Review: MetricsMan – How can we make the results count?

By: Rebecca Hadler / 15.02.2017

The book “MetricsMan. It doesn’t count unless you can count it” is written in memory of Don Bartholomew, an expert in the public relations (PR) measurement field. It is a compilation of Bartholomew’s blog posts from 2006 to 2014 and presents his opinions, insights and best practices on the most important topics of PR, social media research and measurement.

The posts are categorized into eight different chapters, each featuring a relevant theme of communications measurement. The first chapter presents the evolution of measurement. The posts of the second chapter clarify the definition and metrics of the widely-discussed return on investment. Following, the reader learns more about the right and wrong metrics in PR measurement. Chapter four and five shed light on social media measurement. Bartholomew’s long-time battle against the advertising value equivalents is presented in the sixth part of the book. The blog posts of chapter seven focus on some of the most heated topics in PR research and measurement featuring insights from other thought leaders, among them David Rockland, Katie Paine and James Grunig. The book closes with a compilation of blog articles dealing with the accountability of the communications profession.

It is an easy read and an entertaining book which is rarely the case in the field of communications measurement. However, it should be noted, that it is not a scientific book but a compact presentation of Bartholomew’s opinions and experiences in the first place. As the latest blog posts are from 2014 and as measurement tools and instruments are changing so fast, the book is not showcasing the state of the art. Nevertheless, the book provides valuable information for PR professionals, educators and students to learn about measurement in the communications industry and how to apply valid measurement models and frameworks in their practices.

About Don Bartholomew

Don Bartholomew was a well-recognized professional and thought leader in the communications measurement field. He died from cancer in June 2015.  Bartholomew spent the last few years at Ketchum as senior vice president for digital analytics for research and measurement. Previously, he did stints at a number of other public relations firms, including Fleishman and MWW. He shaped measurement programs for a huge array of clients, e.g. BMW, Gatorade, Michelin, AT&T, Novartis, Dell, Merck, and Johnson & Johnson.   
He was the author of the well-read blog MetricsMan, member of the Measurement Commission of the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) and vice chair of the Social Media Measurement Group of the international Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC). 


Bartholomew, Don & Fay Chen, Zifei, (Ed.) (2016). MetricsMan: It Doesn’t Count Unless You Can Count It. New York: Business Expert Press.

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