PRWeek TV: Industry experiencing 'democratisation of measurement'

The measurement of PR activity is becoming less of a mystery due to AMEC's approach and the possibilities of digital data, according to Hotwire chief executive Brendon Craigie.

Craigie was speaking as a guest in the PRWeek TV studio alongside Giselle Bodie, chief executive of media evaluation company Salience Insight and a former AMEC director.

Craigie claimed: ‘I think we’re seeing the democratisation of measurement. Never before have we had access to the level of data that we have today, whether on a website or social media. We’ve got this unprecedented amount of data.’

He was enthusiastic about the contribution of the Valid Metrics principles developed by AMEC (the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication) to Hotwire’s offering.  

‘The great thing about the AMEC approach to measurement is… very quickly you can design campaigns which have clear objectives that you can implement,’ he said.

‘Before I think there’s been a bit of a mystery about measurement. There is this perception that you need to spend tens and hundreds of thousands of pounds, that you need to have a whole department focused on it. There really does seem to be a shift in the status quo.’

According to Bodie, AMEC’s fifth annual conference earlier this month was marked by a greater number of clients than in previous years and they made their voices heard.

‘Clients were quite critical of the industry, saying "help us to use measurement, you don’t always make it easy".’

Regarding where her clients were putting their measurement budgets, she observed: ‘Our clients' PR budgets are huge. In the past there have been guidelines around spending 5 to 10 per cent of budget on measurement and I think the big companies do that. It’s the smaller organisations – charities, NGOs – that will struggle.’

However, Craigie argued that targeting a particular percentage of a PR budget to spend on measurement was a distraction.

‘One of the problems that has been going on with measurement for far too long is people have been looking to measure things after the event,’ he said. ‘It’s almost been a tick-box culture. Trying to pin your measurement spend down to a percentage is almost feeding into that problem.’

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