You know the industry has developed new standards for public relations and social media measurement.
What should you do with and about them?
Below is your checklist. The first item will bring you up to speed on what the standards are, and the rest of the items explain how you can start using the standards.
Extra credit: Read WOMMA’s Influencer Guidebook and AMEC’s PR Professional’s Definitive Guide to Measurement.
Extra extra credit: Post your comments, critiques and encouragement on these efforts.
2. If you issue a request for proposal for measurement, make sure it includes a requirement to comply with the standards. Have your vendors use The Sources and Methods Transparency Table.
3. Evaluate your current programs. If you already have a measurement system in place, take a hard look at all your programs. Which adhere most closely to the standards, and which have the farthest to go?
a. Start with the programs that need just a bit of tweaking to be in compliance. Maybe your definitions need to be consistent, or you could make use of The Sources and Methods Transparency Table. Make a list of your metrics and compare them to the best practice methodologies.
b. Now look at the programs that are seriously off the standards track. Perhaps you still use advertising value equivalencies, or measure outputs rather than outcomes. How can you redesign these programs or replace them with those that comply with the standards? See No. 2 above.
4. Make your organization standards-compliant. Gather the communications staff and hold an educational workshop about the standards. Explain why they need to change their metrics. Help them go through No. 3 above for their own programs.
5. Make your awards program standards-compliant. If you work for or with a professional association, encourage the awards committee to rework the awards criteria to adhere to measurement standards in the “measurement of results” section. If there is a certification program, make sure questions about the standards are on the exam.
6. Make your classes standards-compliant. If you’re an educator, rework the research syllabus to include a section on standards.
7. Let the world know you are standards-compliant. Indicate on your reports and organizational boilerplate that you adhere to the standards. Let us know, and we’ll list you on the honor roll at www.smmstandards.org.
Katie Delahaye Paine helps companies define success and design measurement programs for their PR, social media and communications programs. She blogs at http://kdpaine.blogs.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. A version of this article originally appeared on The Measurement Standard.