Can the PR power be tracked as well as counted?

Full marks to The Friendly Ghost for persevering with the PowerPR Index.  I remain skeptical of the value of such lists – but feel FG is exploring some interesting ideas around evaluating blogs. 

If nothing else, the struggle for a suitable methodology highlights the challenge to assess and compare different blogs, even within a relatively small field such as public relations.

Also to be applauded is the transparency of the approach taken in constructing this list and the reflection on problems with the index.

Regardless of the actual listings, it is an interesting table (not just because this blog now figures at #48).  It would certainly provide anyone interested in PR with some good sources to sample. 

I think it would be even more interesting to be able to track the conversations and topics that migrate around PR blogs.  Better yet would be to draw some of the themes and thoughts together. 

The and recent  (or free running) discussion jumped around a number of places recently attracting some new commentators along the way, but tending to have to recap rather than building to any crescendo.

There are , and eddies – even the odd  and the occasional – in the nature of PR topics.  Discussions also meander and spurt outside PR into technical, marketing, media and other blogs.

I’d like to see some output from such discussions so that they can grow and even resolve rather than just reappearing repetitively.  Is this possible?  Does anyone have the time to create a place where threads of discussions can be linked so that conversations can progress rather than keep recurring?

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Heather Yaxley

Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant.

4 thoughts on “Can the PR power be tracked as well as counted?”

  1. Hi Heather,

    You’re absolutely spot on when you mention the difference between pure metrics – number-crunching, bean counting – versus tracking. Onalytica is one company that does this and there is a post on my blog about a conversation with its founder: http://thefriendlyghost.wordpress.com/2007/06/11/blog-influence-talking-with-flemming-madsen-of-onalytica/

    If you do a search on my blog for Onalytica you will see it mentioned several times. Their approach is exactly as you suggest, by analysing issues rather than superficially counting metrics, and also by taking into account who is talking rather than what they are saying. It’s a hugely complex area but it is largely automated and ultimately identifies true influence rather than popularity.

    Regards
    FG

    PS Yes, I am still on holiday but I think I may be addicted to blogging…🙂

  2. FG – thanks for the comments, I hope the addiction isn’t spoiling your holiday. Useful link and I will check that out further as it sounds relevant and potentially valuable for public relations.

  3. Is the essence of this which influencers are talking about your product/advert etc as opposed to where it is in the rankings?

  4. What Friendly Ghost is discussing is evaluation of the discussion of an issue/product etc in terms of influencers, etc.

    I am also interested from a PR perspective in whether an issue can be pulled together so that all discussion on the topic can be reviewed. I suppose you can do some of that with general search at Google or Technorati. But it would be interesting to have a review of what is talked about over a particular period, where, etc.

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