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Q&A with new AMEC Global Managing Director Johna Burke

25th October 2018


PRmoment founder Ben Smith recently caught up the incoming AMEC Global Managing Director Johna Burke on her ambitions for AMEC.

If you'd have asked a room full of PR folks 10 years ago whether they were aware of AMEC, I suspect a smattering of hands would have gone up. But times have changed, communicators now see data and measurement as an important part of their work, partly as a result of AMEC's contribution to leading this debate.

The profile and importance of AMEC has grown significantly under the stewardship of Barry Leggetter – so as Johna Burke takes on the mantle, is this the PR equivalent of following Sir Alex Ferguson?

I recently caught up with Johna to discuss her plans:

Ben Smith: What are your plans for AMEC?

Johna Burke: My plan is to build on the great success of Barry Leggetter. We have an amazing membership who are calling for us to take measurement and evaluation to the next level, so I intend to work with the board and deliver resources to educate the market to increase adoption and effectiveness of communications measurement.

BS: You clearly know the media evaluation sector very well – what do you see as the biggest challenges for the sector a the moment?

JB: The biggest challenge remains working with communicators to demonstrate results tied to business objectives. There is still a large part of the global market who has yet to really adopt the AMEC Integrated Evaluation Framework (IEF) to set objectives and use communications to drive outcomes for their organisation. The taxonomy within the IEF tool is an excellent primer to educate teams and achieve universal agreement on the metrics, where they will come from and how they will account for them before, during and after campaigns. Many practitioners want to know how they are doing compared to other comms teams which is why we are launching a new tool. The M3, Measurement Maturity Mapper, will launch during AMEC Measurement month in November. This tool is going to provide teams a clear status of where they are in their measurement journey as well as outline ‘steps’ to take in order to advance through the mapper. We believe this will continue to motivate teams to make measurement and analysis part of every aspect of communication.

BS: As PR becomes more more digital based, what will be the impact on the measurement sector do you think? And is that likely to see a change in priorities for AMEC?

JB: First, our goal will always be to work with members to demonstrate the value and effectiveness of their communication efforts. Taking a practical approach to market education will be consistent no matter how the media market shifts.

BS: You're the first non Brit to lead AMEC aren't you? Is that part of a plan for AMEC to increase it's breadth internationally and specifically the US?

JB: We are an increasing global association and my appointment by the board is consistent with the charge to lead global education efforts in communication measurement. We have an incredible partner network in the UK. I have already spent time meeting many of our partners face-to-face and will continue to work closely with our contacts. In addition, we will work to replicate the winning formula with strategic partners in all regions moving forward. This will provide members with a stronger local network and better local resources to tackle regional challenges with their peers.

Written by Ben Smith+, Founder, PRmoment.com


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