Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Measurement Mixer at Mickey Mantle's: Say that 5 times fast

Last night I hit my first IABC-OKC (International Association of Business Communicators) meeting. It was an after-hours event that combined both professional development and networking. Because as my friend Holley put it "Work isn't going to pay for us to just get together and drink beer."(Disclaimer-I went on my own dime)

I was impressed with the group. They were younger professionals, mostly 20s and 30s, very friendly and welcoming, and they all seemed very active. It's a much smaller group than my beloved PRSA-OKC, so I guess you kind of have to be active if you want to keep things going.

Our speaker, Johna Burke, seemed very knowledgeable and was really entertaining (which can be unexpected for someone talking about measurement). At the end of it all I was left feeling more like she'd given us a motivational talk about measurement rather than a tactical talk.

Measurement is something I think many in PR have a love-hate relationship with. We love to have it, but hate to do it. And really I think so much of what we do is very difficult to measure. We can write obtainable goals with measurable objectives, but often times I'm left feeling like we are forcing ourselves to measure indicators, not our true and secret goals.

Our true and secret goal is to foster strong positive relationships. It's a heck of a lot easier to measure attendance, click through rates, comments, donations, placements, use, sales, etc. These are indicators, sure, but are they really telling us what we want to know about our relationships?

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