By Todd Murphy, Vice President, Universal Information Services
This week some of the greatest minds are meeting in London for the 2016 AMEC International Summit on Measurement. The slogan for this year’s summit is “Making Metrics Matter”. For many reasons this simple slogan is extremely poignant, and those participating in the measurement discussions are shaping the science of media measurement.
First, AMEC has done a great job reaching out to the various stakeholders of media measurement; reaching those who use and provide actionable metrics based on media results. In terms of evolution, the science of media measurement has traveled very far in a very short amount of time. Less than 20 years ago many measured the effectiveness of a public relations campaign based on the weight of their press clipping envelope. Unfortunately, there are still many practitioners who measure their value by the number of mentions they earn, without regard for how that mention impacted their overall PR goal or strategy.
AMEC, The International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication, formalized principles for truly valid media measurement in both their 1.0 and 2.0 Barcelona Principles. The amount of research and consideration AMEC invested into PR measurement principles is staggering. As a member of AMEC, Universal Information Services is compelled to not only adhere to such principles, but also further educate the users of media measurement so as to improve the world’s overall understanding of the impact media can have. To that end, Universal takes our research into media measurement very seriously. Our research is influenced by the work AMEC is doing right now.
Since the beginning of 2016, Universal Information Services has been researching how media results, and the impact from those mentions, can help indicate future PR tactics. First we conducted a broad, 28 question survey of PR professionals to determine what various tactics emerged for specific public relations’ scenarios. Our second survey has distilled that data into eight generalized PR scenarios. Each of these eight scenarios includes the four most commonly used PR tactics. From this data we hope to see specific tactics emerge for specific scenarios, then correlate PR outcomes to future tactics. In other words, our measurement methodology and algorithms hope to evolve to the point where, based on your historical outcomes, we can predict what a reasonable “next step” would be within your PR strategy.
Ultimately, what to do next or how to react based on PR outcomes is a question we want to help ask. Along with AMEC, Universal feels that this is how we can participate in “Making Metrics Matter”. The rear view mirror is great for spotting trends, identifying messages that resonate, and determining who your key influencers might be. But knowing what to do next, that is the key. If we can help our clients make data driven decisions, with an increased probability of success, then we will be fulfilling our mission in helping all PR practitioners.
You can help drive PR measurement research by participating in our Outcome-based PR Tactics survey. If you would like to receive the research paper once the our study is completed, you can simply register at the end of the Survey. Registering is not mandatory and no one is obligated. We would be just as happy to receive your survey responses if you wish to remain anonymous.