Posts Tagged ‘AMEC’


Build a Framework for Better PR Measurement

Thursday, October 30th, 2014
Build Framework Better PR Measurement BurrellesLuce Media Measurement PR Software Public Relations media monitoring press clipping

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?

Measurement Week Interviews: Mark Stouse

Friday, September 26th, 2014
Measurement Week Interview Mark Weiner BurrellesLuce Media Monitoring PR Software Public Relations Media Measurement Press clipping

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.

 

Measurement Week Interviews: Katie Paine

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014
Measurement Week Katie Paine BurrellesLuce Media Measurement AMEC Public Relations PR media monitoring

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.

Measurement Week Interviews: Kim Stokes

Friday, September 19th, 2014
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: Richard Bagnall

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
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!