We know it’s important to establish measurable goals and set benchmarks, but what about the actual tools for measurement? How do we get started with the tons of data at our disposal?

Ensure you’re measuring the correct things – outcomes, not outputs – and consider integrating tools like Balanced Scorecard, the Barcelona Principles, and the Sources and Methods Transparency Table. Learn how to use big data the right way by deciding your most important metrics and making decisions based on facts and evidence.

To help you fill up your public relations measurement toolbox, we’ve created this measurement primer. For more detailed tips and insights, check out our newsletter, Finding Meaning in Measurement.

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