An open thank you letter to AMEC's Barry Leggetter

An open thank you letter to AMEC's Barry Leggetter

AMEC’s 10th Global Summit of Measurement kicks off in Barcelona today. It’s Barry Leggetter’s final conference before he steps down as CEO at the end of the year. He’ll leave an incredible legacy for which we owe him thanks.

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Dear Barry,

Your contribution to professionalism in modern public relations practice over the past decade and in particular education and standards in measurement deserves recognition alongside individuals including Alex Aiken and Richard Bagnall in the UK; Dr David Rockland and Katie Paine in the US; and Prof Jim McNamara in Australia.

It’s testament to your expertise and talent that you’ve been recognised by the highest accolades in our business: Fellowship of the PRCA, the Don Bartholomew Award for Outstanding Service to the industry, and today Honorary Fellowship of the CIPR.

You’ve spent more than 10 years building a community that has consistently driven up standards in the measurement and performance of public relations.

As AMEC’s CEO you’ve grown the organisation from a handful of UK based measurement specialist companies in 1996, to more than 160 members in 80 countries around the world. Members include public relations agencies, leading not for profits, governments, and global corporations.

Developing an integrated approach to measurement

You spearheaded the creation of the Barcelona Principles in 2010 with Bagnall, Rockland and McNamara, among others. Principle No 5 condemns AVEs as a faux metric, stating “AVEs are not the value of communications”.

AMEC’s data showed that globally around 80% of measurement programmes contained an AVE as a metric. Eight years later that number has fallen to around 18%. There’s still work to do in organisations and markets where AVE is deeply engrained.

In 2016 AMEC brought together academics, measurement experts, public relations practitioners and organisations to create an Integrated Evaluation Framework that would work across all integrated communications.

The Framework shows how to implement Barcelona Principles 2.0, linking organisational objectives to communication objectives, to outputs, outtakes, outcomes and organisational impact.

The Integrated Evaluation Framework has been universally recognised as best practice. It has been translated into 20 languages and adopted as a standard by organisations such as Cleveland Clinic, Philips and the UK Government; and international agencies including Fleishman Hillard, H+K, Hotwire, Lewis, and my own agency Ketchum.

AMEC as global measurement moderniser

AMEC’s role in driving best practice in public relations measurement and as an educator has been critical to this sea change.

I’ve frequently described you as one of the hardest working people in public relations. AMEC’s success results from your drive and ability to inspire and get the best from voluntary members. Former colleagues from Bite, Golin, Porter Novelli and FleishmanHillard describe your drive and willingness to roll your sleeves up, and lead from the front.

Your hard-work, dedication and leadership has helped transform AMEC beyond what anyone could have imagined when you took on the role. Measurement has exploded in relevance and importance with interest and investment never higher.

Thank you Barry. You’ll leave an incredible legacy at AMEC when you leave at the end of this year.

All the best,
Stephen

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