You’ve probably seen one or all of these measurement experts at various industry events; you may even have heard them discuss measurement there. But in honor of AMEC’s Measurement Week, we wanted to go beyond the Power Point presentations and delve deeper into how these pros think about and approach measurement.
We asked these measurement experts a series of questions. In the coming weeks, their full answers will be featured on our blog. But since everyone is looking to crack the measurement code, for this special newsletter we’ve focused on their answers to:
What is your most important piece of measurement advice?
Barry Leggetter, CEO, International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC)
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.
Johna Burke, EVP Sales and Marketing, BurrellesLuce
If you’re going to work on a program ALWAYS include measurement. Proper data sampling can help you manage cost, turnaround and expectations. Too many times measurement is an afterthought and the impact of results is compromised. No CFO ever has to ask for permission for an audit; it’s expected. The same should be true of communication professionals steering organizational reputation. It sounds easy, but unless you’re evaluating results on an ongoing basis you risk getting blindsided by a trend which could be crucial to your efforts in an age of disruption.
Lisa Binzel, Vice President, Edelman Berland
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 with all this coding!”
Margot Sinclair Savell, Senior Vice President, Global Measurement, Research+Data Insights, Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Follow the Barcelona Principles; measurement should always be tied to business and communications goals.
Mark Stouse, Creator, the Influence Scoring System (ISS)
There are several important pieces of advice. First, start with the business KPIs and drill down into your function. Anything else is classic “outside-in” 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.
Frank Ovaitt, President and CEO, Institute for Public Relations
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.
David Rockland, Ketchum Partner and Chairman of AMEC
Set goals first.
Kim Stokes, Managing Director, Digital and Social Media; Deputy Director, Digital Integration, Marina Maher Communications
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.
Katie Delahaye Paine, Measurement Queen, CEO Paine Publishing
Data without insight is just trivia, make sure your measurement report connects the dots; don’t just throw data over the cubicle wall.
Mark Weiner, CEO, PRIME Research North America
"Begin simply but simply begin."
Richard Bagnall, CEO PRIME Research UK, SVP PRIME Research Europe
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 organization
Align your communications goals against these.
Then plan your 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 afterward.
Then measure the metrics that matter, working through from 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.
Getting started in a new measurement effort or starting one where none existed is stressful. Find a vendor partner who is going to work with you to uncover the reality vs. what will make the vendor or you just look good. Ask to see some of their work and explain how it will relate and can translate to your industry/business efforts.
We also asked a bonus question: You’ve won the lottery. What’s your dream job?
Below are all our experts and their answers. See if you can match the expert to their dream job!
BurrellesLuce is the U.S. leader in media monitoring. Professionals in a wide range of industries rely on our comprehensive curated content from local and national print, online, broadcast, and social media sources. BurrellesLuce has a turnkey copyright compliance program that allows us to provide copyright-compliant, behind-the-paywall content not available to other services. BurrellesLuce combines grade-A content with easy-to-use software, allowing users to evaluate and analyze their media coverage and PR efforts. It's all integrated into our user-friendly interface, BurrellesLuce WorkFlow™.