The mission for measurement

Ruth Wyatt, PRWeek brand editor, said in her AMEC Summit feature on 21 June that 'things are moving in the right direction, but there is not and probably never will be a simple answer to measurement in PR'.

Barry Leggetter: Executive director of AMEC
Barry Leggetter: Executive director of AMEC

Respectfully, I don't agree.

What is propelling us forward is that influential thinkers in the PR industry are behind us. People like Hotwire chief executive Brendon Craigie. If you haven't seen the terrific PRWeek TV interview with Craigie and Salience Insight chief executive Giselle Bodie, I recommend it.

Craigie refers to 'the democratisation of measurement'. Hotwire, now an AMEC member, has seen the value of AMEC's work.

For all the higher profile we have given to measurement, we knew it was always going to be a long journey to engage PR consultancies. It was always considered peripheral. But not any longer.

Our moves forward have now also won the support of the PRCA and ICCO as new strategic partners. Our first collaboration is the web-based Professional's Guide to Measurement. There will be other initiatives coming.

In the past few weeks I've had requests for meetings from a dozen well-known PR firms, all wanting to know how they could introduce a measurement framework.

What generally then happens is a high energy conversation where the PR firm representatives clearly see the benefits of a measurement framework.

Ruth also made the point in her feature: 'There is broad acceptance of the need for robust, detailed measurement across the comms industry, although the terminally insecure do not want it because they are concerned about what it might reveal.'

The key to bringing 'insecure' PR professionals on board is likely to be the client. If the client asks for a measurement framework, it will happen.

AMEC is fortunate we have the support of client leaders. We intend to build on this, starting with new research in the next few months. Watch this space. The measurement mission is firmly under way.

Barry Leggetter is executive director of the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC).

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