Speaking to senior PR professionals at the PRWeek Global Congress today, Manning called for people to put aside their differences over the issue.
"A common standard is urgently needed," he said. "Whatever the standard is I think we are losing too much time on negotiating over the issue, and there is a lot at stake – if we don’t come up with one then we will lose relevance."
Manning, who until recently was global VP of corporate comms at Philips, said AMEC’s efforts to achieve a common standard were crucial.
They include the establishment of the Barcelona Principles in 2010, in which AVE was rejected and emphasis was put on measuring outcomes over outputs.
If PR does not find a way of embracing analytics in a consistent way, Manning added, then others will take advantage.
"There are competitors in other fields such as advertising or consulting agencies who see how our industry is growing and would be happy to eat our lunch. We should not let that happen.
"We have the knowledge, heritage and skills that mean if we focus on embracing measurement and analytics we will be in this role for the next 50 years. "
Manning delivered the keynote on the second and final day of the Congress, which included the PRWeek Global Awards last night.
FleishmanHillard was recognised as global agency of the year and Ford’s group VP for communications Ray Day as in-house professional of the year.Cargill and CARE’s Rural Development Initiative crowned campaign of the year.