Oh dear. Words cannot express adequately quite how miserable this makes me.
As a corporate communications professional – with some 20 years’ experience – robust evaluation of PR and corporate communications activities is something of a hobby-horse of mine. The industry was talking about it when I began my career, and the debate has not moved on in those 20 years. There is nothing robust, nothing that makes sense and people are still not only using Advertising Value Equivalent, but actually advocating it. It makes me, at times, ashamed.
In recent times, I’ve been banging on about the lack of robust evaluation for social media activities, but at least – until now – no-one had tried to invent a ‘quick fix’ – hokum, smoke and mirrors – which can be used against clients in a feeble attempt to justify this current hysteria around what is laughingly termed ‘social media strategy’. But, hey, why let a small issue like the impossibility of adequately evaluating the effect of social media activity get in the way of inventing a nice on-line tool with the usefulness of a chocolate teapot and the value of a spent match.
(By the way – there IS a way of evaluating PR and Corp Comms and social media. It’s called in-depth attitudinal research amongst your key target audiences. And it’s very expensive. Which is why no-one does it.)