Measurement Month Shines Spotlight on Communications Evaluation
The annual AMEC (International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication) Measurement Month, which takes place throughout September, has once again shone the spotlight on all things measurement and evaluation.
The campaign aims to inform communications professionals and businesses on the importance of measuring and evaluating PR in an effective way. Jago Director, Shona Jago-Curtis recently contributed to the debate by taking part in the “Measurement Matters: CIPR NI & AMEC Measurement Month Panel Event” which CIPR Northern Ireland organised earlier this month in Belfast.
At Jago, we believe that effective measurement and evaluation should be at the heart of all professional communications and PR practice.
But we also recognise that it’s not a simple and there is currently no single ‘catch all’ tool for measurement. Clients’ business objectives must be the ultimate metric and there are a number of ways to prove the impact of communications across integrated media including paid, earned, shared and owned which help to truly understand impact.
AMEC’s 2017 Measurement Month focused on the eradication of, “advertising equivalency value (AVE) and all of its derivatives as metrics in public relations work,” which has been a move well-supported in the industry over the past number of years. Jago is amongst several in the communications industry who have welcomed this call.
Despite recent campaigns, AVE is still a widely used metric with Kantar Media revealing that of the company’s 1,000 analysis clients, 25% are still requesting AVE figures.
Recent research also shows that some professionals are having difficulty measuring the impact of the use of digital influencers. Over a third of marketers were unable to calculate if their influencer activity is driving sales and many typically focused on improving brand reach first before they consider impact on sales.
We believe that instead of measuring with a one-size-fits-all metric such as AVE, companies should focus on what they actually want to achieve and build evaluation metrics around their objectives and organisational KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators).
There are many different methods to evaluate the impact of PR and communications activity. To find the right mix we will ask clients what they currently measure – be it sales, marketing, visitor numbers or changes in behaviour. This then informs the goal-setting at the start of a campaign as well as what needs to be measured along the way to demonstrate communications impact.
For those looking to improve their current evaluation and measurement, AMEC’s interactive framework is a useful guide and one which we have integrated into our work at Jago. It provides users with a workable format that allows them to input their own campaign details, set objectives and build a measurement plan in advance, offering tips and support along the way.
While PR and communications measurement remains a work in progress, at Jago we find it an essential cornerstone of our work and we for one will continue to support measurement months and other initiatives developed by the industry in this area.