Measuring the outcomes and impacts of communication campaigns remains a difficult task, with 20% of PR firms surveyed globally by the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) acknowledging the challenge. Inspired by the most recent World PR Report from ICCO, this edition of Muse shares insights on the current state of PR measurement.

The existing mismatch between organisational objectives and PR measurement

ICCO revealed that 53% of communicators in Asia Pacific still rely on the discredited Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE) metric, which measures the dollar value of media coverage, often driven by clients’ requests.

Clients prioritise improving corporate reputation, increasing sales, and building brand purpose, but the metrics requested to be included in PR reports often show a misalignment. These include media clippings, engagement metrics, AVE, web traffic analytics, media summaries and sentiment metrics.

A growing investment in measurement

Despite the continuous use of AVE, the efforts to adopt and improve evaluation methods are evident. In fact, measurement and analytics rank among the top five areas projected for increased investment from PR agencies globally. Simultaneously, 27% recognised measurement, evaluation, and analytics as crucial future talent skill sets.

There is also growing adoption of tools advocated by the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), such as the Barcelona Principles 3.0 or Integrated Evaluation Framework, with 59% of respondents in Asia Pacific using them.

AMEC is the largest global professional body providing communications research, media intelligence and insights. For a summary of the Barcelona Principles 3.0, please refer to our previous blog.

The importance of utilising a holistic evaluation framework

According to ICCO, measurement and evaluation metrics are most used for reporting (82%) and planning (53%). Referring to an internationally accredited framework provides clear guidelines for planning and relevant evaluation tools, enabling communicators to align their evaluation approaches with communication and organisational objectives set.

Before planning 2024 communication activities, industry players and corporate leaders should rethink their evaluation approaches to identify correct metrics and adequately showcase PR impacts. Continue reading our next blog featuring the basics of a widely recognised industry framework for PR evaluation.