Can social media turn PR from dark art to science?

There’s no denying social media has bought a level of science to the somewhat dark art that is PR. A recent (and excellent post) by Dave Fleet offers some really good examples of how and why PRs need to stop hiding behind the ‘creatively’ banner and get to grips with numbers.

I have to agree.

(Disclaimer: My grounding is in engineering of which mathematics played a huge part). That said, throughout my PR career I’ve listened to arguments about measuring the value of PR and anyone who has spent any length of time in the industry will have dealt with the dreaded AVE metrics.

An old colleague of mine once said to me, “What’s the point of trying to measure PR? You can’t measure influence”. I had to agree with him to a point as the metrics we had at our disposal seemed largely irrelevant to our clients business.

This has changed now. Using tools such as bit.ly means we can provide some level of quantitative analysis to the ‘conversation’ or ‘influence’ we’re paid to generate.

We PR types always complain that we aren’t taken seriously enough at board level. Social media and, more importantly the analysis of how it impacts a business, will at least allow us to make some inroads.

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