Pubmedia online outreach projects need metrics to measure success: Jessica Clark

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Jessica Clark, director of the Center for Social Media’s Future of Public Media project, takes on a big question on the MediaShift blog: How well are stations measuring success in multiplatform public media projects created to inform and engage the public? “Very few stations define success with concrete metrics,” Clark writes. “Most examples are anecdotal. (‘I just have a sense.’) What they consider to be ‘successful’ is very subjective. Those that do have an idea of what success means to them include metrics such as page views, unique users, and calls into station when online offerings fail to work.” She cites “Embracing Digital: A Review of Public Media Efforts Across the United States,” a June 2009 CPB-funded report by Gupta Consulting, which revealed that “few station executives can quote quantitative measures of either goals or achievements related to their digital offerings.” Some stations were not even able to provide a rationale for creating particular digital offerings. “Clearly, accurately measuring impact is difficult — if not impossible — if producers are not able to identify their own motivations,” Clark points out. Read the entire CPB report here (PDF).

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