PROVING VALUE IN AN INTEGRATED WORLD
WHY WE NEED TO MOVE FROM MEASURING OUTPUTS ONLY
Board Director AMEC,
CEO PRIME Research UK
Richard Bagnall @richardbagnall
Co managing partner, CARMA International
There are a number of reasons why the industry needs to move on from its past focus on content analysis as a proxy for measurement of communications activity. Like it or not, we live in a world where many of the metrics that were relied on in the past to measure communication effectiveness are losing their relevance.
The media universe is expanding in terms of channels and outlets, but contracting in terms of audience and attention. As channels fragment across paid, earned, shared and owned, counting the old output metrics alone like volume, impressions and reach accurately and meaningfully, is becoming more and more difficult.
Not only is there the challenge of sourcing accurate data from media that in some cases keeps this information private, but in the online world, many of the numbers returned are easy to gain and cheat. As a result, volumes and impressions can no longer be looked upon as particularly meaningful metrics much beyond being interpreted as essentially an index.
When these challenges are coupled with the new reality of the integrated world where PRs are expected to be comfortable working across paid, earned, shared and owned media, it is clear that we need to move our thinking on. We must move from basic output counting alone to proving the value of our efforts by looking at the out-takes, outcomes and impacts that are derived from our work.
AMEC’s Integrated Evaluation Framework does exactly this – it sets out a clear and easy-to-follow method for telling the story of great PR from objectives to target audiences, to planning, benchmarks, targets, activities, outputs, out-takes, outcomes and organisational impact.
Only when the PR sector looks to measure the entirety of its effect will it be able to answer key questions about its performance in meaningful and credible ways.