Posts Tagged ‘WOMMA’

Do we have too many conferences?

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Basta!  I had a pretty thick queue for speaking engagements this fall: PRSA’s employee communication section conference was scheduled for Sept. 10-11, but got moved to next year due to low registrations. I was planning to sponsor a speaker, introduce a couple of them, and generally boost my PRSA profile and meet some new folks. I decided not to attend the international conference in San Francisco because I was doing #prsaec.

No prob – the IABC Heritage Region Conference beckoned. I sponsored, and wound up facilitating a breakout session and speaking on the end of conference panel. Sweet! Plus, the IABC PRIME Global Strategic Communication & Measurement Conference was coming up Nov. 12-13 in NYC, and I was speaking on internal communication measurement. Now, that one is cancelled too. WTF?

If I were a baseball player, a .333 batting average would get me into the All-Star Game, but 1 for 3 on speaking engagements isn’t very good. Why is this happening?

It sure seems like there are a lot of conferences. IABC’s world shindig is in June (and in NYC ’13), and PRSA’s big dance is in October. Both the big shows alternate regions, but I know that if they’re in California, I typically pass due to time away from the office and expensive airfare. I like the Heritage Region conference (four years in a row) – it’s a great program and is close enough to drive. With both Heritage and PRSA virtually the same weekend (it was pretty interesting when IABC was in Philly and PRSA in DC), and budgets under pressure — maybe trying to do a September and November gig is a bad idea.

The smaller conferences that focus on a specific domain of knowledge or functional area should have a lower nut to crack on attendance – I’d think 75 attendees in NYC or Chicago should be doable. But IABC is also running a conference the first week of December on “strategic communication for executives.” Then there’s Ragan, PRNews, ALI, WOMMA, all the social media gigs…We’re conferring a lot. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised if some fetes are failing to fill.

The irritating part is booking myself into some things, and therefore missing others — the Conclave on social media standards, for one, and an Institute for PR Measurement Commission meeting, for another.  Plus, I’ve worked on planning several of these conferences, and it’s no picnic. You’d hope that PRSA and IABC would have their act together on how to market these effectively.

What’s the answer?

I have no idea.




Useful Discussion on Measuring Social Media Influence

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Creative CommonsLynne d Johnson is working on a means of measuring social media influence, and is asking good questions about current tools and models. She rightly says that the core issue is a lack of a good definition of influence, and covers a couple of methods — Razorfish’s Social Influence Marketing Score and Altimeter’s Social Marketing Analytics — while calling for a deeper definition.

I always am wary about anything smacking of “calculators” in social media and PR, particularly those advanced by companies with an interest in selling social media as a revolution.  But Johnson’s role as SVP of the Advertising Research Foundation lends a serious imprint to the task. The ARF is working with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) to create a set of social media measurement guidelines for the industry, she wrote.  My only concern is that the effort — being driven by marketers — will continue the marketing-centric, impression-oriented, reach-focused, quantity over quality mentality we’ve seen so far — or that it will be full of, well, BS metrics and methods.

Johnson writes of her similar concern, “I don’t think we’re talking about a wrong way of looking at influence, but we could be looking at only one side of the equation. In measuring social media, we have to listen, observe, and study to understand who the real influencers are. Perhaps an influencer’s influence isn’t driven online, but offline. Here’s where Razorfish’s SIM Score (or perhaps Altimeter’s Social Marketing Framework) can help us capture–along with the aid of engagement in a private community, an interview or survey–the offline component.”

Read the piece — it’s worth it.