Flemming Madison, of Onalytica, has come out with a list of PR blogs by their “relative influence” around the terms “PR” and “Blog.”
Flemming posits that those that make the list are influential based on these words and the relative weight of those that link to them or propagate their ideas.
It is an interesting concept and as Flemming points out in his first post on the subject citation analysis has long been used by the academic field to measure the influence of academic journals, articles, scholars and universities.
The Problem With Lists
In a Twitter conversation with Constantin Basturea, who appears at number three on the list, he expressed frustration with the obsession of lists and rankings as an ROI measure.
The fact that Constantin does rank so high on the Onalytica list, as opposed to his rank of #65 on the Power 150 list, made me take a second look at this list. As a member of the PR blogging community, I happen to know that Constantin is hugely influential, even though he doesn't post that often. The other PR bloggers watch what he has to say, and he has long been the keeper of new PR blogs and other innovative ideas.
On the other hand, Shel Holtz, who IS very influential doesn't make the list at all, which for those that read PR Blogs and listen to podcasts know, MUST be a major oversight.
A Brilliant Marketing Move By Onalytica?
So here is my take. From a public relations perspective, I would be happy to use the Onalytica method as a STARTING point for composing a list of influential bloggers in a vertical sector. For instance, travel blogs are notoriously hard to find in Technorati. However, I would spend a lot more time expanding my list from there since it is clear that these lists are not comprehensive. Of course, that means I would have to PAY Onalytica for this analysis instead of putting in the time and effort on my own to get the bare bones of the list together.
In other words, the list is simply a demonstration of the capability of Onalytica to its core customers, which are PR pros – who also happen to be a bit obsessed with rankings and links (me included).
It shows that Onalytica knows their customer, even if their methodology only serves as a starting point and doesn't show real return on investment (ROI).
UPDATE: Oops! Okay, maybe not so brilliant. In addition to Shel Holtz, Flemming says he left a number of OTHER “influential” blogs off of the Onalytica list, including Strumpette (Flemming didn't mention this, but it is missing), Hyku, ToddAnd (funny that) and Bulldog Reporter (is that really a blog, I don't think so), among others. I guess it is back to the drawing board. It goes to show (again) that these lists are mere starting points.
Some Tips on PR Measurement
For some great measurement tips, look at the list of links I out together that include business goals and other measures. Also, I interviewed Katie Paine about her Six Steps to PR Measurement a few months ago on my YouTube channel.
tags: PR, Public+Relations, Measurement, Onalytica