TUESDAY 29 MAR 2011 10:11 AM


The Chartered Institute of Public Relations has launched a new guide to help its members get to grips with social media measurement.

Written by social media and public relations experts, the guidance gathers together current thinking on social media measurement and stresses the importance of creating a bespoke model tailored to the specific needs of a campaign or plan. The guide also emphasises the need to integrate measurement into the overall planning process.

“No longer the new kid on the block, social media engagement is a fundamental and integrated part of most PR activity today and our guidance shows how it can and should be measured,” said CIPR CEO Jane Wilson. “But as our guidance explains, measurement should not just be about tracking, or trying to understand how influential any particular commentator or participant is. It is about identifying what conversations the organisation should participate in and understanding how engagement can help an organisation meet its objectives.”

CIPR social media measurement group chair Philip Sheldrake said the guidance was a necessary antidote to the previous, outdated approach.

“The AVE (advertising value equivalent) approach to PR measurement and evaluation was simple - and utterly wrong. It’s a specious sum based on false assumptions using an unfounded multiplier and only addressing a fraction of the PR domain – a greater waste of time and effort you couldn’t hope to find. Measurement and evaluation is essential, but requires real strategic understanding, diligence and perseverance. For me, it represents yet another distinction between the 21st Century PR professional and the 20th Century practitioner.”

The guidance can be accessed via the CIPR’s research, planning and measurement pages and will also be available to non-members until 11 April. It will then be incorporated in new Social Media Guidance for members to be launched at the CIPR’s Social Media Conference.