#1 Struggle: “People can’t find meaningful measurement.”

What does it mean?  One study found that the number one reason that people struggle with measurement is that they can’t get meaningful measurement.  Supposedly, it’s true for any industry, organization or endeavor.   It’s certainly true for people who invested in “canned” dashboards.

To get meaning from your measurement, you need a little help at the right time.  You know more than you think about what would be meaningful.

Here’s a few tips for getting to meaningful measurement.

  1. Involve a measurement expert from the start (not after the fact).
  2. Use data to set measurable goals for what success means to you.
  3. Measure before, during and after an effort.
  4. Conclude with answering these questions…
    • Did I reach my goal?
    • What happened and why?
    • What does it mean?
    • What will I do about it?

Keep it simple, but get the help of a measurement partner to make it easy and meaningful.

Measure well!  No excuses.

Debi Parcheta



Image Courtesy of Creative Commons Flickr, Author:  chetbox

Comment below: What does this heat map view of a face mean?  People struggle with measurement because they need meaning.

Why Struggling Brands Need to Measure Most

Are you struggling to improve media relations for a declining brand?

Failing brands need media measurement most of all.  Measuring can determine if a brand has forgotten its values.  Or we could measure to see if a brand is overestimating its own importance.  Some brands are guilty of branching out too far and measurement can tell you if people view your brand as being in the wrong category or if they think a brand is behaving deceptively.  Fatigue can be readily measured when a brand fails to be creative or innovative.

For many brands, failure coincides with not measuring at all – you weren’t watching what was happening.   Brands must stay relevant.  They need to measure consumer patterns, competitor positions, market evolution, and cultural trends.

This sort of measurement doesn’t need to be complicated.  Look around periodically.  Train yourself to use data to develop insights to lift your struggling brand up again.

Happy to help.

Let’s talk about being insightful.
Debi Parcheta, BlueVision® Media Measurement


I’m Rusting….


Recently, an experienced public relations practitioner confessed, “I’m soooo rusty!  Social media execution, content creation and quick looks at dashboards have robbed me of the ability to recommend actionable insights to my brand.”

Rust can be cleaned off.  We can teach PR professionals to shine with insights again.  It’s a skill.  In 4 – 8 hours, you could learn to use social media posts to bring insights to your brand.

Our colleague is right to be sad.  Many public relations professionals have been reduced to simply purchasing social or digital impressions for their brand.  They declare a victory when the dashboard metric goes up.  There’s a lot less activity designed to develop lasting relationships with consumers or to gain insights into how that relationship is changing with emerging trends and upstart brands.  Young professionals are not learning the “relations” part of the public relations craft.

Interestingly enough, it’s the firehose of social media data that shows us more about consumers than ever before.  Machines are not insightful.  It’s humans that need to spend a few hours with that data to understand what creates consumer intention and action.  Every brand needs to acquire and retain loyal customers.  Every brand needs advocates.  Cultivating consumers is done with insights into behavior, beliefs and trends.

Need help?  Reach out.

Measure Like a Marketer .. Because You Are One…

8931832451_9720cff219What keeps you from delivering good measurement in a timely way to your Chief Marketing Officer? Or to your client’s marketing organization? 

After all, communications professionals are a specialized part of the marketing team for every brand.  And you are in a position to have early knowledge about trends and strategic opportunities for brands.

Too often, media professionals find themselves catching up with their marketing department.  They weren’t at the table when marketing decisions were made and annual strategies were developed.  And now they are tasked with making a communications plan and executing actions to support what their marketing counterparts thought would work.  Often, there was only a small amount of budget left for what they need to do.

Marketers measure their impacts in dollars and impressions – in ROI and comparative effectiveness.  Marketing activities are very measurable – they buy a quantity of advertising in a certain channel, they see the sales rise when ads are active.  There’s a solid sense of “it worked” (or it didn’t).

Communications professionals market their brands in a different way.  They excel at talking about a brand.  Their purview is key messages and campaign development, starting conversations, building reputation, engagement and brand advocates.  What you know and measure from your activities should be shared with your marketing counterparts to help refine their investments for a brand.  Don’t wait for an invitation.  Get that data to them!

Your marketing team should look to you for these things:

  • Analysis of brand perceptions
  • Insights about key audiences.
  • Creating impressions and awareness.
  • Engaging the target consumer in creative ways.
  • Evaluating consumer intentions.
  • Competitive insights.
  • Creative ideas to communicate widely
  • Knowledge of what has worked in the past.
  • Setting goals for improved communications for the brand.

All of these things can and should be measured.  The trick to measuring is to start BEFORE you communicate.  Set goals and measure against them during and after communication campaigns.  Then tell the story of how things worked in comparison to other marketing tactics.

Some communications professionals find that they are better at measuring than their marketing counterparts, and that’s when they become valuable partners who are not left behind when the next cycle of planning starts.

Are you at the table?







Does the Squeaky Wheel Really Get the Grease?

Photo by https://www.flickr.com/photos/jamiecampbell/

Creative Commons Photo by https://www.flickr.com/photos/jamiecampbell/


How does share of voice get us to business outcomes?

Many communicators believe that their brand should have an active voice in relevant conversations.  And to prove that they were vocal, they produce a lovely pie chart showing their “share of voice.”  Great.  You made some noise.   But can you measure the positive impact from your share of voice on outcomes?  I hope that your boss was not fooled by that pie chart.

Like impressions counting, determining a brand’s share of voice is a metric, not a measurement.   It’s just one indicator of campaign activity.  What we really want to measure is whether or not your participation in the conversation helped you to reach one of your goal outcomes.

Share of voice is a valid metric, but let’s use it appropriately to actually do some measurement.  You’ll have to add qualitative analysis to the share of voice you’ve quantified.  Here’s how:

  • Timing matters.  Ditch the pie chart and track that share of voice over time.  Longitudinal changes in share of voice are revealing.
    • When do your competitors talk?
    • Are you all talking at the same time, or taking turns?
    • Is an obvious timing advantage visible for future exploitation?
  • Messages matter.  Enhance your data with message identification to study what each competitor is saying.  
    • Are you all saying the same thing?
    • Are you delivering your message well?
    • Is there some obvious differentiation that you could exploit for your brand?
  • Organic Sentiment is telling.  A lot of companies are only measuring their own voice, but conversations are 2-sided affairs.   Take off your blinders and also look at organic social media mentions of the brands or topics you are evaluating.
    • Is the audience agreeing with the message you are using?
    • Or is a competitor’s messaging or timing getting more favorable mentions from consumers?
    • Who’s engaging with your voice?
    • Is one type of consumer a more positive advocate for your brand than others?

Now, when you walk into your boss’s or client’s office, you’ll be able to give your expert insights about when to talk, what to talk about and how to boost advocacy and raise sentiment for your brand which in turn should influence outcome goals such as purchase intent, brand sales or brand reputation changes.

And the cycle begins again.  Off you go to make some more noise and leverage your share of voice to impact outcomes.  Keep measuring to see how changes in your share of voice can turn into better outcomes.


Metric – a unit of measurement

Measurement – a system of evaluating metrics to determine how they can change desired outcomes.

Share of Voice – the percentage of published content and conversations about you compared to your competitors.

Measurement Month – An Hour of Learning, Your Gift to You



It’s measurement month and I have a challenge for PR and Marketing Communications professionals.  Re-educate yourself to deliver media measurement well.  

The communications industry is at a crossroads.  So much change.  It’s scary, and many communicators have stopped measuring well.  (Yes, I have data to prove that.)

It’s time to re-educate yourself about media measurement because it’s important to have a seat at the table for budgets and branding and marketing strategy.  We need to raise the standard again.

You want to be the thought leader for your own brand.  Schedule an hour with yourself to further your own education about measuring.  Spend a few minutes investigating different components of media measurement.  Then, emerge with a measurement plan for your brand.

Your Hour

  • (10 minutes)  Do I know the standards for media measurement?  http://amecorg.com/barcelona-principles-2-0-infographic/
  • (10 – 20 minutes)  What are my communications goals for my brand?  (Just one goal will do.) Check out AMEC’s framework for measurement – a template for setting goals and measuring.  http://amecorg.com/social-media-measurement/framework/
  • (5 minutes)  How will I measure the quantity of all the media channels I use with the appropriate daily unique exposures level? (metric: reach/awareness)
  • (10 minutes)  How will I measure the quality of my efforts?  How can I measure the effectiveness of a message or theme? (metric: engagement)
  • (5 minutes)  How will I use quality to improve quantity? (insight)
  • (10 minutes)  How can I give my client/boss/organization realistic, insightful data showing outcomes that achieve brand goals?

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 12.15.20 PMKeep it simple and focused.  And if you work for a team, share what you learned in your hour.  Tell them what you think should be measured, how and why….. because you’re the thought leader, right?

Raising your own standards for measuring lifts you (and your profession) up.

Tell me, how did your hour go?

-Debi Parcheta