IPR Measurement Summit Oct 6-8

For the last three days, I was immersed in a meeting of the measured minds of practitioners and academics at the Institute for Public Relations Measurement Summit. It was the first time I have attended this summit – I was invited to go with my good friend, Andrew Laing, president of Cormex Research in Toronto. Cormex is my COMM-Lab‘s industry partner.

The summit was a very productive and interesting few days for me. I was exposed to the world of professional public relations measurement: attending case studies, talks, workshops and discussion forums hosted by the leading lights from General Motors, GfK, KDPaine & Associates, TMG, Dell, Yahoo!, SAS, US Dept of State, amongst many others. I was also very pleased to attend a thought-provoking discussion forum with Jim and Lauri Grunig.

The summit was very well-organised and thoughtfully scheduled. I had the opportunity to network with practitioners and academics from America, the UK, France and Canada. In fact, I was pleased to see so many Canadians in attendance. I loved the lobsterfest at Katie Paine’s elegant and beautiful estate, just outside of Portsmouth.

While we talked about many fascinating topics, from social media to measuring ROI; from employee communications to the Barcelona principles, the theme I saw running through the whole conference was definition. Discussion in every panel seemed to always come back to the same question: What are we measuring/adding/saying/building/proving?

While it is true, as Andrew Laing often says, that the advent of the personal computer created the media measurement industry, now, social media has accelerated and expanded the availability of data and now permits a second revolution for PR: a much more immediate link into the strategy discussion. It is by helping to define the points of entry for PR into that discussion and the parameters of the conversation with the ceo or v-p that measurement has a renewed and even more vital foundational role to play in PR’s immediate future, I think.

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