He can go much further and it can turn from a cost into a high yielding investment.
It seems simple to measure but is much more daunting than most will believe.
AuditThere is a need to maintain an audit of the organisational constituencies and the environment in which they interact. Without such knowledge it is very hard to identify the nature of the tangible, but much more important, intangible value of corporate activity.
The need to consider intangibles is as relevant as being able to measure the value of a printed £10 bill. This is the ultimate manifestation of trust and reputation and is adopted by every citizen and corporate leader every day. The ten pound note is worth nothing. It is backed by nothing it is the epitome of paper having a value which is disproportionately valued by citizens.
So too the press clip and tweet.
Here then is the basic mind-shift for most corporate managers and especially the AVE led marketer.
There is a need to audit what is evidently in the public domain and to examine its intangible value.
The Barclays Bank Twitter stream shows exactly why the bank is so weak in global terms despite holding so many assets. Trust and the Bank are not great bedfellows at present and neither is reputation. Perhaps this is why it performs so badly and is the target for every regulator and financial ambulance chaser across the world.
The next part of this process is monitoring. What is the norm? What is the norm among competitors and what is the norm for organisations with similar constituents. That is simple. Next up is what are the variations. Monitoring variation is a very good way of evaluating an organisation and its competition.
MeasureThere is so much to measure and it is here that we can begin to see where the real intangible value lies.
Oddly enough the marketers got some of it right when they tried to use AVE's.
There is a measurable relationship between good, extensive, independent and timely coverage and the ops and experiences of people using Facebook or Google+ to express their view of the organisation and its products or services.
The extent to which Anthony Jenkins reputation is better than Barclays Bank reputation is noticeable and the same can be said of other Banks and their leaders. They are also different as between Twitter and LinkedIn. There is a form of market, an exchange rate, between reputation quotients. What would it cost the Barclays PR people to buy the Jenkins Twitter reputation and sell it to the Daily Mail? Who might be the auctioneer?
Could it be Google? Could it be that one can use Google's findings to show the relative relationships between various media and their coverage of the client? Who then is going to explore such exchanges?
ValueAcross all this media, how does trust and reputation compare between different corporate leaders? Is this an intangible market place that offers a view of the value of CEO's
But wait, we know how much they are paid... there is a cross over between the intangible reputation and the intangible we call money.
So it would seem there is a theoretical way we can evaluate trust and reputation, and the intangible value of public relations which is as robust as the value of the CEO's salary.
Without such a measurement is is very hard to gauge the value of the management team or even a ten pound note.
So, Jim Macnamara PhD, FPRIA, FAMI, CPM, FAMEC, Professor of Public Communication at the University of Technology Sydney it may be time to put your PhD's to work to explore the value of PR as tightly as you would an Australian Dollar.