The proliferation of social media has discombobulated all traditional forms of measuring influence. PR practitioners are among the first to realize this, because suddenly, their jobs are radically more complicated. Instead of just mainstream media journalists and producers, suddenly there are renegade bloggers, YouTube video creators, and Tweeters that all can drive people to action.
The old forms of PR don’t work in this context: a Rolodex of a few hundred people (and yes, there are still some dinosaurs that have Rolodexes) is not going to cut it against millions of influential Facebook accounts.
The world has shifted, but the tools have not kept pace. Klout is perhaps the most robust service for measuring influence yet, and that only looks at one outpost: Twitter.
So, the come on I received in my inbox recently was enticing: “How influential are you online? Click to find out!”