Measuring the results of PR activity enables PR professionals and their clients to evaluate the success of their work and its value. As PR has evolved over the years, and PR professionals have started working across all kinds of media, demand for a sophisticated, truly integrated way of measuring communications has developed.
At PR Agency One, we use OneEval, our international award-winning in-house evaluation system to track the work we are doing for our clients and hold ourselves accountable. Incorporated into OneEval is The International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC)’s integrated evaluation framework, which sets an industry standard for measuring PR.
So, what is the AMEC Framework?
The Integrated Evaluation Framework takes users on a clear measurement journey, starting from planning and setting objectives, through to implementing strategy and measuring and evaluating outcomes. It provides a consistent approach, suitable for organisations of any size to use and can be tailored to fit specific cases, clients and objectives. This framework, introduced in 2017, provides one standardised, integrated approach to measurement for professionals across the PR industry.
What does the AMEC Framework involve?
The approach covers four areas: preparation, implementation, measurements and insights, and impact.
Preparation: The preparation stage starts with aligning objectives on a wide, organisational level as well as specific communications objectives. Objectives need to be focused and have a measure of impact (e.g. 20% increase in brand awareness).
The next stage of preparation is identifying the target audiences of the project and defining the strategic plan and other inputs, such as situation analysis, required resources and budgets.
Implementation: This section focuses on what tactics were carried out, any research projects, content production, and so on, and recognises the difference between paid, earned, shared and owned (PESO) content.
Measurements and Insights: Measuring outputs shows the core statistics around PESO in qualitative and quantitative ways. For example, looking at the reach of a paid advertising post, how many retweets a Tweet got or how many potential readers were reached from media coverage.
Out-takes refer to the response and reactions of the target audience to the activity, gauging how attentive and understanding they were of the content and how they engaged with it and the business.
The measurement of the effect of the communications is evaluated in outcomes – do the target audience have a greater understanding or awareness, has their trust increased, or has it sparked online advocacy?
Impact: The final section is where the organisational objectives are evaluated. This may cover reputational improvement, better relationships, increases in sales or a change in policy. This is where business outcomes link to the organisational objectives.
How can PR professionals use AMEC’s Framework?
As well as defining the key steps for successful measurement, AMEC has developed the concept into a free, interactive tool, which lets users fill out each step of their evaluation journey. It allows practitioners to tag their activities as paid, earned, shared or owned, note how audiences were exposed to each activity and the out-takes and outcomes as a result. When the content in the Integrated Evaluation Framework is submitted, it can be converted into a PDF to present to clients as evidence of the benefits of PR and to prove ROI.
Why is the Evaluation Framework important?
Following AMEC’s framework creates standardisation across the industry in measuring PR.
It is also a recognised and legitimised way of presenting the results of PR to clients to prove the value of the work. The old method of measuring the benefit of media coverage by equivalating it to advertising space is now generally considered arbitrary and archaic, and the Integrated Evaluation Framework has what AVE lacks in methodology and accuracy.
Clients all have their own reasons for using PR, it may be to generate sales, increase visibility or deal with a reputational issue. Similarly, PR practitioners, both in agencies and in-house, will have unique ways of achieving the client’s objectives. The AMEC Framework simultaneously allows tailoring to suit the individual case whilst being a one-size-fits-all for measuring the success of PR activity.Posted by