Measurement Week Interviews: Barry Leggetter

September 11th, 2014

AMEC Measurement Week Barry Leggetter BurrellesLuce Media Monitoring PR Public Relations PR Software News Clipping Press ClippingIn 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

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