Beyond networks: Measurement, modeling and the emerging transformation of public relations

  • Alex Sévigny McMaster University
Keywords: public relations, communications management, communication strategy, return on investment, return on engagement, metrics,


This editorial for the fourth issue of the Journal of Professional Communication (vol. 3, issue 1, 2013) discusses how the development of a set of metrics are the necessary next step for the emergence of an applied art and science of public relations. The author discusses how the professional communicators of the future will be the “engineers of the humanities,” able to reduce the complexity of human emotion, society and interaction into their component parts using different quantitative and qualitative models. The ability to construct such models will enable professional communicators to bridge the gap between metrics measuring “return on engagement” with metrics measuring ultimate “return on investment.” The author is very hopeful that these metrics will emerge from new research and expresses excitement at the fact that this is a new, open field of study.

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