He was kind enough to spend some time with us as we kicked off the podcasting series back in January, but the content got misplaced and recently was found as I had to rebuild my system from a crash – so I’m tardy in posting, but nonetheless Steve’s comments and his insights are timeless so we’re very happy to bring you this episode in our podcasts with industry executives and innovators – this is episode #53 actually!
We open the discussion asking Steve about how Edelman handles the question of ROI for their clients. He tells us that while he is not directly assigned to accounts, he helps connect digital programs to public relations and shares and example in the work they did for Ben & Jerry’s when they introduced a flavor called ‘Flip’. The ROI for the client in that case was an increase in awareness of the product and how it drove engagement with the audience, demonstrated by a buzz in the social ecosphere and in blogs.
Steve suggests that there is a natural synergy between PR and social media and with digital media being much more measureable. He shares some of the measures they use, which include -
…and for some clients -
The basis of the measures are really rooted in the traditional metrics they’ve used for PR and then adopting it to the resources they can bring to bear. Steve suggests that social and digital are much easier to measure than traditional.
The model is that that every campaign has an agenda and the campaign kicks off with some kind of outcome in mind. Edelman tailor the outcome to the business objectives of the client and then employs various tools that help measure the outcome and how well it meets the clients stated business goal.
The change in measurement reflect the change in the audience. More and more people are getting involved in social media and the ability to breakout social from traditional media elements is getting harder, Steve suggests that all media is social, all social is media and that the trend line suggests that more people are consuming media through digital channels than traditional, with the notable exception of television.
In 10 years, Steve predicts that all tangible forms of media will be gone and people will engage in digital almost exclusively. his observation is that social is more addressable than anything previously and that the measurement will become more powerful and sophisticated. The real questions we’re trying to address are what is needed, how do we use them and what are the standards that can be applied that are common from brand to brand, media type to media type and venue to venue – the best practices are emerging.
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