The discussion is relevant because it calls into question different approaches to this area of Public Relations practice.
To be able to really get to the bottom of this issue we need to take on board the opening chapters of the Watson and Noble book (Watson, T., & Noble, P. (2005). Evaluating public relations: A best practice guide to public relations planning, research and evaluation. London: Kogan Page.)
Here, they begin by asking what is public relations. It is a topic I covered recently and where I gave a definition that adapts from Edward B. Tylor's definition of culture.
Knowing what PR is, helps define Public Relations evaluation there is an equal imperative to be encompassing. I am on record saying:
“Public Relations Evaluation has application in the formative analysis for setting objectives, strategy and planning; it confirms best application of resource; it aids control of the strategic and tactical public relations programme; it is a continuous and integral part of the total PR programme to inform the practitioner as to whether PR activity is optimised for success and it has application in the final review of efficacy.”
This means that PR Evaluation has to be inclusive and how I can defend a view of the CyberAlert development.
An anonymous commenter suggested said “I don't know... Garbage In, Garbage Out. It looks a lot like KDPaine's DIY dashboard charts (maybe they're partnering on it?).
What I see is simply a charting of self-reported analysis. The only thing you get for the money are pre-formatted charts most of which won't really excite many senior business executives. The clips still need to be manually read, tagged, and sorted, and all the old crap deleted - which with a web-based clipping service is a significant number. I think our industry has a looonnggg way to go before we have something truly useful for the Boardroom.
I do not subscribe to the view that the CyberAlert service provides garbage statistics. I agree that it is possible for a dishonest PR person to rate content with tinted glasses. I do not believe that most PR people are dishonest and feel that the criticism is unfounded except for the last sentence.
We do have a long way to go.