How to measure digital and social media communications

The Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) has tackled the issue of digital and social media measurement head-on with the launch of a new toolkit.

The work has been undertaken by AMEC’s social media group and endorsed by the CIPR, PRCA and the UK’s Cabinet Office.

The public relations business has traditionally been lousy at proving its value. Rather than addressing this issue head on we have relied of faux proxies such as advertising equivalent value and more recently web traffic, and numbers of likes and followers.

AMEC’s new toolkit provides practical tools and a consistent, meaningful approach for measuring social media that can be applied in any organisation regardless of size.

“This is an important new initiative from AMEC providing a best practice approach to social media measurement,” said Richard Bagnall, chairman, AMEC’s social media measurement group.

“The framework makes it easier for communication professionals to plan, monitor and measure their social and digital media results against their individual, tailored objectives in a credible, meaningful and consistent manner,” he added.

The framework and user guide are available for download as a PDF from a new microsite.

AMEC has also released a video with comment from the CIPR’s Dan Tyte, PRCA’s Danny Whatmough and the Cabinet Office’s Alex Aiken.

It includes a case study example from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs’ Elayne Phillips of the social media measurement framework applied to an electronic dog chip campaign.

The video is a useful example of the toolkit applied in practice that I would you urge you to review.

By providing a clear link from the planning stage to setting objectives to measuring results the framework and user guide provide straightforward advice to social media measurement success.

This is an important contribution to education and a practical tool that practitioners can start to use immediately. I’d urge you to investigate how you can start applying it to you work.

Unless you are able to understand and demonstrate your contribution to how your client or organisation meets its objectives you will always struggle to justify your position.

Until we address this issue and are able to justify investment in our work we will struggle to improve our professional reputation. AMEC’s work is critical in this context.

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Stephen Waddington

Partner and Chief Engagement Officer, Ketchum and Visiting Professor in Practice, Newcastle University.


  1. A step in the right direction on a very long and varied road. It’s always tricky to provide a framework for an industry that is so diverse and relies upon countless of different metrics. Is there a way for agencies to get involved in these discussions?

    • Hi Michael, Thanks. You can sign up to AMEC as an individual or agency member. I’ll connect you by email with CEO Barry Leggetter and Richard Bagnall, who chairs the social media panel. Thanks, Stephen

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