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.