CHICAGO—Ruder Finn this week became the latest large agency to develop its own proprietary measurement system, collaborating with a leading academic from Northwestern University to create the Ruder Finn Measurement and Integration Model.
According to the agency, RF/MIM offers a flexible and cost-effective method for companies seeking to measure the effectiveness and impact of public relations initiatives and provides a framework to integrate and measure the efforts of an organization’s sales, marketing and PR functions.
It was developed in conunction with Dr. Frank Mulhern, chair of the integrated marketing communications (IMC) program at Northwestern University.
“With the economic climate as challenging as it has been, the age-old dilemma of bridging the gap between communications results and tangible business impact increases,” said Richard Funess, president of Ruder Finn/Americas. “Working closely with Dr. Mulhern, one of the premier thought leaders in the area of integrated marketing communications, we examined existing tools and approaches and developed a new model that organizes them in a manner that we believe will help our clients arrive at more meaningful measures of program efficacy and deliver new points of value throughout their organizations.”
RF/MIM is based around the idea that different metrics are appropriate for different types of communications programs. Research has shown that a majority of PR programs are intended to achieve one or more of six key objectives—awareness, differentiation, positioning or repositioning, penetration, attitudinal shift, and motivation—and the RF/MIM model maps different metric tools (media impressions, ad equivalency, coverage analysis, perception audit, sales lead tracking) to those objectives in a way that more effectively illustrates organizational impact.
The model also drives an organization toward integration with other areas of marketing.
“With the introduction of this new measurement model, Ruder Finn is stepping to the forefront of a growing issue in strategic marketing: integration between all elements of the marketing mix,” says Mulhern. “There’s a general misperception as to what ‘integration’ really means in the context of integrated marketing communications that undermines the success of the practice as a strategic function within a business. The IMC program seeks to educate the industry on the true meaning of integration, and this initiative with RF can help in that effort.”
Ruder Finn/Chicago will be conducting a half-day workshop at Northwestern University this fall. Among the speakers at the event will be Rip Tilden, chief operating officer of InterDigital Communications Corporation. Says Tilden, “Businesses today are competing intensively to build sustainable relationships with customers and other audiences key to their success. As professional communicators begin to link effectively the impact of communications programs with business growth, they will be more successful at designing programs that influence audience behavior.”
Earlier this year, Edelman Public Relations Worldwide announced a partnership with Frank Grunig of the University of Maryland, to develop a measurement tool the agency calls the Relationship Index.