Is PR Evolving? Can it? Thoughts on one key challenge


After I wrote yesterday’s post on whether PR is evolving, I came across an article, “PR in Transition” on Caster Blog, which lists 7 points.

The most interesting points, I think, are the ones in which the author, Joe Paone, says we’re moving to a project-based model and will need to focus on outcomes, not outputs.

I know some of us have already seen more project work, in part because of budget issues. Yet I know we’ve also continue to win retainer projects this year, too.

But if this is the new normal, I do think we’ll see demand for project work.

And because of scarce budgets and increased pressure on our clients, there is increased pressure on PR to perform, and to go beyond traditional PR goals that include generating leads. So there is absolutely more concern about measurement and outcomes.

The problem though is with social media. Outcomes in a social media world are more difficult to measure than outputs.

For example, I originally posted a slightly different version of this post as a comment to the Caster Blog article. Just as I posted posted comments to other people’s blogs this week, so I can easily define my output.

But it’s much more difficult pointing to the outcomes. I can’t easily measure whether who will click on comments on those other blogs and decide to follow me to this blog after reading my post there or to click on my website after clicking on this blog.

I do have ways to measure click-throughs and comments on Twitter. But a lot of this it output first, and can take as much if not more time to determine outcomes.

That will be an issue we will have to solve.

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