Paul Holmes 20 Dec 2023 // 12:46PM GMT
Mark Weiner, a pioneer in the public relations measurement field and a longtime advocate for a more rigorous approach to metrics, has died. He was 68.
In 1994, Weiner began a long career working in research and insights that spanned roles at PRIME Research, Cision, Delahaye, Public Relay, and Ketchum. He led Ketchum’s global research practice, and served on the executive leadership team of Delahaye Medialink during its IPO on NASDAQ. he served for 12 years as CEO of PRIME Research before transitioning to Chief Insights Officer at Cision following its acquisition of PRIME.
“As a practitioner, Mark contributed to the science and art of public relations measurement, but more than that, he built up a community around that practice,” said Chelsea Mirkin, head of global analysis at Cision, in one of many tributes submitted to the Institute of Public Relations. “This is Mark’s gift and unique legacy, and one which will undoubtedly continue to impact us all for years to come.”
In 2022 he joined PublicRelay, a leading communications analytics and advisory company, as chief insights officer. Later that year, he appeared on a panel at PRovoke Global, discussing the flaws with PR's hourly billing model.
In those roles, he provided counsel to hundreds of senior professionals. Says Oscar Suris, chief communications officer at Duke Energy, “Mark was an engaged, enthusiastic, and staunch believer in IPR’s mission, embodying what this organization has long sought to attract: Leaders who share a passion for the role that measurement and research plays in the profession we love.”
In addition to serving in leadership and consulting roles with almost every top tier research and analytics company, Weiner was active in industry leadership roles.
In 1997, he was instrumental in launching the Institute of Public Relations Measurement Commission, the IPR’s oldest and largest Center of Excellence. He served as chair in 2004 and then returned in 2017, when he served as director for two terms. He also served on the Board of the Museum of Public Relations and was a member of the Page Society.
“I remember Mark as a life-long learner, and as a practitioner-turned educator, I admire Mark for his humble approach to our profession and to life,” says Maria Russell, professor of public relations at Syracuse University. “Yes, he was a leading figure in research, a sought-after conference speaker and author, but it was his post-lecture interaction with his audiences that I will especially remember… interviewing students to gain from them new insights, new takeaways, new applications to his own work – the mark of a life-long learner, and a role model for all of us.”
In 2018, he received the IPR Jack Felton Medal for Lifetime Achievement for his contributions to measurement and evaluation. Weiner was also inducted into the PRNews Measurement Hall of Fame.
His 2021 book, “PR Technology, Data, and Insights,” offers practical advice for anyone getting started or those well on their measurement journey.