Baker’s blog

December 2, 2008

You gotta define the ‘R’

Filed under: Uncategorized — davebakersblog @ 2:23 am

Katie Delahaye Paine, seen in the video above, is an expert in the field of measurement and evaluation. In this video she talks with Jason Falls, a nationally-recognized expert on social media and online communications, about ROI and social media.

ROI is a hot topic this semester at school but also in the world of Public Relations and social media. For those of you who aren’t in the loop, ROI or return on investment, measures how effectively a business uses its capital to generate profit. In the world of PR and social media, there is no easy way to measure and that is the rub. 

How do we determine if our efforts are worth the investment? 

Paine points out one issue right off the bat; “ROI is not defined in social media in terms of eyeballs or in terms of numbers.” Even if it was that easy Paine adds, “are you reaching the right eyeballs and are you engaging those eyeballs?” 

So at this point I bet you are wondering what does this mean to me, aren’t you?

Just as Paine and therefore the title says “you gotta define the ‘R.’

In the past few weeks we have had a few chances to address the concept of ROI as it pertains to class projects. We are constantly trying to apply this idea to each and every project but many of us forget the all important ‘R.’ My group’s project, for example, was about introducing networking as a way of life instead of directed at one or a group of individuals. The ‘R’ for us was to get that message to more than just the four in our group and our presenter. When half of the audience was community members we thought we were off to a great start but the real ‘R’ for me was talking to one the attendees who came to see the speaker, whom she has known for awhile, but said she “learned something.” Isn’t that why we get up off the couch to do just about anything?

On his blog, Jason Falls explains it best when he says, ” if your goal is to participate in the conversation, to enhance your relationship with your audiences and become a trusted member of the community that surrounds your brand, then your measures should prove you’ve done those things. Your ROI is what you got out of the conversation, not what you got out of their checkbook.”


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