The Chartered Institute of Public Relations announced this week one of the first actions to come out of its newly formed Social Media Panel... the Social Media Measurement Group.

Some time back in the early days of media relations some bright spark came up with the idea of using a ruler to measure 'column inches', a considerably less than perfect approach to assessing PR campaign success only compounded in its inability to drive performance and measure success appropriately by advertising value equivalence (AVE).

My disgust for column inches and AVE has nearly lost me business on more than one occasion, but being prepared to work with prospects on improved approaches can end up contributing to the reasons for going on to convert their business.

Without a doubt, the simplest and shortest response to someone's defense of such amateur approaches is to ask how they would measure a campaign's success if a primary objective of a campaign was to keep brand X out of the press? "Oh, errr, well, I mean, that would be, ermm....". Read more