Will the 16th June 2016 go down as a great day for PR and evaluation?
Will it be recorded as the day PR grew-up? The day that it shock off the vestiges of subjectivity and laid bare its soul for all to examine its worth?
Will it be the start of a time when PR is recognised as a great and valuable set of skills able to bridge gaps between organisations its publics and stakeholders?
Will it mark out PR’s intent to play to the same rules as other professional disciplines?
These are lofty intentions but at yesterday’s AMEC Summit closing presentation Richard Bagnell (@) (AMEC Chairman elect) and his collection of like-minds including Professor Jim Macnamara (@jimmacnamara) and Giles Peddy, (@GilesPeddy ) Group Managing Director UK at LEWIS, gave the measurement world something new to play with. More than just words, they gave the PR world a Integrated Evaluation Framework to assist in campaign planning and measurement.
Now there are a few things you need to know about before you start using the tool:
- It won’t ‘evaluate’ your coverage for you. Think about it more as a checklist, an opportunity to see a structure or a series of questions or suggestions to pick from.
- Not all suggestions and stages are relevant to every campaign. In many cases a good chunk of these can be ignored. Your campaign is unique and as a result no framework can precisely fit your needs.
- On an operational level it won’t save your work. Because of copyright/data protection reasons you can’t save your session and come back to rework it on another day. There is the option to print as a PDF from which you can grab the resulting text and evaluation structure.
- Although there is a ‘Submit’ button, it wont give you a score against which to make comparisons.
Once you are well familiar with the stages and options you might find you can live without the framework. It is really an education tool. It is an interactive instructional mechanism which lays out in one place a structured approach common to all evaluation processes. It explains some of the terminology and what kind of metrics, options and connections which could be relevant to prove an effect.
Thanks to the involvement of Professor Jim Macnamara, a seminal PR/evaluation academic influence, there is an extensive selection of academic references to explain and support the inclusion and relevance of a specific stage.
If that level of detail is a little daunting there’s a selection of pop-up explanatory boxes associated with each stage and option, providing tips on relevance and application.
I have not tried the tool in anger yet – only saw a demonstration at the AMEC Summit yesterday. But I will do so and AMEC is inviting feedback from users over the next 2 months.
I started this post with some lofty challenges. In this current guise the framework won’t deliver this year. But it will be refined and the hope is that PR/measurement people will begin to use it, the terminology and clients will begin to think in terms of the frameworks stages. In turn those stages will align with other departments possibly helping break down the silos that exist.
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