At the Comms Council, we love a good yarn. So, when we asked the “HERDmeister” Mark Earls for his thoughts on effective social media ahead of his upcoming summit appearance in Australia, we knew we would be in for a treat.

Mark Earls: The King was in his counting house counting out his money. Sometimes there was more money and sometimes less.

Sometimes the money came in fast but went out slow and sometimes it came in slow and went out fast (which was not as good).

Desirous of knowing more, he summoned up his Lord Chancellor to explain the thing to him.

“Why is it”, he asked, “that sometimes what I do makes me loads of money and sometimes it doesn’t? And sometimes nothing happens? I don’t know which bit of my regal budget is working to build my royal wealth!”

“Ah” murmured the greasy Lord Chancellor “the old ‘I don’t know which bit of my budget is working’ routine”.

“My lord” he grovelled, “may I recommend your Highness spend more of your royal moolah on Social Media? It’s ever so measurable”.

Except that it isn’t.

And the Lord Chancellor knew all along that was a porkie.

Just because Social spewed out more numbers than a royal personage could ever desire, Counting would never be the same as Measuring.

Come find out how the story ends: Mark Earls will talk about Measuring not Counting – learnings from IPASocialWorks at the Marketing Effectiveness on Trial Summit in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. But don’t tell his Maj.