Before we dive into the “how”, let’s be clear—a myriad of industry leaders agree that measurement is no longer an option for public relations professionals. It’s a must!
Why should I measure?
Gini Dietrich, who you may know as the developer of the PESO Model, has said on many occasions to get over your fear of numbers!
Tina McCorkindale, Ph.D., APR, the President and CEO of the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) also an AMEC Academic Advisory Board member, has said we need to stop measuring just for the “purpose of proving our value” instead we “need to be more future-looking and purpose-driven… The time is now for the industry to embrace new technologies and methods.
Nicole Moreo, Ketchum SVP of Analytics and AMEC North American Chair has said, “Sometimes just putting out basic metrics can actually hurt your measurement program and not help management see the true ROI and efforts you are putting in.”
Alex Aiken, Executive Director for UK Government Communications, puts it tersely, “To not measure communications is lazy and shows a lack of pride in the work being done.”
If it’s not already clear enough why measurement (the right way) is so important, Wendy Marx, President of Marx Communications, summed up the numerous benefits of PR measurement on her blog:
What you need
Let’s begin by recapping what you need in order to measure:
Industry-leading measurement tools
In case you aren’t already aware, AMEC is the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication. It is the world’s largest media intelligence and insights professional organization, and currently has more than 160 members in 86 countries worldwide.
Measuring communications campaigns isn’t easy—there is no magic bullet. However, the AMEC framework provides you with explanations and examples of each step, making it easier to identify the areas where you need input from other members of management, other teams and your own team. It points out you’ll also need:
There are numerous resources available on the AMEC site, for example, a complete taxonomy of evaluation tailored to strategic public communication—in simple terms, it shows where things go and where they fit in relation to each other in the process.
As you go through your measurement journey, some key concepts to keep in mind are:
Where do I start?
And, finally, like many others, you may be unsure of where to begin with all of this. We highly recommend the AMEC Maturity Mapper (aka M3). This will help you understand where you currently are in your measurement and evaluation process (a benchmark) but will also help you map your next steps.
Now we would like to hear from you! Are you currently or planning to use analytics to measure your public relations efforts? How does this process compare to how you are doing it? Let us know in the comments.