About David Rockland

David Rockland, Ph.D. is chairman of Ketchum Global Research and Analytics at Ketchum. He has held leadership positions in corporate communications and research throughout his career, with extensive global experience in both fields.

Author Archive | David Rockland

Lessons Learned From a Long Career in Public Relations

I did it. On July 31, after 17 great years at Ketchum, I retired from my full-time role as CEO of Ketchum Global Research & Analytics. However, if being retired means not working at all, then let’s call it quasi-retirement. I have contracted with Ketchum to serve as KGRA’s part-time chairman for the next two years.

When you reach retirement, people at earlier stages of their careers often ask what lessons you’ve learned. Here are three of mine…

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Tribute to a Friend: Remembering Don Bartholomew

The Ketchum family and the PR world lost a true luminary when Don Bartholomew, SVP, Digital & Social Media Research, based in our Dallas office, passed away on June 1. He had been battling brain cancer since early 2014. He is survived by his wife Paula and son Seth.

Don and I were buddies for probably a dozen years before we started working together, so, while he reported to me as part of the Ketchum Global Research & Analytics team, I mainly thought of him as a friend. Frankly, as an employee, he would often question things I had decided, and as it turned out, he was usually right. The impact he had on our organization will be remembered for years to come – and his influence on the memories of those who had the pleasure to work with him will last a lifetime.

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What Bill Gates and Measurement have in Common

What do Bill Gates and communications measurement have in common?

As the co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates helped create an entire industry that has transformed how we do our jobs and how we live every day.

Now, through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he has also made huge strides in solving some of the world’s most difficult problems, improving the lives of millions.

In an essay based on his annual Foundation letter (The Saturday Essay, The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 25, 2013), Gates discussed the importance of constant measurement in eradicating many of the world’s worst problems.

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Analyze this: The latest developments in PR measurement

Analyze this: The latest developments in PR measurement

This post originally appeared on PRSA.org and is part of the monthly Ask Doc Rock series.

While analytics is an old idea, it has a new significance in public relations. In the past 15 years, we’ve evolved from rudimentary clip books to building databases detailing media that we generate.  We now have the data to really play in the world of ROI measurement.

In the last 15 years, we have evolved from making clip books with scissors and tape to building datasets about the quality and quantity of tour media placements.  We now have the data to make an impact in the world of ROI measurement.

The PR Moment Analytics Conference, held at Ketchum Pleon’s London offices on March 22, was the first conference where the topic of analytics was the feature of an industry event. Jessica, our up-and-coming account executive, stopped by my office when I returned to learn about new developments in PR measurement.

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From Barcelona to Hong Kong: Moving toward measurement standards

I left Jessica, our account executive, at the office and boarded a plane for Hong Kong to attend the first ever Asia-Pacific Summit on PR Measurement. Delegates from Singapore, Greater China, India,  Australia and other countries gathered on Feb. 29-March 1 to expound on the outcomes of previous measurements summits in Lisbon and Barcelona and, ultimately, advance the Business Case for Public Relations.

When I returned,  Jessica was curious about what I learned.  “I know that the Barcelona Principles set basic standards for PR measurement, and the Lisbon Summit produced a road map for measurement going forward,” she said. “But what happened in Hong Kong?”

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Make it count. What are valid metrics?

This post was originally published on PRSA.org for their monthly “Ask Doc Rock” column.

Jessica was back. This time she brought her boss Alana, a vice president.

“We have a problem,” Jessica began. “We’ve convinced more clients to stop using AVEs, but they keep asking what to replace them with.”

“And now we are planning for one of our largest global accounts,” added Alana.  “The client wants goals with specific key performance indicators and a measurement plan. But the work we do for them covers everything from employee engagement to public affairs to CSR to brand marketing. How do we decide what the right success factors or KPIs are?”

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What You and Your Clients Need to Know About Advertising Value Equivalents

This post was originally published on PRSA.org for their monthly “Ask Doc Rock” column.

Jessica was back with a big smile on her face. “Last month,  I almost got fired for a media analysis of the Bon Jovi party for the ‘Loved Ones Alarm Clock,’ showing a ‘return’ of $20 million in Advertising  Value Equivalents (AVEs).”

“After we talked, I measured the quality of the clips and message delivery to the target audience: people who sleep alone.  And, we added questions to the client’s tracking survey to figure out increases in awareness and actual purchase. The client was so happy,  I got promoted to account executive!”

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Measuring PR: Beyond the Barcelona Principles

This post originally appeared in the blog PRSAY, the official blog of the Public Relations Society of America.  If you’ve been following the measurement world within the PR industry over the last year or so, you’ve seen a fair amount of news coming out of first Barcelona in 2010, and then Lisbon this year. It may have caused you to wonder: How come the measurement folks meet in cool places on the Iberian Peninsula, and we get stuck with conferences in Detroit, Orlando and Philadelphia? Well, we welcome more people to the measurement tribe at any time, and in fact, the 2012 version of the European Measurement Summit will be in Paris.However, maybe measurement or Paris is not your thing, but you want to at least understand the state of play. Here is what you need to know.

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