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Working towards the PR Measurement Agenda 2020

At the AMEC European Summit over 100 international delegates have been debating some draft statements to identify what it is that the PR industry most needs looking to the future.  The session was excellently hosted by David Rockland.

First we heard from three representatives of major client organisations – Andre Manning of Royal Philips Electronics, Cindy Conner of FedEx and Meenu Handa from Microsoft India.  All three of them concurred on some major themes that mattered most to them. To summarise:

  • social media measurement
  • aligning media measurement and business results
  • bringing PR measurement into marketing mix modelling
  • how does reputation relate to brand equity

After a debate amongst the industry practitioners, the delegates were presented with 10 draft statements on which to vote which were the top needs?:

  1. Measure how internal and external communications drive employee engagement and support business goals
  2. Create and adopt best-practice approaches and standards for culture change management
  3. Measurement of PR campaigns and programmes needs to become an intrinsic part of the PR toolkit
  4. Develop new business-focused language to align with other top management functions
  5. Continue to push for the elimination of AVEs and the adoption of valid metrics
  6. Define approaches that show how corporate reputation builds and creates value
  7. Create and adopt global standards for social media measurement
  8. Determine standard approaches for the inclusion of PR in a market mix and other analytical models
  9. Determine standard approaches to determine how PR drives brand equity
  10. Institute a client education program such that clients insist on measurement of outputs, outcomes and business results from PR programs

We voted in two ways.

First, we were asked to pick which was the most important to us.  Three of the statements came out top with a similar score – #3 “Measurement of PR Campaigns and programs needs to become an intrinsic part of the PR toolkit” was top with 22% support, #7 “Create and adopt global standards for social media measurement” was second just behind with 21% and #10 “Institute a client education program such that clients insist on measurement of outputs, outcomes and business results from PR programs” was third with 20% support.

We were then asked to vote in a slightly different way.  Each of the 110 delegates had to pick their top 4 draft statements and vote in it’s favour with a no vote for each of the others.  When done this way, the same three came out on top, but the emphasis changed slightly with #7 ”Create and adopt global standards for social media measurement” dominating with 83% support followed by #3 ”Measurement of PR Campaigns and programs needs to become an intrinsic part of the PR toolkit” in second with 73% and #10 ”Institute a client education program such that clients insist on measurement of outputs, outcomes and business results from PR programs” in third with 61%.

As one of the three presenters on the first steps to social media measurement global standards it was pleasing to see how seriously the industry is taking this.  (My slides setting out the opportunities and the risks to both PR and the evaluation industry are here: Moving towards social media measurement global standards)

It is also pleasing to see the industry start to prioritise  issues other than AVEs.  Personally, I would have liked to see more emphasis on the need to make PR measurement more standardised such that it can be brought in easily to market mix and other analytical models as represented by statement #8.  The changing shift in the media will bring PR into closer and closer co-operation – and competition –  with other marketing disciplines over the next few years.

To be able to measure it in an integrated manner will be crucial and will become imperative for the PR industry as we head towards 2020 is my suspicion.

The full results are below:

1. Measure how internal and external communications drive employee engagement and support business goals

Yes 14%  No 86%

2. Create and adopt best-practice approaches and standards for culture change management

Yes 12%   No 88%

3. Measurement of PR campaigns and programmes needs to become an intrinsic part of the PR toolkit

Yes 73%   No 27%

4. Develop new business-focused language to align with other top management functions

Yes 35%    No 27%

5. Continue to push for the elimination of AVEs and the adoption of valid metrics

Yes 35%   No 65%

6. Define approaches that show how corporate reputation builds and creates value

Yes  51%   No 49%

7. Create and adopt global standards for social media measurement

Yes 83%   No 17%

8. Determine standard approaches for the inclusion of PR in a market mix and other analytical models

Yes 36%   No 64%

9. Determine standard approaches to determine how PR drives brand equity

Yes 28%   No 72%

10. Institute a client education program such that clients insist on measurement of outputs, outcomes and business results from PR programs

Yes 61%   No 39%

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Written by Richard Bagnall

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  • http://www.brandalert.co.uk Nigel Sarbutts

    Richard, how many of the voting delegates arepurchasers/commissioners of PR services and how many providers of PR services?
    What’s the significance of 2020 to this?

  • Anonymous

    Hi Nigel, thanks for your comment, and thanks for your patience while I travelled back from AMEC’s European Summit on PR Measurement in Lisbon.  

    I don’t know the exact answer to your questions I am afraid.  I can hazard a guess though.  I should think that at least 90% of the audience were practitioners representing the major PR evaluation suppliers around the globe (including specialist companies, monitoring companies and PR consultancies’ evaluation divisions).  After all, AMEC as an organisation of course is there to represent the evaluation pracitioners specifically.  That said, there were a number of senior in-house PRs at the conference, but for the answer to the exact ratio you would need to contact Barry Leggetter at AMEC.  

    Likewise you would need to contact AMEC to get the answer to your question about the significance of 2020 as a date.  My understanding is that it is a  symbolic date representing ‘the next few years’ so that the industry could debate what are the big issues on which we need alignment.  

    • http://www.brandalert.co.uk Nigel Sarbutts

      Thanks Richard, the reason I ask is that I’m concerned that discussions of ending AVE and developing better methods (which I applaud) may be taking place in an echo chamber of measurement specialists, rather than in discussion with purchasers of PR (and by extension) measurement services.
      For AVE to be made history, it has to come from clients at every level of budget setting out and demanding an alternative. Taking it out of PR Week awards etc is a welcome but tiny step. The real shift will come if the COIs, Unilevers, Diageos etc of this world set out a framework that then gets cascaded. That is where I’d hope that AMEC CIPR and PRCA etc.would address their efforts, to get the buyers round the table, not the suppliers trying to invent a rocket when most of the market seems happy to soldier on with a clapped out old banger in AVE.

      I hope the outcome of Lisbon is more concrete, but to be honest the Barcelona Principles were a very poor foundation and the talk of a 2020 horizon makes me worried about the ambition.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=606310383 Stuart Edwards

    thats really useful, thanks

  • http://twitter.com/alanchumley Alan Chumley

    It’d be interesting to take a room full of PR not measurement) pracitioners through the same excercise and see if ‘their’ list lines up with ‘our list’.  :)   Wished I was there to vote.  I’d have voted much that same as the results.  #10 is sooooo onecessary but so like boiling the ocean.   

  • http://twitter.com/TeacakeTuesday1 Teacake Tuesday

    Don’t exclude the small companies….we also need help and a framework for clients who still don’t overly equate EVA’s to the Social PR equivalent impact

  • http://twitter.com/TeacakeTuesday1 Teacake Tuesday

    Don’t exclude the small companies….we also need help and a framework for clients who still don’t overly equate EVA’s to the Social PR equivalent impact

  • Pingback: Agenda 2020: mensuração de resultado em relações públicas | InComMetrics

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