Here’s our first #socialstudent ranking of the academic year. This ranks UK-based public relations students according to their Klout and PeerIndex scores.
For week one, we’re publishing a top ten list (five universities are represented and there are comparable numbers of men and women). We aim to expand this list in the coming weeks and to publish weekly tables (with a break for Christmas and New Year) until the end of March when we will be announcing the winner.
How to join?
If you want to join the ranking (or would like us to remove your name), then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or @behindthespin and tell us your university, your course and your year. The ranking is open to students on full-time undergraduate and postgraduate PR courses at UK universities.
As a guide, PR courses will have Public Relations in the title – though we will consider exceptions such as Corporate Communication. Marketing or advertising students studying one public relations unit or module are not eligible – though if you’re outperforming the top PR students I’d be keen to know who you are.
Do check your Klout and PeerIndex scores first: to compete in the top ten you will currently need an average score over 50.
Why Klout and PeerIndex?
Influencer metrics is a controversial topic. Giving one number to rank Lady Gaga (93) against Barack Obama (99) seems crude, and it ignores the huge influence they have outside of the social media echo chamber. Klout in particular comes in for much criticism.
We’re open to debate about these sites and our methodology – and also want to warn students that this ranking is less important than your essays, exams, work experience and graduate job applications. But we hope it might help with any and all of these.
Despite reservations, metrics are becoming increasingly important in public relations, and employers are starting to take note of such measures. We use Klout and PeerIndex because they are becoming widely used and because they both provide a directly comparable score out of 100.
By using these measures we’re not applying any subjective judgement to our ranking, and by using two measures we make it harder to students to ‘game’ the system. PeerIndex is for most students a tougher measure than Klout (which appears to rate Facebook activity more highly).
To compete, you are encouraged to register at Klout and PeerIndex: both sites are free, but as with any other free service you register for, be careful about the permissions you grant and be aware that they are seeking to make money out of their networks by offering ‘perks’.