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John Dearborne on Establishing Social Media Measurement Standards

I’m John Dearborne and I’ve taken to reading thought leaders in measurement in Public Relations in order to improve my evaluation practice, in particular around measuring communications. Today, I’d like to share resources related to identifying measurement standards in social media.

Hot Tip – KD Paine’s PR Measurement Blog: Katie Delahaye Paine is an insightful PR Consultant who gets to the heart of measuring what matters. She focuses heavily on measuring communications success, in particular around social media and supplements her ongoing guidance by sharing great resources (a bit like aea365).

Rad Resource – CASRO Guidelines for Social Media Research: Earlier this month, Paine shared the guidelines from the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO) for research on social media. The guide was useful for its glossary in particular and discussion of ethical research in this emerging field of study.

Rad Resource – The Barcelona Declaration of Measurement Principles: This document from 2010 established a starting set of principles on which most other efforts appear to be building. It was developed at an annual Summit organized by the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) and the Institute for Public Relations (IPR).

Lesson Learned – New Coalition Forms to Develop Global Standards in Social Media Measurement: AMEC and IPR have just this fall joined with the Council of PR Firms (CPRF) to form a partnership to try to identify global standards. They are just beginning the conversation, but building on the Barcelona Declaration.

Rad Resource – Michaelson & Stacks Article on Standardization in Public Relations Measurement and Evaluation: Reading Intelligent Measurement, another great blog focusing on evaluation of communications, lead me to the Michaelson and Stacks article from Public Relations Journal which lays out succinctly the challenges of identifying common, agreed-upon measures across social media. The focus on measurement and types of measures applicable to social media helped me to think critically about what it means to measure engagement, communications, advocacy, and the like.

Rad Resource – The State of Setting Social Media Measurement Standards: Returning back to KD Paine, this article from The Measurement Standard (a PR Newsletter from KD Paine & Partners) tries to frame the issue and explore the many groups, often with agendas, with an interest in setting social media measurement standards. Interestingly, evaluators and social science researchers aren’t listed. She herself is bringing together “the conclave” an ostensibly nonpartisan group to attempt to identify standards.

Lesson Learned: This issue of social media measurement is definitely in flux with many parties working both collaboratively and potentially at cross-purposes in a race to establish measurement standards. Who will win, Betamax or VHS?

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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