The Role of PR in a Digital Age

I'm in Kiev this evening preparing my presentation for tomorrow's European PR Congress 2011. I'm the first session of the day so I have the challenge of exciting the delegates, with getting some energy in the room. I was fascinated by the enthusiasm from the audience when I presented last month in San Francisco, so it'll be interesting to compare the two.

Now, I was briefed by event organiser Marina Starodubska (General Director, Partner, Mikhailov&Partners.Ukraine) that social media in Ukraine has not yet gained the momentum it has in Europe and the USA for example. She estimates that household broadband Internet penetration is just 26% [updated following the first comment below]. Interestingly, however, according to Total Telecom in July last year: "Ukraine as a whole had 55.60 million mobile subscriptions... putting penetration at 121.2%."

Whilst I haven't been able to find a breakdown of feature phones and smart phones, the waiting staff in the restaurant this evening indicated that such devices are booming. In the car to the hotel I also noticed that Nokia is investing in quite a big outdoor advertising campaign here for its feature and smart phones.

My stack for tomorrow is included here. The majority of the slides are taken from the longer stack from last month's Dreamforce, so if you took a look at that, you might not want to take the time here. But it's more the narrative I intend to tailor for this event. The emphasis tomorrow is simple – Public Relations, as defined by the Excellence Study, has a very bright future.

Pre-conference questions

I was asked two questions prior to the conference, and thought I'd share these and my answers with you here...

What tools for measuring PR effectiveness do you find most useful for the modern Communications Director and why?

Your organisation is unique. It occupies a unique position in its marketplace with unique relationships with its stakeholders. Your objectives, strategy and execution are unique. Unsurprisingly, this then demands that you select a unique balance of metrics that tell you: i) how well execution is proceeding; and ii) whether the original strategy remains relevant or needs a tweak or an overhaul.

The right tools for you are the ones that allow you to best monitor your particular balance of metrics.

Why did you decide to talk about Influence Scorecard? What is this approach about and what are its advantages?

The Influence Scorecard augments the Balanced Scorecard – the dominant business performance management (BPM) framework adopted by the majority of the Global 2000.

It identifies influence as the highest common factor unifying the otherwise disparate C-level executive roles. It helps everyone in the organisation appreciate that everyone is responsible for the ease with which the organisation influences stakeholders and systematically ensures it's influenced back.

I call this the business of influence. It creates the social enterprise.