Paul Noble is the co-author with Tom Watson of a new book called Evaluating Public Relations. It has just been published in its third edition.
I spoke to Paul today and asked him why the public relations profession has been so slow to adopt the rigour of research, formal planning, measurement and evaluation. His view is that the profession has relied since the 1940s on proxies for value such Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE).
AVE is engrained in the profession like a weed and will take a generation or more to overcome according to Noble. The effort is being accelerated by practitioners such as Noble, and new entrants to the profession that have been trained to use formal measurement frameworks.
Noble cited the work of AMEC with its focus on the Barcelona Principals and the subsequent Valid Metric Frameworks as best practice, and called out Microsoft, Phillips (disclosure: Ketchum client) and the UK Government as exemplars.
Now in its third edition Evaluating Public Relations has been updated to reflect changes in social media and developments in measurement tools and models.
The authors draw on both their practical and academic experience to discuss a diverse range of evaluation methods. The books covers theory and practice, and contains case studies on campaigns for Philips, Pepsi, St John Ambulance, Medicare and Westminster City Council.
If you work in the public relations profession, and want to have a future at the forefront of the profession, I thoroughly recommend that you buy yourself a copy.
Evaluating Public Relations is published by Kogan Page, priced £29.99, or £22.49 for CIPR members (25% member discount if you quote CIPR).
Podcasting is a relatively new thing for me. I’ve started recording short interviews like this with people that I meet or who are part of my network. You can access it on Soundcloud, via your favourite podcast app, or iTunes. Let me know what you think and thanks for listening.