Influence… it's a numbers game

Andrew Smith tickled my fractal with his post yesterday "Where are the PR Numerati?" (and here on MarCom Professional). Why? Because he's right and I'm numerate and I'm in PR. His post was prompted by the August 2008 book "The Numerati" by senior Business Week writer Stephen Baker.

Public relations had been boiled down to a very simple process by the end of the 1990s. Journalists write the papers and magazines the public reads. The PRs know the journalists. The clients retain the PR professionals.

That simple world is no more. I don't mean that traditional media relations no longer exists, only that it is now just a sub-set of a far more complex map of exerting influence.  The best PR professionals will:

  • understand that exerting influence is a complex process
  • understand the new channels of influence afforded by the social Web
  • have worked out a way to navigate this incredibly complex mesh of influence, optimising the benefit and the business impact a campaign will deliver
  • have established sound measurement and evaluation to enable continual tweaking of the campaign as the market changes over time.

If this stuff rings your bell curve, excites your social graph or just dallies your dataset,  I've picked out some of my past posts on this matter below with a brief précis of each FYI.  If it doesn't, have you considered other careers?


Can you see it? Making influence visible.

This post is my most direct attempt to date at explaining to the less mathematically inclined exactly why the game has changed. Reassuringly, it also covers the ways to wield such analytical techniques with ne'er a look at the mathematics itself. Understand charts, graphs and colour keys? That's all the basics you'll need :-)

The Social Web Analytics eBook 2008

The post introducing the eBook. Over 10,000 downloads in the first 12 weeks.

The Buzz of Social Web Analytics - vendors reach out for the 2009 eBook

A look at other services stuck under my nose following the publishing of The Social Web Analytics eBook 2008.

End-to-end marketing: the possibilities of a new Internet protocol

OK, this is a bit geeky, but the numbers and their application are fascinating. Honestly!

The B2B Social Web - my interview with the Ecommerce Times

An introduction to the B2B Social Web. Explains why influence has become complex.

The B2B Social Web - B2B video programming

The follow up to the first post covering my interview with Ecommerce Times, shining a light on an increasingly fragmented and personalised mediascape.

You're in IT

Marketing communications has arrived at its complexity inflexion, and that complexity needs IT. Period. From now on, when you say "I'm a marketing communications consultant", you'll also be saying "I'm in IT".

Not everyone agrees with my assertions in this post. That makes it a good one in my book.

The power of social bookmarking and how to use it in your organisation today

A side look at how the social Web can manifest itself in your company, and therefore how it will be critical to your PR campaigns.


One of my first blog posts under my own name from 2005, "myChannel" outlines and justifies a future where each and every one of us has our own 'channel'.  Now how complex is the task of getting your message on my channel?