Education is the new public relations measurement challenge as Measurement Week kicks off

The planning and measurement of public relations activity is frequently debated by practitioners.

In the past we have tracked the output of our work and often used faux proxies for value rather than aligning our activity and measurement mechanics with the value that we deliver to an organisation.

It’s an issue that has been tackled by an international cross industry group of practitioners working under the umbrella of the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC).

AMEC’s Valid Metrics Framework was a practical output from the Barcelona Principles. It calls on practitioners to set measurable objectives at the outset of a campaign, and devise metrics aligned to outcomes, and not outputs.

AMEC has developed a robust methodology underpinned by a series of template models that cover every area of public relations practice. The challenge now is to embed the Valid Metrics Framework into public relations workflow.

“The how of public relations measurement has long been solidified. What’s lacking is the widespread adoption of these techniques which in turn devalues public relations as a business discipline,” said David Rockland, chairman, AMEC, and partner, Ketchum.

It’s likely to take a generation to work through, as students as part of their education and induction into a career in public relations, and existing practitioners learn new skills.

AMEC is focused on educating practitioner through seminars, speaking platforms, training and qualifications.

Measurement Week that kicks off today is a good start. It’s the brainchild of AMEC’s energetic and relentless CEO Barry Leggetter, and is billed as the biggest single international education initiative on public relations measurement, with 45 free events including webinars, roundtables, and a series of half day conferences.

“Every Measurement Week event is free, so it means if you are in PR and serious about your career, there is an event for you, wherever you work to improve your knowledge and understanding about measurement, said Barry Leggetter, CEO, AMEC.

I was pleased to sign-up the CIPR as supporting partner in the UK. We’re hosting a roundtable and half-day conference as part of the programme of events.

My personal call to practitioners is to investigate AMEC’s work and if you aren’t familiar with the Valid Metrics Framework please sign up to an education programme.

The programme of events spearheaded by AMEC this week is a good start point. You can follow the events via the hashtag #amecatwork. At 7am on Monday morning in the UK it’s already lively.

AMEC has solved the issue of public relations measurement. Education and application is the only way that we are going to make progress as a profession on this issue.

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Stephen Waddington

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


  1. Before AMECs excellent Valid Metrics Framework can be fully embedded within the PR workflow I believe it might consider concentrating efforts ahead of the education. AMEC must build an industry-wide united voice on why the measurement framework is fundamental to PR as a business discipline. It should build awareness and an understanding of the nature of the change, why it’s needed and the risks to the PR profession of not changing. It could do this by building a burning platform. From this profession-wide awareness AMEC can start to build desire to participate and support the framework from PR practitioners. Overcoming resistance no doubt from some quarters. Once the appetite for change has been built then AMEC can educate the profession on the specifics of ‘what’ and ‘how’. If PR doesn’t build sufficient ground swell of ‘desire’ after first contextualising the business imperative and the risk of not embracing the AMEC framework it will struggle with getting profession-wide usage. Get this right however, and the speed of adoption should be faster than a generation.

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