Advances in public relations measurement

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Presentation on theory and application of a model of public relations measurement and evaluation. Presented at the International Public Relations IPRA conference, Lima Peru September 2013

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  • PR manages “reputation” (which is not a recognized business metric), tends to align itself to executives instead of business lines (hence a reduced level of respect among business execs), has a reputation for spinning that mitigates its effectiveness with the media (its primary function), and cedes brand and business impacts to marketing.     At the same time (and maybe by extension), PR research measures functional things -- impressions and tonality -- and goes to some lengths to impute brand and business results from the content data, but widely fails in achieving buy-in from business execs. Against that backdrop, I believe we need to focus on tactical (consumer-based) and strategic (business-based) approaches – both in PR and in the research.  One can’t move forward without the other.  Here’s the kicker – and if you write an article on this, I’d like to be a co-author.   Communication in the form of news and word-of-mouth drives consumer perceptions in a way ads never could.  That becomes even more obvious in a digitized world where we can more easily gauge the reach and resonance of information.  Communication will evolve quickly in this digitized world as companies seek to exploit this new mass channel that bypasses the newsroom. Marketers have recognized this, and in large part seized the social media channel before the PR folks did.  Looking ahead, if PR does not stake a claim that goes beyond its functional role, marketing will push beyond its new social media beachhead into other roles that traditionally had been the domain of PR.  Effectively,  PR will be displaced by more tactical approaches to communication, in its various forms – marketing communication, investor relations, business communication, organizational communication. PR will be dead.   It may already be chronically ill.   
  • Activities: Actions directly taken and under the control of public relationsOutputsCommunications generated that may reach target audience membersThis is NOT influence … this at best potential for influenceReceptionHow target audience members handle, manipulate, or are involved with communicationsWhen you hear talk of engagement, it is often applied to this section of the communications cycle.OuttakesCognitive changes in target audience awareness, knowledge, understanding, perceiving, intending, believing, etc.This is where “influence” occurs …This is where “engagement” occurs …Outcomes or business resultsActions target audience members take (or do not take) due to communicationsContribution to building organizational value
  • Usually immediately visibleCompletely under control of the PR team or agencyCounting PR activitiesPress materials generatedWeb materials generatedEvents organizedBriefings
  • Is you message available to audiences?Counting the immediate results of PR activitiesTraditional and social media measurementInformation available for target audience members to process; the precursors to attitude and belief formationCorrelate with activities
  • How target audience members handle, manipulate, or are involved with communications outputs
  • What we want target audience members to know, understand, perceive, or believeMeasures of awareness, attitudes, credibility, understanding, perceptions, and beliefsSurveys among target audiencesThe precursors to actionCorrelate or establish causal linkages with activities and outputs
  • Actions we want target audience members to take (or not take)Specific behaviors by target audience members to support goals such as visiting, purchasing, loyalty, recommending, advocacy, voting, signing a petitionPrecursors to business valueCorrelate or establish causal linkages with activities, outputs, engagement, and outtakes
  • Actions we want target audience members to take (or not take)Specific behaviors by target audience members to support goals such as visiting, purchasing, loyalty, recommending, advocacy, voting, signing a petitionPrecursors to business valueCorrelate or establish causal linkages with activities, outputs, engagement, and outtakes
  • Influence 1 occurs before attitude change. This involves exposing people, or potentially exposing people, to information. This can be measured, though it is a stretch to say anything more than this refers to getting a piece of information into someone's hands via Twitter, via real word of mouth, or any other channel. This can be measured in social media, but this does not answer the question of whether this information receipt is meaningful. Influence 2 is the result of an individual receiving, processing, and understanding information … and potentially changing the state of awareness, understanding, perceptions, opinions, attitude, or relationship (in the Grunig sense).  
  • Influence 1 occurs before attitude change. This involves exposing people, or potentially exposing people, to information. This can be measured, though it is a stretch to say anything more than this refers to getting a piece of information into someone's hands via Twitter, via real word of mouth, or any other channel. This can be measured in social media, but this does not answer the question of whether this information receipt is meaningful. Influence 2 is the result of an individual receiving, processing, and understanding information … and potentially changing the state of awareness, understanding, perceptions, opinions, attitude, or relationship (in the Grunig sense).  
  • Media information alone can be used to accurately, reliably predict corporate reputation➜Media play the primary role in shaping public opinionInformation half-life near zero➜Public reacts to pieces of information, then moves on to the next piece➜Repetition is criticalAny media channel can be used for prediction➜Information flow among media channels is rapid.Sentiment does matter➜Sentiment alone predicts reputation, though message-level analysis is desirable.Positive stories have twice the impact of negative storiesModel is robust➜Automated sentiment analysis in untrained mode works.➜Representative media sample is sufficient, even if incomplete.
  • All time trends are similar, except AP news wire.Slow decline in positive and slow increase in negative through all of 2009.First, this suggests that the negative information in the blogs beginning September 2009 did not have a major impact on predictions of opinion. Second, in an industry where recalls are a regular occurrence, the initial Toyota recall of 3.6 M vehicles did not have a negative impact on Toyota reputation.After the crisis subsided, gradual increase in positive and decrease in negatives.
  • How many of you have talked about predictive analytics?
  • How many of you have talked about predictive analytics?
  • Advances in public relations measurement

    1. 1. © Geddes Analytics™ 2012. Not for distribution without permission. Advancing Public Relations Measurement September 19, 2012 David Geddes, Ph.D. Managing Director Geddes Analytics LLC Chair, Institute for PR Measurement Commission
    2. 2. 2 Agenda Part I: PR measurement today ▫ Standards ▫ A standard framework Part II: PR measurement tomorrow ▫ Predictive analytics ▫ Building organizational value © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission.
    3. 3. 3 1 Begin with theory © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission.
    4. 4. 4 © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission. Message sender Send Originate Encode Transmission medium or channel 1 2 3 Message recipient Receive Understand Decode 3 2 1 Noise N N N
    5. 5. 5 2 Translate to practice © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission.
    6. 6. Activities Outputs Reception Outtakes or PR outcomes 6 Send Originate Encode Transmission channel Receive Understand Decode RecipientSender Act Business results
    7. 7. 7 Activities • What did you do? • Control by PR • Visible • Operational efficiency ▫ Staff time ▫ Budget • Use: PR group, CFO © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission. Outputs Reception Outtakes Comms results Activities Business results
    8. 8. 8 Outputs • Message availability to target audiences ▫ Media analytics ▫ Social media analytics ▫ Other (events, etc.) • Correlate with activities • Use: Within PR group © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission. Reception Outtakes Comms results Activities Business results Outputs
    9. 9. 9 Reception • Handle PR outputs • Manipulate outputs • Involvement with outputs • Correlate with activities • Is this engagement? • Use: Within PR group © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission. Outputs Outtakes Comms results Activities Business results Reception
    10. 10. 10 Outtakes • Cognitive change ▫ Awareness ▫ Understanding ▫ Perceptions ▫ Advocacy • Use: CMO, marketing and communications executives © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission. Outputs Reception Comms results Activities Business results Outtakes
    11. 11. 11 Communications results • Specific, desired behaviors • Precursor to business value • Link to outcomes, etc. • Use: CMO, marketing and communications executives © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission. Outputs Reception Outtakes Activities Business results Comms results
    12. 12. 12 Business results • Tactical, consumer results • Strategic business results • ROI • Statistical methods • Use: CEO, CMO, business unit leaders © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission. Outputs Reception Outtakes Activities Business results Comms results
    13. 13. 13 3 Influence and engagement © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission.
    14. 14. 14 Engagement 1 • Where does it fit? ▫ Reception ▫ Handling • What is it? ▫ Precursor to cognitive change ▫ Upstream © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission. Outputs Reception Outtakes Comms results Activities Business results
    15. 15. 15 Engagement 2 • Where does it fit? ▫ Relevance ▫ Relationships ▫ Advocacy • What is it? ▫ Result of cognition ▫ Downstream ▫ Precursor to results © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission. Outputs Reception Outtakes Comms results Activities Business results
    16. 16. 16 Influence 1 • Where does it fit? ▫ Reception ▫ Information availability • What is it? ▫ Precursor to cognitive change ▫ Upstream © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission. Outputs Reception Outtakes Comms results Activities Business results
    17. 17. 17 Influence 2 • Where does it fit? ▫ Outtake • What is it? ▫ Result of cognition ▫ A new way of thinking ▫ Downstream ▫ Precursor to results © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission. Outputs Reception Outtakes Comms results Activities Business results
    18. 18. © Geddes Analytics™ 2012. Not for distribution without permission. Predictive analytics
    19. 19. 19 The situation today • Companies monitor traditional and social media… ▫ But don’t know what media messages actually change opinions and drives behaviors © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission.
    20. 20. 20 The situation today • Companies probe the marketplace via surveys and media listening platforms, but … ▫ Cannot look ahead ▫ Risk getting blindsided © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission.
    21. 21. 21 The situation today • Monthly measurement reports give a look backwards, but … ▫ Cannot evaluate possible scenarios © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission.
    22. 22. 22 Today’s challenge Passive monitoring Passive listening Active communications intelligence Competitive advantage © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission. ▫ Analyze past data ▫ Understand what really drives change ▫ Link social / traditional media to business outcomes ▫ Build systems to give a look ahead ▫ Facilitates responsive management
    23. 23. 23 Case studies Toyota recall crisis Consumer sentiment about the economy Teenage smoking behavior © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission.
    24. 24. 24 1. Toyota recall crisis • Key questions 1. What shapes opinion about the Toyota brand? 2. Can we predict brand reputation from media? • Data ▫ Predictor variables  News, online, blogs, forums … no broadcast ▫ Dependent variable  Brand reputation © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission.
    25. 25. 25 All media R2 = 0.84 Survey − Model Positive documents Negative documents Positive opinion Neutral opinion Negative opinion
    26. 26. 26 2. Consumer economic sentiment • Key questions 1. What shapes consumer opinions about the economy: media or marketplace experience? 2. Can we predict consumer sentiment from media alone? • Data ▫ Predictor variables:  AP wire and Washington Post ▫ Dependent variable:  University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index ▫ 1977 to 2007 © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission.
    27. 27. 27 © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission. Key results ▫ We can predict based on media alone ▫ Models based work over long time period ▫ Media play primary role in shaping opinion about their economic well-being ▫ Shelf life of information near zero Training data Test data Training and test data
    28. 28. 28 3. Teenage smoking Key questions • Can we predict teenage smoking behavior from media alone? • Does public policy affect smoking behaviors? • Do anti-smoking campaigns work? Data • Predictor variables: ▫ Newspapers, Google newsgroups ▫ 10 messages ▫ Cost per pack • Dependent variable: ▫ Monitoring the Future nationwide surveys (http://monitoringthefutur e.org/) • 1991 to 2002 © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission.
    29. 29. 29 © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission. Key results ▫ We can predict behaviors based on media alone ▫ Cost improves prediction ▫ Attitude that cigarettes are hard to get improves prediction ▫ Anti-smoking campaigns and policy changes work − Predicted smoking☐ Reported smoking
    30. 30. 30 The InfoTrend™ Model © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission.
    31. 31. 31 Powerful yet simple: basic structure NeutralPositive Negative K3 K4 K2 K1 Negative message force Positive message force Step I © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission.
    32. 32. 32 Minimal ideodynamic model © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission. Do not try this at home
    33. 33. 33 Data requirements Predictor variables • Multi-channel • Sentiment scores • Messages tagged Outcome variables • Survey data • Behavioral data • Business data • Must show change © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission.
    34. 34. 34 Concluding remarks © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission.
    35. 35. 35 What have we learned? • Media  Outcomes ▫ Sentiment ▫ Messages • But … random variability ▫ What does this mean for communications> © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission.
    36. 36. 36 Prediction and forecasting © New York Times • Early enough to take action • Probable vs. improbable • Scenario planning and simulation • Strategic responsiveness © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission. • Michael Raynor. 2007. The Strategy Paradox: Why Committing to Success Leads to Failure. New York: Doubleday.
    37. 37. 37 Prediction and forecasting © Geddes Analytics. Not for distribution without permission.
    38. 38. © Geddes Analytics™ 2012. Not for distribution without permission.

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