Communications measurement should look forward, not back

Communications measurement should help inform future activity, not simply count what has happened in the past.

That was one of the conclusions from the Measurement Practice’s recent podcast that I took part in.

Though we are well and truly past the early stages of the big data revolution, and PR people have been spinning out research based stories for decades, other participants asked seriously whether PR people’s heads are wired differently.  They don’t know how to evaluate because the don’t understand data.

Of course that’s not the issue.  Public relations pioneered data-driven stories, the humble research-based news story.  Data is increasingly at the heart of campaign planning which shapes how communicators persuade different audiences to feel, think and act differently.

But  PR does have a blind spot with evaluating its work, showing the value of what it has achieved and how that can improve what it does next.

The Achilles heel remains: if communications people cannot evaluate better, they will struggle to be heard in serious company.

The podcast was hosted by Mike Daniels, principal of The Measurement Practice, and other participants were David Rockland, Chairman of Ketchum Global Research and Analysis, and Angela Jeffrey, VP Brand Management at research company Advertising Benchmark Index (ABX).

Listen here:

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