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Measure What Matters: Online Tools For Understanding Customers, Social Media, Engagement, and Key Relationships by William T. Paarlberg, Katie Delahaye Paine

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Epilogue Whither Measurement?

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."

Alan Kay

Four years ago in Measuring Public Relationships, I wrote on the question of "whither measurement?" Back then, no one had heard of Twitter, Hulu, or the iPhone. Facebook was just for students, and there were about 1,000 more newspapers and magazines on the market. PR was mostly about pitching stories to top-tier media and managing the message. Automated content analysis was still in its infancy and dashboards were all the rage.

At the time I predicted that:

The future of public relations lies in the development of relationships, and the future of measurement lies in the accurate analysis of those relationships. Counting impressions will become increasingly irrelevant while measuring relationships and reputation will become ever more important. Smart communicators are already pushing beyond measuring outputs and outtakes and learning to measure the feelings, perceptions, and relationships that they generate. What people think of you, how they perceive your actions, and what they do as a result of those perceptions are truly the metrics of the future.

Which goes to prove that my philosophy of life still holds true: You're never wrong, you're just early.

So, to approach this epilogue in a truly social way, I posed the "wither measurement?" question to my merry band of Twitter followers. Here are a few of the responses:

  • From @HTOsborne: "It goeth on to answer the question 'so whatith?'...?"

  • From @aliciakan: ...

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