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It’s time for PR professionals to end their insecurity about measurement

12th June 2013

For the last four years I’ve attended AMEC‘s European Summit on Measurement. During this time, I’ve also put together three programmes for our own PR Analytics conferences. Over this period I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that we’ve seen a step change in the measurement practice in PR.

Here AMEC’s Chairman David Rockland summarises his thoughts on the progress that has been made in the evaluation of public relations:

Good measurement processes in PR used to be the exception, that is no longer the case. Many corporations have robust evaluation and measurement models. Those with such models that I’ve seen, just in the last couple of months, include Phillips, Vodafone, Microsoft, eBay, Ikea, McClaren Automotive and Oxfam.

So good measurement is no longer rare, it’s a necessity. Is every PR professional doing it? No. But they will. Last week I wrote a blog suggesting that the public relations market was split into two camps on measurement – 40 per cent are doing it using valid metrics and techniques and 60 per cent are in the “I need to get around to this, and soon” camp.

Should PR people purely focus on measurement? No. Analytics is very important but there is nothing wrong with PR by the gut. Don’t become a data monkey, data is a tool and not your reason for existing.

I believe that measurement change within public relations will be driven by one group: In-house Communications Directors. It is this group of people that AMEC and measurement professionals must engage with. PR agencies, trade bodies and trade magazines might be a catalyst for change, but the change will be driven by in-house decision makers.

Within that macro shift here are a few trends that I’ve noticed:

Written by Ben Smith+, Founder,

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