A new international survey of PR professionals has found that more practitioners than ever are measuring the effectiveness of their communications programmes.
The survey carried out by Benchpoint™ for AMEC, the fast-growing international Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication and the Institute for Public Relations, was presented at the 1st European Summit on Measurement in Berlin held from June 10-12 and attended by nearly 200 delegates from 28 countries.
The survey was carried out amongst a sample of 520 PR professionals internationally.
Key findings were:
- The overwhelming majority of PR professionals, 88%, believe measurement is an integral part of the PR process (70% believe this strongly).
- While 77% of respondents claimed to measure their work compared with 69% in a similar survey five years ago, the survey results show that the PR profession are still not agreed on the best tools and methodologies.
- Measuring ROI (return on investment) on communications is viewed as an achievable goal by the overwhelming majority of professional communicators taking part in the survey. There is, however, very strong agreement that it is possible to calculate ROI on communications, and that demonstrable ROI would enhance the budgets (and status) of PR practitioners.
- PR Professionals still tend to judge their success criteria more by their ability to place material in the media rather than on the impact such coverage might have on shifting opinion, awareness, or moving markets, although there is evidence that this is changing.
- The survey found that the tools used by PR professionals includes press clippings – still the favourite – closely followed by AVEs (Advertising value equivalent) and more rigorous tools including Internal Reviews, Benchmarking, and the use of specialist media evaluation tools. Various forms of opinion polling and focus groups also remain as popular tools.
The data indicates there are two camps – the output measurers (clippings and AVEs) and the outcome measurers who tend towards more cerebral – and costly- measures (internal reviews, opinion polls etc).
Mike Daniels, member of the Commission on PR Measurement & Evaluation and chairman of AMEC’s Business Development Committee, said: “The survey presents a clear challenge to the media evaluation industry that more education is needed within the PR industry to demonstrate the business benefits of proper evaluation rather than continue to rely on clippings and AVE’s.”
A full report with findings of the survey will be available for participants and the public at the end of July 2009 on www.amecorg.com.