COMMUNICATION MEASUREMENT: The communications department of the future

Measurement maven Katie Paine describes the perfect, next-generation PR department, along with its tools, structures and philosophies

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First of all, the PR department of the future probably won’t be called “PR,’ it will be Reputation and Relationship Management, also known as R2M. It will be organized along audience lines, to ensure that each of the organization’s constituencies sees the organization as an integrated whole.

So, for example, the Financial Communications Group would have responsibility for addressing Wall Street, the business press, institutional and individual share holders. It would include a financial type who can explain the numbers to the media, a researcher who could find whatever numbers the analysts need, and a writer who can make the numbers interesting and intelligible. Or, if students are a target audience, the Youth Market Communications Group will be staffed with recent graduates, bloggers and Web gurus who can speak and write the lingo and program the vehicles to get messages across.

You get the idea: We won’t just be staffing departments with ex-journalists and teaching them about the marketplace. We’ll be hiring people out of those marketplaces who know the field intimately and know how to build relationships with that audience.

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