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PR: Measurement Matters

March 22, 2018

public relations


1.  the professional maintenance of a favourable public image by a company or other organisation or famous person.


2.  the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.


By its very definition, the discipline of PR is somewhat intangible - maintaining favourable public image, influencing opinion and behaviour.  Opinion, behaviour and public image cannot be truly proven by a single measurement.


It’s this lack of tangibility that has led to much confusion and ill-fated attempts to demonstrate RoI to business leaders who perhaps lack true understanding of the discipline…  Yes, I’m referring to the dino-metric Advertising Value Equivalents (AVEs) which clumsily aligns PR with advertising and, in doing so, exasperates the misconception that PR is akin to advertising #SayNoToAVEs.


I admit, the concept behind AVEs is certainly appealing, insofar as to consolidate measurement into a single meaningful metric.  Unfortunately, the simple truth is, there is no magic metric that will do this, least of all AVEs!  PR is subjective by its very nature, so it stands to reason the measurements too, are going to be more complex. 


The solution…


AMEC has created the foundations of a solution to the conundrum of PR measurement through an ‘Integrated Evaluation Framework’ that enables PR professionals to map out their campaign from start to finish.  The Framework helps them extract the objectives to align them with the ways by which to measure their campaign and determine its success. - thereby helping both PR and client evaluate the campaign within a pre-defined set of parameters, rather than applying an ambiguous set of AVEs.


To help aid the PR measurement process, we have developed Acebook.


Acebook has been created for PR professionals, it aligns with AMEC’s Framework to extract crucial data - both quantitive and qualitative - to measure campaign outputs and out-takes.


With simple functionality, Acebook enables users to quickly define the metrics they’re tracking and apply them to the online and offline coverage attained, delivering instant access to data-insights that may otherwise prove difficult to attain.  Furthermore, Acebook runs calculations across the data-sets, to automatically deliver meaningful analysis which contribute to the outcomes of a campaign, that can be filtered to display any desired time period; particularly handy when cross-referencing month-on-month / year-on-year performance.


We’re currently working towards a PR attribution model, allowing users to map their earned, owned, paid and shared (eds note: PESO) content against direct action e.g. conversions, traffic, etc.  One example of this is through the integration that our software provides (integration is a key element of Ace Media’s PR suite). 




Our 'influencer' module was developed in conjunction with PR people who required verified performance data to assess bloggers. Rather than rely on rudimentary aggregated third-party data - as is so common of many influencer services - we developed a solution that provides direct access to blogger’ analytics.  This not only enables PRs to perform thorough due diligence on a blogger’s suitability, but when they come to report on blogger activity through Acebook, we can present precise data on the performance of the resulting content; invaluable to both PR and client alike.


The future…


Data is a crucial part of PR measurement and as such it’s key to Ace Media’s ongoing development.  We’re currently working on exciting enhancements to our Acebook feature, one of which will help PR professionals to assess the social share attribution of their content - the amplification - which will look beyond the share count and assess each share and its respective impact.


For the PR sector as a whole, this is an exciting, yet equally challenging time.   I feel it's on the cusp of a big turning point, not merely in terms of measurement, but also the progression of the discipline as a whole, a future in which the industry will become evermore tech-reliant to stay ahead.


Contributed by Lisa Kingsnorth, Director of Ace Media (PR SaaS)


Editors note:


Lisa called Waves PR (on request) to discuss Acebook.


She was invited to blog to discuss the challenges of media measurement.  As a new tool, with a relatively new approach, I felt this was interesting for a PR audience even with the commercial content, and hope it will raise the measurement question as well as being interesting to anyone who, like me, is on a constant search for effective tools to support us.


It kicks off a series of blogs on  PR measurement and management issues.


Acebook  is not a Waves PR client . Viwes expressed are those of Acebook, not necessarily those of Waves PR.


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