Media Measurement

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Fresh Ideas from BurrellesLuce. Although we’re at the forefront of PR - leading innovation in media monitoring and measurement - we don’t know it all. That’s why we are out there exploring and learning alongside you. Fresh Ideas from BurrellesLuce gathers our resident experts and industry insider guest bloggers to share their thoughts on media, public relations, and marketing and provide you with a place to share ideas about what matters most to you. Together we can ensure breakthrough communications.
Updated: 3 hours 31 min ago

Build a Framework for Better PR Measurement

Oct 30, 2014

flickr user Markus Grossalber under CC BY

by Sharon Miller

Showing the impact of your PR strategy is perhaps the most vital aspect of proving the effectiveness of your campaigns and growing your future public relations strategies, but it’s not easy to determine which data is important and which analytics you should focus on. At this year’s PRSA International Conference, I attended a session about just this issue. The day’s experts were Jeni Chapman, US managing director of Gorkana; Sparky Zivin, director at Brunswick Group; and Elizabeth Stoltz, senior research associate at Ketchum.

The panelists stressed that the industry-level goal is to build frameworks, akin to the Barcelona Principles. The advocate abandoning silos and having PR and marketing teams work together to share and talk about their plans and objectives.

As PR pros, it can be difficult to determine what conversations you should listen to, as there’s a lot of noise out there. The panelists suggest getting rid of the noise and focusing on quality. And getting quality in your data is crucial, as the AMEC International Business Insights Survey showed that 67 percent of clients request a clear financial ROI.

The importance of a framework is twofold: first, it helps define your PR activity with content creation, traditional media, social media, influencers, stakeholders, and events. It also helps you measure intermediary effects like audience reach, impressions, and number of articles.

The panelists presented a case study of an Aquafresh campaign, in which the Tooth Fairy left her calling card, or a note in a box for a child who lost a tooth. There was a two-minute song that incentivized brushing teeth, and the length of that song was based on the American Dental Association recommendation that people brush their teeth for two minutes.

In addition to a great PR response that included Tooth Fairy inflation (higher prices for a tooth), kids also talked about how much money they received for their tooth. The measureable outcome resulted in a 2.7 percent increase in sales, and the PR team got a larger budget for marketing because the management saw how PR drives noise.

Panelists also presented a UNICEF case study, which showcases the steps PR pros should take to an effective, measurable campaign. UNICEF’s goal included a global strategy across their more than 100 international offices. They followed precise steps, first selecting their audience, which included youth (to inspire action), the middle class, government and corporations, and their employees, who would hopefully drive the initiative.

They defined key objectives for each audience, including reaching one billion around the world and getting them to take action and getting 50 million of them to actively engage. Next, they adapted their measurement framework to include voice, reach, engagement, brand, and message delivery. They then selected KPIs in each framework element, including quality of communications activities, quality of noise, and quality of reach.

Next, they applied tools and mechanics to measure the impact of their work, which included social media engagement, event attendance, online followers and supporters, and behavioral changes like volunteering.

With a framework like this in mind, it makes measuring your impact an easier, more precise job. And remember that though there are plenty of algorithms and automated measurement tools out there, nothing will ever replace human judgment.

What do you think are the best steps for devising and measuring an effective PR campaign?

Categories: Media Measurement

Facebook Exec Mike Buckley on How PR Pros Can Use Data

Oct 23, 2014

by flickr user r2hox under CC BY-SA

by Kristan Nicholson

Besides being a devoted husband, father of two girls and member of the 40-something-man band “The Love Handles,” Mike Buckley is also VP of Global Business Communications at Facebook.

On the final day of the PRSA 2014 International Conference in Washington, D.C., he tells the crowd of more than 800 communicators that “Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share, to make the world more open and connected. The ONLY way we can do this, to service our 1.3 billion customers, is through the use of data, math and analytics.” And every PR person in the room cringed. “Gasp!  Math?!”

He asked how many people in the room majored in math, data or analytics in college and maybe one person responded. But we all measure results, right? This proves that we can use data without math; we just need to embrace it and not be afraid of it. We can become analytical without being a math expert, as simple analytics can have tangible benefits and drive business results. We must correlate our press results with business metrics. Test small audiences, look at K factor (the virality of a story), review social chatter (small clusters of people who are responsible for majority of chatter), and communicate with that group.

Buckley continued to tell us that data equals power; data equals intelligence; data keeps executives from panicking.  And there are three laws of news cycles: Understand the cycle; shorten (or extend?) the cycle; and get ahead of it.  None of us can manage what we can’t measure. None of us can advise what we don’t measure.  And if we (PR pros) don’t do it, how can we ever get a seat at the table?

Every other executive function does their jobs grounded in data and analysis, and we need to pick up our game. Several ways we can do this is by having lunch with someone in our company responsible for analytics. Marry PR with their art. Push our clients to spend money on analytics. Fight for the right to test.  And most importantly: approach everything with an ethical framework. Always do the right thing.

Mike concluded with a story, which seemingly challenged everything he’d just told us. He started by saying: “The biggest lever on Facebook reputation has to do with the experience people have with their product.” Their best day was the launch of their “Look Back” video. When Jesse Berlin’s dad made a video standing in his living room with tears flowing down his cheeks begging someone at Facebook to help him recover his late son’s “Look Back” video, it didn’t go viral. It didn’t have a K-factor.  And data would never explain John’s pain. Because regardless of the fact that data can tell us so much, predicting business outcomes will never replace human action. And there should be days when data simply shouldn’t matter. Mike’s team retrieved Jesse’s video for his dad and THAT is what it’s all about.

 

 

Categories: Media Measurement

Measurement Week Interviews: Mark Stouse

Sep 26, 2014

flickr user HeavyWeightGeek under CC BY

Last week was AMEC’s International Measurement Week, and to honor it, we reached out to some of the top measurement experts to get their take on measurement dos and don’ts, common mistakes, and how they found themselves a member of the Measurati. We got such an enthusiastic response that we’re extending our celebration to include all their answers. We’ll be running their answers all this week, and be sure to check out our latest newsletter for measurement insights from 11 other experts in the field.

Let’s hear from today’s featured expert, Mark Stouse, creator of the Influence Scoring System.

What is your “measurement moment,” the time you knew your career was becoming measurement-focused?

My “measurement moment” happened in 1992 when I left the profession and agency life, a departure I assumed at the time was forever. I moved into a series of business roles, including sales, product development, and ultimately leader of a new business that I created in the defense sector.

Looking back, it is clear to me that this decision to join the business was the best investment I ever made in my marketing and communications career. Its impact on me has proven as indelible as any tattoo.

I got a very intense education in what it means to be in business. For example, I gained a new appreciation for what it meant to make quota, not just in the conventional sales sense, but also as a leader who had to make payroll. My vision of things became significantly enlarged. I began to understand how hard it is for a CEO to balance everything that a business is, particularly all of those often zero-sum investment choices that must be made in a rapidly growing enterprise.

I began to see life through the eyes of a business leader, because that’s what I had become. Today, that perspective still is very present in my conversations with CEOs and other leaders, even though I earned it years ago in a much smaller company.

I sold the company in 1999, and I re-entered the profession on the agency side. But I had changed dramatically. From that point forward, I operated as a business leader who happened to specialize in marketing and communications. The result was a completely different approach, one that focused – above all things – on connecting marketing and communications investment to business drivers.

Today, I’m pleased to say that we’ve done it.   We have a proven methodology, manifested in a cloud-based platform that correlates investment in Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned (PESO) channels to both functional outcomes and business impact, including revenue, margin and cash flow. But to be honest, I doubt very much that I would have pursued those connections to business impact if I had not first discovered what it means to be in business instead of just being in a business.

What is your proudest measurement moment?

In 2008, it became clear that the Influence Scoring System (ISS) actually worked, not just at the marketing and communications level but with the CxOs that was designed for in the first place. The system showed for the first time that it could tie investment in both Earned and Shared programs to both functional outcomes and CFO-certified business impact.

It didn’t take long for ISS to start receiving tangible recognition. Based on its data, we received large increases in our budgets during the depths of the recession. Later, it won a BMC Innovation Award – it was the first time that anything outside of the company’s product line had won the award. In 2014, ISS was recognized as the Innovation of the Year in Marketing and Communications, and then it received the Holmes Report Diamond SABRE Award this past May in New York City. We had come a long, long way.

What is your most important piece of measurement advice?

There are several important pieces of advice. First, start with the business KPIs and drill down into your function. Anything else is classic “inside-out” thinking and will not get you where you need to go.

Second, remember that the C-suite only cares about the past if that data strongly suggests what’s going to happen next. If it doesn’t do that, you’re wasting their time and yours too. Third, get clear on what ROI is and is not. By definition, ROI is a cash-on-cash number, so it applies to business metrics like revenue, margin and cash flow. The number of impressions you racked up last quarter is not the ROI on the investment you made to get them.

What’s the most common measurement mistake you encounter?  

Reporting out again and again and again on metrics and KPIs that business leaders don’t care about. When they see that you actually use them to run your function, it dawns on them just how disconnected you are from everything about the business. That’s why you have no “seat at the table” during normal business hours.

Tell us a breakthrough story, in which you took your company from metrics to KPIs.

I joined BMC Software in early 2006 to lead Communications. The team was the “tail on the dog” inside the company. We were order takers and the last people in the company to know anything. The team’s only metric was a quarterly clip book, and even that was not exactly anything to brag about.

Soon after, however, we replaced the incumbent agency with Waggener Edstrom, and we immediately began to publish a standard report of coverage and the common metrics we all know so well: volume, tone, reach, share of voice, etc.

In early 2007, I presented my thinking about a new system to the executive team, one that would begin to connect the dots and demonstrate progressively stronger correlations between their investment in Comms and our business impact. They gave it the thumbs up, though even they didn’t see how it could be actually implemented.

But by the end of 2008, we had moved well past the retrospective view into the ability to accurately forecast of our future performance. We also showed an ability to understand, calibrate and manage our opportunity cost, ensuring that a lot more of the money we were spending “ended up on the screen,” as they say in Hollywood.

As the data rigor in the system began to deepen and strengthen, our conversation with the C-suite and the sales teams began to change rather dramatically. By 2009, we were launching nascent connections between ISS and sales data. Our first success was in demonstrating how, why and to what extent we were helping to drive faster sales velocity. Everyone looked at the logic path and the data connections and said “Wow!” Actually, it was more colorful and emphatic than that, but you get the point.

And from that point forward, we were off to the races.

What do you see as measurement’s biggest challenge ahead?

It sounds like a simplistic answer, but we have too many people in marketing and PR who chose the profession because they were not good at math. We spend time asking “Is the PR profession creative enough?” when we should be asking, “Do you understand how your business makes money?”

I see a lot of people in marketing and communications today who are real scared of measurement and the accountability that goes with it. This aversion to data and the language of the business world is the single most destructive thing in our profession today. It’s time to do what is necessary to get over that fear.

There’s been a lot of work done at the tactical end of things to try to standardize marketing and communications metrics. But the only standards that are determinant here are the standards of the business. Several years ago, a really famous tech CEO said to me: “Your colleagues need to understand that we (business leaders) expect marketing and communications to understand our standard of proof and meet it, not develop their own.”

Bonus question: You just won the lottery. What’s your dream job?

I’m an innovator. I’ve been one all my life. My 8th grade teacher wrote “Innovator = Big Helper” next to my name in the yearbook, and that’s really how I think about it.

One day, I’d like to apply that bent – and all I’ve learned about how to innovate – in the service of humanity. For that reason, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has a very special attraction for me. Not only for the work they do, but for the way they have disrupted philanthropy by driving a very strong tie between their investment and real impact on the ground.

When I look at what they’ve accomplished, it pushes all of my buttons.

 

Categories: Media Measurement

Measurement Week Interviews: Margot Sinclair Savell

Sep 24, 2014

flickr user Randen Pedersen under CC BY

Last week was AMEC’s International Measurement Week, and to honor it, we reached out to some of the top measurement experts to get their take on measurement dos and don’ts, common mistakes, and how they found themselves a member of the Measurati. We got such an enthusiastic response that we’re extending our celebration to include all their answers. We’ll be running their answers all this week, and be sure to check out our latest newsletter for measurement insights from 11 other experts in the field.

Let’s hear from today’s featured expert, Margot Sinclair Savell, SVP of global measurement at Research+Data Insights, Hill+Knowlton Strategies. Savell also held a Measurement Week webinar with BurrellesLuce; you can listen to it here.

What is your “measurement moment,” the time you knew your career was becoming measurement-focused?

Almost two decades ago, I was the website manager for some major television news stations on the west coast, when I discovered how content placement impacts audience size. That’s when I first understood the value of measurement insights to drive future strategy and increase growth. I was hooked.

What is your proudest measurement moment?

Thankfully, there have been many, but the first one was winning the Cox Interactive Media award for Greatest Audience Growth at one of those TV news websites. A more recent moment was when we moved a client from measuring ad value equivalencies (AVEs) to measuring quality KPIs that reflect the impact of PR. (Details in #5 below)

What is your most important piece of measurement advice?

Follow the Barcelona Principles; measurement should always be tied to business and communications goals.

What’s the most common measurement mistake you encounter?

Over the years, I’ve frequently been asked this question: “We just had a really successful campaign; how do I measure it?” We cannot slap on measurement at the end of a campaign because we don’t have a benchmark with baseline findings to track changes over time. A meaningful measurement program should be part of every communications plan — from the beginning — and should inform decisions on a daily basis.

Tell us a breakthrough story, in which you took your client from metrics to KPIs.

Our client knew that ad value equivalencies (AVEs) do not measure the impact of public relations efforts, but her senior leadership insisted on it. We developed a monthly scorecard with several metrics, including AVEs, and also featured a quality score based on KPIs. But each month, we displayed the AVEs metric in progressively smaller font sizes, while the quality score remained larger and highlighted in a different color than the other metrics. The quality score was also accompanied by strategic insights and actionable recommendations. Over time, the senior leadership came to favor the quality score and we eliminated the AVEs.

What do you see as measurement’s biggest challenge ahead?

The biggest challenge will be measuring big data, which is very exciting.

Bonus question: You just won the lottery. What’s your dream job? 

Does retirement count?

Categories: Media Measurement

Measurement Week Interviews: Katie Paine

Sep 23, 2014

flickr user antony_mayfield under CC BY

Last week was AMEC’s International Measurement Week, and to honor it, we reached out to some of the top measurement experts to get their take on measurement dos and don’ts, common mistakes, and how they found themselves a member of the Measurati. We got such an enthusiastic response that we’re extending our celebration to include all their answers. We’ll be running their answers all this week, and be sure to check out our latest newsletter for measurement insights from 11 other experts in the field.

Let’s hear from today’s featured expert, Katie Paine, measurement queen and CEO of Paine Publishing. She has founded two measurement companies and is the author of three books about measurement. Her latest book, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit, Using Data to Change the World,won the 2013 Terry McAdam book award.

What is your “measurement moment,” the time you knew your career was becoming measurement-focused?

1,698 Measurement Weeks ago, I did my first research project for Fujitsu Semiconductor. I was 29, an Asian Studies major working in Silicon Valley. I knew nothing about semiconductors, but had to make a key decision about where to spend the budget. I did a cost per lead and cost per impression analysis of competing semiconductor trade magazines, relative to the media coverage they’d given us and the competition.

As a result, I was able to carve $100,000 out of my and put it to better use. My first benchmarking project followed shortly – I interviewed 20 of my peers in Silicon Valley to find out how much of their budget they typically spent on a product launch. – That got me a $3 million advertising and marketing budget for the following year.  I quickly learned that for an ex-journalist Asian History Major working for engineers in Silicon Valley, nothing impressed like data and charts and graphs

What is your proudest measurement moment?

Getting the Social Media Measurement Standards written, approved and published in 18 months

What is your most important piece of measurement advice?

Data without insight is just trivia, make sure your measurement report connects the dots, don’t just throw data over the cubicle wall.

What’s the most common measurement mistake you encounter?

Not tying results back to business goals (also known as confusing outputs and outcomes).

Tell us a breakthrough story, in which you took your client from metrics to KPIs.

In the last few years I’ve taken a tourism destination, a major pharma company, an international non-profit, and a bank from AVE hell to integrated outcome metrics that tie their communications activities directly to business goals.  And, as it happens, the tourism destination has used the metrics I created for them to mitigate disasters, save a ton of advertising dollars that were being wasted, and show the direct correlation between PR efforts and intent to visit.

What do you see as measurement’s biggest challenge ahead?

Lack of insight, or to put it another way, we need to integrate all the various types of “big data” with the little data such as what was the program, the post, the video that caused that big data to change.

Bonus question: You just won the lottery. What’s your dream job?

Writing the great American novel from my farm in Durham, New Hampshire.

Categories: Media Measurement

Measurement Week Interviews: Mark Weiner

Sep 22, 2014

flickr user HeavyWeightGeek under CC BY

Last week was AMEC’s International Measurement Week, and to honor it, we reached out to some of the top measurement experts to get their take on measurement dos and don’ts, common mistakes, and how they found themselves a member of the Measurati. We got such an enthusiastic response that we’re extending our celebration to include all their answers. We’ll be running their answers all this week, and be sure to check out our latest newsletter for measurement insights from 11 other experts in the field.

Let’s hear from today’s featured expert, Mark Weiner, CEO of PRIME Research North America. Weiner was also CEO of Delahaye and was SVP of global research at Ketchum. He is also the author of Unleashing the Power of PR.

What is your “measurement moment,” the time you knew your career was becoming measurement-focused?

My first affirmation in the research and measurement field was when I created the company which later became known as Delahaye Medialink. Medialink Research was an organization that began with one person – me – and evolved to more than 100 through organic growth and acquisition to become one of the best known and most highly respected research-based consultants in public relations. Many of my colleagues at Delahaye Medialink now lead top research firms and agency research groups which is another great career affirmation.

Based on our success at Medialink Research and then Delahaye Medialink, I realized my ability to create, develop and advance a research and measurement business. Now, as the CEO of PRIME Research LP, I’ve been given a second opportunity to work with smart associates and innovative clients to build a strong global position among research providers. While considerable time has passed since my “measurement moment,” I continue to offer gratitude for the opportunities presented to me by my colleagues, clients and peers.

What is your proudest measurement moment?  

Through the good works of my colleagues and the clients we share, the quality of PRIME’s work is consistently represented by professional awards and recognition which is always a source of pride. But a recent experience comes to mind: At the end of August, I led two-day PR research seminar to some of Peru’s top communicators at the Universidad de San Martín de Porres in Lima. Following the second day, a student approached me to say that while she learned about PR research during her graduate studies, the subject never made sense until our class. Maybe not my greatest accomplishment but one special moment among so many I’ve enjoyed.

What is your most important piece of measurement advice?

“Begin simply but simply begin.”

What’s the most common measurement mistake you encounter?

“Conventional Wisdom” is the biggest obstacle to change, including the positive changes represented by research-based public relations. It’s a mistake to believe the conventional wisdom that PR can’t be measured; that PR measurement is too complicated; or that PR measurement is too expensive. What really obstructs the PR measurement movement? Unwillingness (not inability).

Tell us a breakthrough story, in which you took your client from metrics to KPIs.

MasterCard is one of PRIME’s most visible and innovative clients. When our partnership began in 2012, the focus was volume and data. Over time, our relationship and shared vision evolved to one focused on insights rather than data. Last year, PRIME’s social media analysis helped MasterCard recognize and overcome market concerns about mobile payments.

In year one, our research adapted social media conversations and analytics for problem detection research. Once marketplace concerns were identified through social media analysis and verified through a survey, the findings were adopted throughout the MasterCard organization to refocus advertising, marketing, product development and, last but not least, corporate communication to overcome market concerns. In our second year of the study, we found that marketplace concerns disappeared due, in large part, to the efforts triggered by PRIME’s research. When PRIME helps clients go beyond PR to inform better business-wide decision-making, it’s a very good day. And, thanks to PRIME’s expert systems and talent, exceptional days are no longer the exception.

What do you see as measurement’s biggest challenge ahead?   
PR research, measurement and evaluation occupy their third stage: The first phase was human-based content analysis. It was accurate and insightful but slow. The second phase represented a rapid swing towards automated systems which were fast and consistent (useful for the torrent of content originating through social channels) but content was irrelevant, data were inaccurate and the findings were flawed.

Now, at the cusp of third wave, research firms like PRIME combine the speed and consistency of technology with the relevancy, accuracy and insights offered only through human expertise. The next big challenge is already here: more and more, research consumers feel trapped by their legacy investments in automated systems when their aspirations have grown beyond the limitations of what pure technology can provide creating a demand for a delicate balance of assets. “Talent, technology and tools” are the future.

Bonus question: You just won the lottery. What’s your dream job?

I love my job. Plus, I’m a stats guy: I can’t justify the odds for playing the lottery.

 

Categories: Media Measurement

Measurement Week Interviews: Kim Stokes

Sep 19, 2014

flickr user Iain Watson under CC BY

This week is AMEC’s International Measurement Week, and to honor it, we reached out to some of the top measurement experts to get their take on measurement dos and don’ts, common mistakes, and how they found themselves a member of the Measurati. Check out our latest newsletter for measurement insights from 11 other experts in the field.

Let’s hear from today’s featured expert, Kim Stokes, managing director of digital and social media and deputy director of digital integration at Marina Maher Communications.

What is your “measurement moment,” the time you knew your career was becoming measurement-focused? 

I conducted a conversation landscape analysis on behalf of a client which revealed such a telling nuance in the organic conversation that they changed their whole marketing strategy around a specific product.

What is your proudest measurement moment? 

I think I have had consistent moments of “aha” – both among my team and with clients when we have been able to cull great insights from social media driven data.

What is your most important piece of measurement advice?

Don’t use measurement just to measure results – measure all the time, particularly in advance of planning and then to course correct along the way.

What’s the most common measurement mistake you encounter?   

Thinking of measurement as something to look at retrospectively.  If you use data correctly, it can be predictive.

Tell us a breakthrough story, in which you took your client from metrics to KPIs. 

I had a client that was very hesitant to have a social media presence, as they didn’t feel that their core audience was engaging in social media channels.  We conducted an audit of the online conversation and we discovered how far behind they were against their competitors.  More importantly, we identified white space for them to own as thought leaders.

What do you see as measurement’s biggest challenge ahead?

The platforms, algorithms and audience behavior changes by the minute.  You have to stay on your toes, and even when you do you can be thrown for a loop.  The best you can do is respect data for its amorphous and ever changing nature.

Bonus question: You just won the lottery. What’s your dream job?

I am in it. Although speaking Mandarin and dancing salsa every day would be the icing on the cake.

Categories: Media Measurement

Measurement Week Interviews: Lisa Binzel

Sep 18, 2014

flickr user Quinn Dombrowski under CC BY

This week is AMEC’s International Measurement Week, and to honor it, we reached out to some of the top measurement experts to get their take on measurement dos and don’ts, common mistakes, and how they found themselves a member of the Measurati. Check out our latest newsletter for measurement insights from 11 other experts in the field.

Let’s hear from today’s featured expert, Lisa Binzel, vice president at Edelman Berland, who has managed media measurement programs for nearly 15 years.

What is your “measurement moment,” the time you knew your career was becoming measurement-focused? 

I was working in the Research & Information Center at H&K in DC.  We had been working for a corporate entity involved in one those “David vs. Goliath” situations. Our client was Goliath … but all the client was seeing was big binders of clips that looked like great coverage. This was a VERY long time ago (cut & paste days), so as I labored over those clip books I could see from the articles that our client was getting hammered in the media.

The “David” had a lot of the discussion advocating their position on this issue that impacted consumers. I just thought it was so interesting that all the account team was interested in doing was sending big clip binders. About that time, I read an article about Katie Paine and the work she was doing – I think it was with the Department of Energy.  I was intrigued. I was in Washington, her company was in New Hampshire … where my family lived. I cold-called looking for a job … and a few months later I was on my way to Portsmouth, NH working for Katie and The Delahaye Group, where I quickly learned it was definitely NOT all about big clip binders!

What is your proudest measurement moment? 

I’ve been blessed to have many. I was fortunate to count several large tech companies among my clients in my early measurement days.  Quarterly presentations of results in Silicon Valley were the norm. The lessons I learned through those presentations – often to groups of 6-10 senior communications managers – was invaluable.  For one: always know everything about any negative coverage – even if it accounts for less than 2 percent of your client’s coverage. Trust me, they will ask.

Second: candy helps. Sometimes presentations can be long and it helps to have your audience awake with a little sugar buzz!  And never take for granted why you’re there. I had been presenting to one client for two years – every six months. During one presentation the most senior executive in the Comms function joined. Midway through the first set of slides he asked – in all seriousness: “Remind me again why we do this measurement stuff? What am I supposed to get out this information?”  Definitely NOT a question I was expecting – but answered through a rapidly beating heart.

What is your most important piece of measurement advice? 

Don’t let it get too complicated and don’t try to do too much with one measurement program, trying to please many audiences. In the end, no one will be happy.  For one of my tech clients, we set up a coding scheme that was very complex – but was meant to provide all the nuance the client was looking for. When the data was coming back, we realized there were problems. It was Katie Paine who took a look at what we were trying to do and said, “You’re crazy … your target audience does NOT read coverage that way, so you are wasting your time trying to make the analysts represent the target audience will all this coding!”

What’s the most common measurement mistake you encounter?

People seeking to measure “awareness” by doing media analysis. Coverage in the media will show you the *exposure* of your story … but it will NOT confirm levels of awareness; for that you need a stakeholder survey.

Tell us a breakthrough story, in which you took your client from metrics to KPIs.

I have a global technology provider making that journey right now. We conducted three phases of research last summer/fall. Phase 1 looked to evaluate best practices in measuring KPIs – what industry experts were advocating. The work of AMEC on the Valid Metrics Framework was a central part of our findings.

We also looked at what other similarly-sized companies – both in tech and other industries – were currently doing for measurement. We interviewed account leads on several large Edelman clients as well as some non-client organizations. The third phase involved interviewing key executives and staff across the global network of the client to uncover what, if any, measurement they were doing and what was on their “wish list” for showing the success of their programs.

Synthesizing all that research led to KPI recommendations and a pilot program. The implementation phase that was to kick off in Q1 this year was put on hold as the company went through some reorganization and revisited its communications priorities in light of a changing marketplace. Calls and meetings are underway now to restart the implementation of KPI tracking across both regional headquarters and local subsidiaries. Check back with me in six months and I hope to have an update for you.

What do you see as measurement’s biggest challenge ahead?  

With the explosion and growth of social/digital media, communications professionals are faced with much more content to monitor, track and measure. Finding the right balance (and budget) appears to be a challenge for many of my clients.

Bonus question: You just won the lottery. What’s your dream job?

Twenty years ago I would have said “choreographer for the Rockettes or the Super Bowl halftime show” … now I’m inclined to say “successful advocate for our military veterans.”

Categories: Media Measurement

Measurement Week Interviews: Frank Ovaitt

Sep 16, 2014

flickr user Pink Sherbet Photography under CC BY

Measurement Week Interviews: Frank Ovaitt

 This week is AMEC’s International Measurement Week, and to honor it, we reached out to some of the top measurement experts to get their take on measurement dos and don’ts, common mistakes, and how they found themselves a member of the Measurati. Check out our latest newsletter for measurement insights from 11 other experts in the field.

Let’s hear from today’s featured expert, Frank Ovaitt, president and CEO of Institute for Public Relations. Among his long list of achievements and executive positions, Ovaitt is a member of the PR News Measurement Hall of Fame, was an adjunct professor of applied public relations and public affairs research at George Washington University, and was awarded the David Ferguson Award for contributions to PR education by a practitioner by the PRSA Educators Academy.

What is your “measurement moment,” the time you knew your career was becoming measurement-focused?

Let’s call it “research focused,” which includes not just measurement but a whole lot more in terms of the knowledge we must bring to bear to be the best public relations professionals.  One of my assignments at AT&T was to build from scratch a communications team to serve a new business unit.  Since this team would be 10 people, it struck me that if one was a research person, the other nine would be so much more effective.   As in-house teams became smaller, the need had to be met in other ways, but it seems to me the one-in-ten rule is as valid as ever.

What is your proudest measurement moment?

When a hard-nosed business executive told me to put more money in my budget because he liked how we used research-based insights to create and measure our programs.

What is your most important piece of measurement advice?

Don’t think of measurement as a report card, but as a GPS that tells you if you’re making progress and if there’s a better route.  Measuring public relations always makes it better.

What’s the most common measurement mistake you encounter?

Thinking that measurement is a report card.  Who doesn’t hate waiting for a report card, good or bad?

What do you see as measurement’s biggest challenge ahead?

Continuing to educate so many new practitioners, with new skills and points of view, on what research and measurement can do for them, their work and their careers.  The Institute for Public Relations’ work to deliver the science beneath the art of public relations is never done.

Bonus question: You just won the lottery. What’s your dream job?

Owning and running a small Kentucky horse farm.  Hey, priorities change when you win the lottery!

Categories: Media Measurement

Measurement Week Interviews: Richard Bagnall

Sep 16, 2014

flickr user Randen Pedersen under CC BY

This week is AMEC’s International Measurement Week, and to honor it, we reached out to some of the top measurement experts to get their take on measurement dos and don’ts, common mistakes, and how they found themselves a member of the Measurati.

Let’s hear from today’s featured expert, Richard Bagnall, CEO at PRIME Research UK, SVP at PRIME Research Europe, and Chair of AMEC social media group. Bagnall is also the co-author of CIPR’s Share This Too books.

What is your “measurement moment,” the time you knew your career was becoming measurement-focused?

I’m a poacher turned game-keeper. Before I was working in measurement I used to be a PR practitioner gaining experience both in house and at a PR agency. It was while I was at the agency that I realised how important decent, credible metrics were for public relations.

I was standing in front of a very important client in the 1990s presenting our results which back then were based upon AVEs and other largely meaningless ‘output’ numbers.  The client started to ask me some rather awkward questions about what we had really achieved for them and I realised that the numbers I was presenting just didn’t make any sense.  The truth was I hadn’t given much thought to the meaning behind the numbers up until that point but I knew now that I had to take measurement more seriously.

What is your proudest measurement moment?

Gosh, so many!  Having built a business in the space from the early days I was fortunate to experience so many great things.  Winning important clients in tough pitches was always amazing.  But so too was watching my colleagues, many of whom had been with me since they graduated, blossom and develop into serious and accomplished measurement professionals was an incredible feeling.

And from the measurement itself perspective, nothing quite beats that feeling when a client calls you up to thank you for a job well done when the result of your work has led them to prove their value or improve their strategy successfully.

What is your most important piece of measurement advice?

Just like there isn’t, and will never be, one single number to measure the success of a communications campaign, nor is my best advice just one point. My best tip to anyone thinking about measuring their work is to follow the classic best practice approach which can’t be improved upon:

First – ensure you understand the goals of your organisation

Align your communications goals against these

Then plan you communications objectives by asking yourself what success looks like – what are the targets, what should the KPI’s be? It’s important to do this at the planning stage before the campaign, not afterwards.

Then measure the metrics that matter working through from the key outputs to outtakes to outcomes – such as the metrics chosen tell the whole story.

Finally feed the intelligence gained back into the planning stage for the next campaign. Don’t be afraid of the things that didn’t work – good measurement isn’t only for the successes, but is a strategic tool to be used to improve efficiency in all cases.

What’s the most common measurement mistake you encounter?

That an AVE is either a meaningful number or worse that it’s representative of the value of PR.  It’s neither.  Sadly despite so much hard work by so many people and organisations, the use of AVEs as a metric in our industry is still fairly common, estimated to be at use in about 50% of organisations.  It’s for this reason that ongoing educational campaigns like AMEC’s Measurement Week are so important and deserve all of our support.

Tell us a breakthrough story, in which you took your client from metrics to KPIs.

I was particularly pleased working with one of the world’s largest IT companies based in Silicon Valley on their global communications measurement programme.  Their business was vast and complex with many business units in many different sectors.  Working with their global communications leaders to help them bring clarity to their objectives and measurement programme, to create a measurement matrix and to identify some key metrics not just into KPIs but into some key numbers that their CEO wanted to see was a fabulous experience.

What do you see as measurement’s biggest challenge ahead?

Education, education and education.  As the media has diversified and proliferated and audiences have fragmented, measuring communications has got more complex, not less.  Yet there are so many SAAS platform providers in our space trying to convince clients that their one size fits all approach actually measures anything meaningful rather than is just counting stuff that’s easy to count.  AMEC’s role as a global educator of best practice in communications measurement has never been needed more – especially as the PR community is still slow at embracing CPD.

Bonus question: You just won the lottery. What’s your dream job?

Robert Parker of Parker’s Wine guides.  He gets to taste all of the world’s finest chateaus and vintages and is so powerful that his comments move markets.  What a position to be in!

 

Categories: Media Measurement

Measurement Week Interviews: David Rockland

Sep 15, 2014

Today is the first day of AMEC’s international Measurement Week, and to honor it, we reached out to some of the top measurement experts to get their take on measurement dos and don’ts, common mistakes, and how they found themselves a member of the Measurati. 

Let’s hear from today’s featured expert, David Rockland, Partner at Ketchum and Chairman of AMEC.

What is your “measurement moment,” the time you knew your career was becoming measurement-focused? 

My Ph.D. dissertation was on the economic evaluation of environmental benefits. I suppose that the measurement of things that are not easy to evaluate has always been in my blood.

What is your proudest measurement moment?

Barcelona, June 2010.  I ran the session that resulted in the Barcelona Principles. It brought together the work of probably 150 people and companies and for the first time created a consensus around the good, better, best and ugly of PR measurement.  And, my Mom happened to be in the room that afternoon, as she was coincidentally on vacation in Barcelona at the same time.  Afterwards she told me it was the first time she sort of understood what I do for a living.

What is your most important piece of measurement advice?

Set goals first.

What’s the most common measurement mistake you encounter?

Not setting goals first.

Tell us a breakthrough story, in which you took your client from metrics to KPIs.

Not sure it was a breakthrough, but at this year’s International Measurement Summit in Amsterdam, four organizations that do tremendous good in the world (i.e. UNICEF, CARE, Cleveland Clinic and the Gates Foundation) spoke of how they have adopted the Barcelona Principles. By being smarter about how the communicate they each spoke of saving lives.  Frankly, I hadn’t really thought that good measurement can lead to making the world a better place or helping kids live better lives, but it really can.

What do you see as measurement’s biggest challenge ahead?
Having PR practitioners get over the insecurity that what this field does is somehow less valuable than other forms of marketing and communications. If the sound measurement tools that already exist can be applied more completely, PR as a field can really grow a backbone.

Bonus question: You just won the lottery. What’s your dream job? 

Job? What job?  I would do something that focused on creating economic benefit from natural resource conservation; actually, this is how we manage our farm in Maryland right now.

Categories: Media Measurement

Measurement Week Interviews: Barry Leggetter

Sep 11, 2014

In honor of the AMEC’s International Measurement Week (which runs next week, September 15-19), we reached out to some of the top measurement experts to get their take on measurement dos and don’ts, common mistakes, and how they found themselves a member of the Measurati.

Our first featured expert is Barry Leggetter, CEO of the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), the founding organization of Measurement Week. Leggetter held senior roles in global public relations for more than 25 years with Porter Novelli, FleishmanHillard, and GolinHarris.

Without further ado, let’s hear from Leggetter.

What is your “measurement moment,” the time you knew your career was becoming measurement-focused?

My job interview with AMEC! I had stepped down as Chairman of an international public relations group after more than 25 years in senior roles in global PR consultancy with Porter Novelli, FleishmanHillard and GolinHarris.

In deciding what to do next, a friend said AMEC was looking for its first Executive Director. My three weeks preparing for the job interview resulted in me seeing measurement through a different “lens” – and I was hooked.

As a respected friend said to me once, “there’s no ‘obvious’ career path into measurement”. But there are opportunities! That interview when discussion swirled around the interview table about my thinking was when I knew I had measurement focus because I wanted the job.

What was your proudest measurement moment?

Coming up with the idea that became the Barcelona Principles!

I felt AMEC needed to make a breakthrough in the way it was seen. I felt this could be achieved by putting down a marker on its views why Advertising Value Equivalents was a flawed measure.

My original name for the new initiative was the Barcelona Declaration but under the inspired hand of David Rockland of Ketchum, it developed as the Barcelona Principles. It was a magical moment seeing David lead the session at our International Summit in Barcelona in 2010 where a packed audience voted to adopt the Barcelona Principles. It continues to be an industry-leading measurement framework.

What is your most important piece of measurement advice?

To regard measurement as a vital part of your client service offer and not positioned as an optional extra.

In my experience, measurement and analytics in PR are as important as strategic counsel.

Every PR consultancy wants to retain and grow its existing client base. Client confidence starts with the agency’s ability to prove its program is working. Using measurement and analytics as a routine part of the way you work will give you that proof – often in near real time – which establishes the basis of earning the client’s trust.

What is the most common measurement mistake you encounter?

Fear! There are too many PR agencies and professionals who do not take PR measurement and analytics seriously enough and I genuinely think it is the result of them being frightened of engaging. I urge them to embrace it and see the difference it will make in the confidence they have with clients, or with their senior management team. And AMEC and its members can help.

Tell us a breakthrough story, in which you took your client from metrics to KPIs.

In PR I was European lead for a major electronics company. I tried unsuccessfully for two years to win the client’s support to introduce a measurement component across the whole program.

Fast forward another year and I led the team at my new consultancy team in a re-pitch called by the same electronics company. We used KPIs to establish a Reputation Index and show the European Leadership Team data that they had not seen before. The pitch was won and KPIs were established.

Sound simplistic? Perhaps, but I make the point that it shows what a personal belief in the importance of measurement and analytics can make.

What do you see as measurement’s biggest challenge ahead?

AMEC’s challenge is to be relevant.

We have to put even more resources into our Global Education Program.

We need to continue to bring new thinking forward as we have during 2014 with AMEC’s Social Media Measurement Framework.

We need to be the organization that reflects international thinking in measurement.

When I started with AMEC seven years ago it was UK centric with 20 members. Now it is an international body with 140+ members in 40 countries. Asia Pacific, Latin America and Africa must be regarded next as the huge geographies where we need to have an impact.

Bonus question: You just won the lottery. What’s your dream job?

To write a novel and not just think about doing it!

Image courtesy of AMEC

Categories: Media Measurement

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