Yesterday Geoff Livingstone pointed a finger at PR people and called the industry’s measurements “suspect.”

Responsibility for the resulting social media bubble and the increasing demand for impact belongs to the PR industry in its 2.0 incarnation

AVE’s have always been a troublesome metric,  and the recent Barcelona Principles laid them to rest. And we are moving towards measuring impact and action.

Online PR now has the capability to measure outputs, out takes and outcomes

Setting Up a Measurement System for Online PR

With the overall business goals in mind, start to listen to the online conversations.  This can be done quite simply with Google alerts or by setting up a dashboard in your iGoogle homepage.  Even a sophisticated measurement firm like K.D. Paine and Partners uses Google alerts along with other tools.

Once you have the conversation collected you should embark on a very traditional PR activity – content analysis. Your analysis will show you the threats and opportunities and once these are identified it should lead you to the goals you need to pursue and how you can contribute to the greater business goals.

When you set your PR goals and objectives make sure they are specific and measurable, so that when you get to the evaluation stage of the activity you can easily measure your progress.

Don Bartholomew, VP, Digital Research at Fleishman Hillard suggests that in Online PR there is a stepped progression from exposure to engagement to influence and finally to action

If you are only measuring the entrance to the funnel with impressions and exposure , you are missing the point. Take your measurement all the way through to the action.