Opinion: AMEC 2016: Real measurement never stops

In the week of the AMEC Summit in London, Ben Levine, vice president at Ketchum, shares a reminder that measurement should not be viewed as a single, isolated step in a campaign strategy. It should be integrated, and applied on an ongoing basis, to inform and improve future campaigns and to further the progression of the wider PR industry. 

Ben Levine 1

Ben Levine

When it comes to measurement, people often think of it as the exercise you end with, as if its sole purpose is to determine the success or failure of a campaign. They’re wrong. Real measurement should be a continuous process that not only provides success indicators, but also insight into how to improve performance.

If we think of this in relation to this year’s AMEC Summit, the industry’s largest international measurement event which takes place this week in London, it would be wrong to think of the event in isolation.

Yes, the summit takes place over two days, where lots of experts will be talking about ideas and offering case studies, before finishing with an awards gala on the Thursday night.

Yes, it can be defined by its start and end points, by how many people were there, how many people were tweeting and much more.

But it would be wrong to leave what we have learnt during this time at the door and not allow it to continue to play an important role in our jobs and within our companies long after the summit closes. To do so would undervalue the entire event.

I believe it is the same when it comes to PR campaigns. To think of them as standalone events is wrong, even if clear goals and measures have been set, because we lose the value they offer to inform our decisions both in PR and at a wider business level once they are finished.

If looked at properly, measurement of our campaigns offers us insights into how our next campaigns should be run, who we should be targeting and what areas of the business need further amplifying. It also allows us to see what impact the campaigns are having in the long run and enables us to justify our skills, making an important business argument for the effectiveness of public relations.

The long-term view provides both hard and soft data that demonstrates PR’s real value at the c-suite level, earning it a place at the boardroom table (where it rightly belongs). Measurement is helping us to stop being overlooked in favour of those more easily able to demonstrate their ROI (or so they claim), and to show our worth by creating strong plans on how to tackle issues that businesses face.

It’s time that we all stop thinking of measurement as a stand-alone moment in time, and instead approach it as a continuous cycle of improvement.

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