AMEC Measurement Month Shines the Spotlight on the Importance of Analytics Innovation

September is AMEC Measurement Month! This is the fourth year of the annual event hosted by the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communications (AMEC). Measurement Month is a global program of activities to shine the spotlight on the importance of PR measurement.

There have already been some amazing events, Twitter chats, webinars, and articles throughout the month, and there are still plenty of other free events remaining! Visit the website for a full calendar of events, and follow along on Twitter #AmecMM!

Earlier this month, during North America week, the North American chapter of AMEC held a professional development day in partnership with PRSA. The day was packed with great presentations from premier measurement professionals:

Keynote speaker: Deirdre Breakenridge
A 25+ year veteran in PR and marketing, Breakenridge is the author of five Financial Times Press books including her latest titles, “Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional,” “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations,” and “PR 2.0, New Media, New Tools, New Audiences.” She speaks nationally and internationally on the topics of PR, social media and marketing.

Johna Burke: CMO, BurrellesLuce
Mark Weiner: CEO, PRIME Research
Allyson Hugley: President, Measurement and Analytics Practice, Weber Shandwick
Chris Albert: Senior Vice President, Ketchum
Nicole Moreo: Director, Research and Insight, Peppercomm
Mark Stouse: CEO, Proof Analytics
Cara Buscaglia: Head of Solutions, Talkwalker

Each presentation focused on an important key element of measurement and analytics innovation. A key theme for the day was that measurement and analytics isn’t – and doesn’t have to be – perfect. It is an evolving science so creativity, patience, and constant iteration are key to pushing forward.

Key Takeaways from Individuals:

Nicole Moreo – Too often, measurement happens after a campaign is done. To be successful and fully leverage data to its fullest potential, we must incorporate analytics before, after and during any campaign. Only then can impactful and effective insights be gleaned. Adjusting from simply measuring to full-scale analytics and incorporating that from the beginning of a campaign allows communicators to increase their value going from sharing a chart at the end of a campaign to gaining a full seat at the table.

Allyson Hugley – We have to go beyond measuring impressions and provide greater contextualization for data. We have to figure out a way to better measure earned media and how it is consumed. Instead of measuring impressions, we need to dive deeper and look at what audiences and demographics are engaging with content. We need to define why we measure – direction, value, execution. Hugley also noted that shares are not as strong an indicator in content interest as previously believed. More and more consumers read articles not publications or pages.

Chris Albert – We are using 70 percent of structured data, but that is expected to substantially increase in the next five years. In fact, an 800 percent increase in data is expected in next five years. Albert noted that at Ketchum everyone is being trained to be data smart. Everyone is encouraged to apply engineering logic to test, fail and learn as much as possible. Too often, we strive for perfection when in reality perfection shouldn’t be the end goal. Aspire to be world-class and celebrate your successes.

Cara Buscaglia – “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”- Peter Drucker. Cara noted the importance of leveraging data and automation to help communicators focus more on what matters most – generating results for clients. Consistently benchmark against the competition and have an issues framework to track and identify threats and opportunities.

Mark Stouse – Time lag is the PR and communications pro’s biggest enemy. By the time many can point to the success of campaigns, organizations have already moved on internally. The impact of the work you’re doing today may show up in this quarter, you need to understand when it will show up and account for results accordingly. PR is still about creating business impact by giving people reasons to believe and buy. PR can drive profitability and cash flows in big ways for organizations. Based on Proof research, the general 70 paid/30 earned resource split actually needs to be inverted. PR has greatest value, but has hardest time showing its impact.

Keynote Speaker Deirdre Breakenridge– Noted the importance of being a mentor and consistently pushing your own personal and professional boundaries. Step outside your comfort zone and never “finish familiar,” or comfortable with the status quo and not continuing to innovate and expand horizons. Moments that matter come from the consistent push to never finish familiar. 
We all make decisions in our pursuit and our decision matters. Attendees were challenged to be thoughtful of our choices and identify trends in our decisions and the affect to our personal and professional pursuits.

Mark Weiner – Noted the big data revolution for PR and how we’re not returning from this. Organizations will continue to seek data points that show impact and visualize it in quick, easy to digest ways. Communicators want insights, not just data, we have to discuss the difference between “real time” data and “right time” data. The Institute for Public Relations (IPR) whitepaper is available for download.

Johna Burke – There is NO measurement silver bullet. Don’t try to retrofit what you’re doing into someone else’s world. First and foremost: always, always, always understand the business. Once you understand how your organization makes and spends money you are better positioned to set objectives that will align with the overarching goals. Don’t fall in love with certain types of data and visual representation: it can and will change; embrace it. True ‘love’ is success. Using the AMEC Integrated Framework can help!


Nicole Moreo is Director of Research and Insights with Peppercomm, Inc., a strategic communications firm headquartered in New York. Follow her on Twitter @kikimoreo.

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