AMEC’s annual Measurement Month has rolled around once again and so the world of communications is singing with one voice about the ongoing challenge of measurement. Twelve months is not a long time but it seems now that real progress has at long last been made, thanks in no small part to AMEC and its launch of the Integrated Evaluation Framework (IEF). Today, no serious PR professional can claim ignorance about measurement given the rich source of information and knowledge that is freely available from AMEC’s website and other sources.
So does Measurement Month still have a purpose and why does a PRCA twitter chat on the subject of measurement still attract interest? The answer is yes on both counts because sadly, measurement continues to be a thorn in the side of the PR industry despite the progress I perceive has been made.
Industry leaders do now speak with one voice about the importance of measurement – their opinions are strong and purposeful. Clients challenge us daily to prove RoI. Pitches are won on the basis of good insight and rigorous measurement of campaigns. Awards are awarded. And so on and so on. But the fact remains, good measurement practice is patchy. Investment in measurement is not where it should be. Teams and whole agencies are not always embracing measurement at the heart of their business. In short we cannot claim yet that the PR industry truly does speak with one voice on the subject
And this is why Measurement Month and the ensuing conversation is still needed. I’d argue that we have created a myth around measurement that permeates our industry and which paralyzes even the sharpest of professionals. In the #amecmm#PRCAchat that took place today (08.09.16), Francis Ingham (PRCA CEO) asked the question: “What can we as an industry do to move methods of measurement in the right direction?” The answers were as you might expect: they were focused around education; around ensuring consistency of approach, around continuing to engage with each other; and on ensuring measurement is ethical.
I take a slightly different view. As a mid-sized global agency we have embraced the measurement ethos. We have sought to bring our people along on the measurement journey not through a top down approach but by highlighting the impact great measurement has on the day to day client relationship. I’m a strong believer that behind every happy client you’ll find a happy team. We’ve invested in technology and tools to ensure everyone has measurement capabilities on their desktop – we’ve made measurement accessible. It’s been built into all training at every level and is recognised and rewarded through promotions, through the case studies we share and the awards we win.
So while the leaders debate and the industry spins, the fact is that the answer perhaps lies much closer at home. Work with the talent that drives your business and encourage internal revolution and innovation. The message and myth around measurement that has perhaps tied us all up in knots can be unravelled by those not influenced by years of debate. Let’s turn to the next generation of leaders and see what a difference they can make.