Over the past week, we’ve been listening to and participating in the growing discussion around PR metrics and data management. Taking part in AMEC Measurement Week (September 15th – 19th), LEWIS hosted two international panel discussions to learn more about the different types of measurement challenges global PR teams face. The goals of the events were to open up a discussion around the importance of measurement in communications and to begin to improve the standard of reporting within our industry.
During our Washington, D.C. “From Measurement to Management” event, we heard from panel experts including:
- Ian Lipner, Vice President, LEWIS PR
- Mark Weiner, CEO of Prime Research
- Matthew Buffington, Deputy Director, U.S. Department of State
- Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social, BusinessWire
- Trevor Martin, Social Media Manager, The Nature Conservancy
- Ann Morgan, Head of Communications, SAS
- Giles Peddy, Group Managing Director UK, LEWIS PR
- James Smee, Co-Founder, Purestone
- Matt Cartmell, Director of Communications, PRCA (moderator)
- Philip Lynch, Director, Media Evaluation, Kantar Media
Several key takeaways were shared during each event:
- PR measurement is not new, but is more important than ever before.
- Communicators need better measurement to reach C-Suite executives.
- Social media is not a stand-alone strategy. Measurement goes beyond simple impression numbers.
- PR measurement needs to shift from measuring outputs to outcomes.
- Measurement can act as a bridge in proving effectiveness of new ideas and in accepting change and innovation.
- Measurements are tools for improvement, not a report card. Measurement and outcomes should be front of mind at the outset of a campaign.
- Traditional media still drives measurable success.
A great piece of advice stands out as a key first takeaway for management. Measurement can seem like a daunting challenge and even when armed with a range of options and pathways, a perception of complexity might delay your organization’s benefits. As PRIME’s Mark Weiner put it, “Begin simply, but simply begin.”
With so many best practice tips and insightful points covered within the global conversation, we’ve decided to launch a new blog series dedicated to build and further the conversation around communications and measurement. For a more detailed look into the topics shared during the events and beyond, be sure to re-visit LEWIS 360 on a weekly basis. We’ll be providing how-to guides, industry surveys, expert interviews, improved practices and more. As always, please feel free to chime in with comments and questions along the way. We can work together to build a higher standard of measurement management within our industry.