Measurement Week Interviews: Kim Stokes

September 19th, 2014
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Measurement Week Kim Stokes BurrellesLuce Marina Maher Media Monitoring Measurement Week AMEC Clipping Service PR Software

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.

Measurement Week Interviews: Lisa Binzel

September 18th, 2014
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Measurement Week Lisa Binzel Edelman Berland BurrellesLuce Media Monitoring PR Public Relations Press Clipping PR Software

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.”

Measurement Week Interviews: Frank Ovaitt

September 16th, 2014
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Measurement Week Frank Ovaitt BurrellesLuce Public Relations PR Institute for Public Relations Media Measurement Media Monitoring Press Clipping

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!

Measurement Week Interviews: Richard Bagnall

September 16th, 2014
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Measurement Week AMEC Richard Bagnall BurrellesLuce Public Relations PR Measurement news clipping media monitoring

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!

 

Measurement Week Interviews: David Rockland

September 15th, 2014
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AMEC Measurement Week Barry Leggetter BurrellesLuce Media Monitoring PR Public Relations PR Software News Clipping Press ClippingToday 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.