The annual AMEC (International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication) Measurement Month takes place in September. This campaign provides free educational events around the world, creating an international spotlight on measurement and calls on AMEC members to join the initiative.

Anja van Schalkwyk, senior strategic analyst at Focal Points, a media analysis company that assists with brand and reputation management, attended the Measurement Month Breakfast, hosted by PRISA, on Friday, 15 September. Francois Van Dyk, operations manager at Ornico, explained the importance of remembering that measurement is not only about proving a campaign’s worth, but about improving and adapting strategies. Based on these ideas, Van Schalkwyk shares five pointers on how PR pros can better measure their campaigns.

1. Set S.M.A.R.T. objectives

Measurement and evaluation should be conducted against defined goals to ensure your desired outcome is achieved. The S.M.A.R.T. principles provide goals that are Specific, Measureable, Agreed upon, and Time-based.

Although it may seem simple enough, this principle is often overlooked when the initial communication objectives are set.

2. Focus on insights, not metrics

The market has seen a change in demand, where a bigger need for analysis is evident and standalone metrics are not sufficient in providing value. This can be attributed to the fact that value does not lie in the amount of data received, but rather in what the data is telling you. Spending time and money on integrated analysis to identify insights provides much greater value in determining the success of a campaign.

3. Use metrics relevant to your campaign

There is an overabundance of measurement metrics, as they are constantly developing with the ever-growing demand. Using unnecessary metrics in an attempt to prove value is redundant if they are not appropriate for your campaign.

Communication efforts should be tailored to measure the outcomes of the set objectives. Identify the metrics that provide answers to the campaign objectives and spend time developing these to determine the results.

4. Keep track of expected progress versus actual progress

In order to obtain maximum impact from the campaign, it is essential to set expected outcomes and measure your progress against these.

This needs to take place throughout the campaign so that you can reflect on your performance. Should the expected performance not be achieved, you can put better strategies in place to get back on track. This will also reduce the likelihood of failing to meet your objectives at the end of the campaign.

5. Make use of cross-media measurement

Communication messages are not sent to your target audience in silos and should, therefore, not be measured that way.

As an emerging media platform, social media is often measured on its own. However, communications should be measured in connection with all channels to provide a holistic measurement outcome.

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