Insurance in Plain English

Reaching the next generation of insurance consumers

Why bother measuring?

with 3 comments

My last post generated a lot of interest, and a lot of agreement that some kind of measurement needs to be in play when talking about the less quantifiable fields of social media and public relations. Nick Brown from InsuranceHQ made a great point noting that,

ROI will always be relevant as long as the social media/PR practitioners are NOT the bosses.

Yup. ROI to justify our very existence. It’s a cold, hard fact, but it is up to the PR and social media professionals to translate their value to management. A practitioner’s intuitive “sixth sense” is not enough.

It provides justification for the very existence of such a department. Communication is often the first area to get cut from the budget, simply because there are no immediately observable effects on sales or profit.

One noted communication scholar, Dr. Geduldig, paints the picture,

A hard-nosed manager would have a tough job evaluating a function that cannot be defined and can do well when it does nothing … Don’t expect others to buy public relations on faith. If public relations doesn’t set standards of measurement that are both objective and meaningful, management will apply its own, and the value of public relations will ultimately be measured against the bottom line.

Proving your worth is no longer as simple as showing evidence of volume or claiming public relations, social media and reputation evaluation to be intangible and not subject to measure—managers are demanding quantifiable results of practitioners

Ah, but measurement does actually have a greater, nobler purpose than securing our paychecks (though that in itself isn’t too bad). It helps determine whether or not we are meeting the objectives we’ve set for our communicative efforts. Is social media helping our agency? Is our public relations campaign effective? How can we do better? You can’t attack these questions without having some sort of measurement and evaluation program in place.

So what do you think—why should we be measuring our public relations and social media efforts?


Written by melissa

June 1, 2010 at 9:00 am

3 Responses

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  1. It’s not just important to the PR and Communications role’s out there. I have to wear a lot of hats in my consulting practice and if I don’t spend time in social media, in my blog, and building my brand then it will be harder for people to know I exist. Here, indirectly, my ROI for my time spent in PR is my own paycheck. Measurement is important because it helps you focus energies on using your time more efficiently to generate the results you want but there is also credit to be given in just putting in the effort and “showing up” Plus one of my goals is to become a reputable resource in the personal finance community so the more time I spend trying to get my message out there, the more eyes make it to my blog, the more authority I capture. It’s a cycle.

    Nunzio Bruno

    June 1, 2010 at 9:43 am

  2. As an agency owner/agent I know for a fact that social media is of the utmost importance in todays society. However; it is just one aspect or tool in the overall marketing scheme. I’m not sure how you can measure it though? How can you determine it’s effects on policy retention? Or referrals? Sure, people will tell me who referred them, but do I ever ask the person why they referred the new client to me? Our world is quickly changing. Two years ago I would have laughed at this very topic. Now I truly believe it is the fastest growing marketing “arm” and will soon be the most important. I just hope others don’t find out.

    Henry Israel

    June 1, 2010 at 7:19 pm

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Melissa Cibelli, Noel Waldvogel. Noel Waldvogel said: RT @mcibelli: New post: Why bother measuring PR and social media?? […]

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