What gets measured, gets done. Peter Drucker’s well-known quote underscores the importance of metrics. More than just tracking something, measurement’s real value is enabling the achievement of goals. Which is why you must begin with the end in mind. And the end these days is rapidly changing.
Thanks to the impact of technology, greater access to data, and an increasingly digitally-centric world, the practice of public relations continues to evolve dramatically. Many of the campaigns designed and implemented by PR firms today utilize a variety of channels and platforms and include the full spectrum of earned, owned, shared and paid media.
It makes sense that our measurement must be as integrated as our work. New tools are popping up all the time, which can be a little overwhelming. It’s up to PR professionals to sort through the options and choose wisely what tools will help them measure the things that matter most and show PR’s impact on the business.
Which begs the question: What matters most?
Answer: It depends.
Measuring what matters
A few weeks ago I had the chance to talk about what’s changing in measurement and how to know what to measure with Richard Bagnall (VIDEO). Richard is a good friend and a fellow entrepreneur, who founded a highly successful measurement firm in the UK. Today he serves as the CEO of PRIME Research in the UK, and is also chairman of The International Association of Measurement in Communications – AMEC.
Richard reminds us that we must always ask ourselves what we’re trying to achieve with our activity. Know what a win looks like for your client or your organization. Whether it’s driving sales, improving customer service scores or increasing engagement, start there and work backwards to set your measurement objectives. Tracking and reporting your results to show how public relations is directly impacting the business will be all the easier.
New integrated framework
Just back from AMEC’s conference in Bangkok, Richard also shared with me news about the association’s new integrated measurement framework. This free resource is a user-friendly, step-by-step process for measuring initiatives of all kinds. The interactive tool guides you from start to finish -- from aligning objectives to establishing a plan, setting targets, and measuring the outputs, outtakes, outcomes and impact of your work.
After talking with Richard, I decided to give the framework a try. It works, and it’s good stuff. Very easy to use, with prompts to help you think of potential approaches and measurements that might do the trick. Once you’re through, you can save your measurement plan as a pdf and download it to begin putting it into practice.
This is a must-have for any public relations professional, and I highly recommend you take a look. It provides a consistent and credible approach that can be tailored to campaigns and organizations of all sizes. Anyone can use it, it is free and non-proprietary. In addition to the framework, you’ll find plenty of articles and other resources to help bring measurement to life.
“The framework helps you work out what matters and what doesn’t,” said Richard. “And helps you tell your measurement story.” As public relations continues to evolve, this is a valuable thing indeed.