Team IC were out in force at last week’s AMEC international summit on the measurement and evaluation of communications. It’s an over–used word, but we really are passionate about the importance of measuring the business impact of our work – so it was with great excitement that we witnessed the unveiling of an important new tool that will help the industry to raise its game.
Here, guest blogger Barry Leggetter – CEO of AMEC – explains what the new tool is and how he hopes it will finally banish ‘fluffy’ evaluation from PR practice.
We launched the new PR measurement framework at our AMEC International Summit on measurement in London last Thursday.
The new measurement Framework uses digital technology to help the user through a step-by-step process which “operationalises” and shows how to implement Barcelona Principles 2.0, whilst linking organisational objectives to comms objectives, outputs, outtakes, outcomes and organisational impact. The Framework measures across all P.E.S.O. channels.
We have launched the Framework with a comprehensive supporting website of resource material.
The new AMEC Framework has been deliberately developed as an interactive tool to deliver a step-by-step user process with tool tips for information and follow-on resources for the user. The digital team at LEWIS created the tool as a pro bono initiative on behalf of AMEC.
It is also compatible with the thinking of the UK Government Communications Service with whom AMEC has a strong relationship for “taking measurement mainstream”.
Richard Bagnall, CEO of Prime Research UK and an AMEC Board Director, led the working group which developed the tool.
He said: “We wanted to take the pain out of measuring communication in what has become an ever more complex world. This interactive tool allows organisations of all sizes to easily plan and measure their integrated communications activity, proving the value of their work in a meaningful and credible manner.”
Jeremy Thompson, Chairman, AMEC and Managing Director, Cision EMEA, said: ““We believe this is a break-through tool for PR and communications professionals and we encourage you to embrace and adopt it as we look to drive best practice and common standards.”
A key part of the development work was the contribution of Jim Macnamara, Professor of Public Communication at the University of Technology, Sydney and the feedback of the AMEC Academic Group he chairs for AMEC. As a result the Framework incorporates business process measurement techniques ensuring that communications can now be measured using the language of business.
Reaction has been overwhelmingly positive from the communications research and PR industry.
David B. Rockland, Ph.D., Partner/CEO, Ketchum Global Research & Analytics and the Immediate Past Chairman, of AMEC, said: “I think this new interactive tool is fantastic and a hugely valuable tool to the industry.
“It takes the theory of the Barcelona Principles into a reality of setting goals, establishing KPIs and implementing measurement programmes. It is something I can see using all the time with many of our clients and account teams.”
Rob Brown, President of the CIPR, said: “Measuring and evaluating PR campaigns has never been an easy task, historically comparing editorial values to their advertising equivalents seemed like a seductive idea. We put a monetary value on what we do and people bought into it, but it was nonsensical.
“The Barcelona Principles of 2010 and 2015 recognised the need for measurement of real outcomes rather than just outputs it was a huge step forward for public relations and evidence of an increasing commitment to professionalism.”
Francis Ingham, PRCA Director General & ICCO Chief Executive, said: “This new approach from AMEC is exactly what the PR industry has been waiting for. What I like about the AMEC Valid Metrics 2.0 Framework is its simplicity; I’ve seen the methodology and like the logical step-by-step process. I trust AMEC to have got it right, too.
“The PRCA and ICCO have a strong history with AMEC, we both challenge and support each other and that has to be the healthiest of relationships. This is how important I judge the new AMEC Framework to be: I commit that ICCO will recommend to all 48 country PR associations in our membership to work hard to get their 2,500 agencies to adopt this new AMEC framework.”
Giles Peddy, Group Managing Director UK at LEWIS, whose firm helped develop the interactive framework and was on stage for the launch, urged clients and PR consultancies to embrace and adopt the new model.
He said; “The new interactive framework gives users a clear methodology and taxonomy to develop a clear, measureable communications plan, and evaluate its success.”
Kevin Read, Executive Chairman and Partner, Bell Pottinger, said: “AMEC’s new metrics framework is a formidable piece of work that anchors powerful, relevant and useable thinking in a practical and easy to follow way. For Bell Pottinger the new Framework is particularly helpful in laying out a pathway that our consultants can follow. It is helpful for conversations with clients on how to establish, plan and report on the effectiveness of campaigns.”
Alex Aiken, Executive Director of Government Communications, UK Government, said: “Evaluating communications effectiveness has never been more important. Across the UK Government, the AMEC Barcelona Principles have helped us to make sure we are measuring what matters. The Barcelona Principles need to be applied in practice so I welcome this new AMEC Interactive Framework which brings these Principles to life in a user friendly way.
“It’s great to see the industry moving to reflect the integrated nature of modern communications and providing a framework for all levels – not just experts – to apply strong evaluation principles.”
For more information about measurement in PR and then new AMEC Framework, please visit Amec.org