The second European Summit on Measurement from AMEC got underway in Barcelona yesterday. There’s a lot going on – discussions on content licensing, the industry’s future, the needs of PR professionals and measuring business outcomes. Data convergence, and choosing the right tool for the job, are among the hotter topics.
At last year’s summit, we were all very excited (and a little nervous) about Social Media. This year, Social Media data has joined traditional Media Analysis, web analytics, stakeholder research data, CRM and third-party influencer data as one of a number of tools in the PR professional’s measurement tool bag. The tools to use depend on the outcome to be measured. More importantly, though, it’s what these tools can tell you that matters. (Thanks to Tom Marklein from Weber Shandwick for his illuminating talk on this topic.)
Outside of media analysis (be it social or traditional), there is a wealth of information that can be gleaned from tools that most organisations already use. Here’s a few to start with:
– Web analytics (ask your web team) will tell a PR professional where traffic to the site is coming from, and what those visitors are looking at.
– Stakeholder research (talk to the marketing team, or consumer intelligence) will tell you what stakeholders think about the brand.
– Data from CRM (check with customer services) will tell a PR professional what customers are calling in about.
As a comms professional, you can use any of this data to prove the impact you are having on stakeholders. So long as the data that you are using actually measures your activities, and reflects the business outcome you were hoping to achieve.
In answer to the question in the headline, by the way: more measurement is not needed, but better measurement is. It’s very easy to get lost in data, so it’s important that you are very specific about what you need to find out. And ask for help if you need it – your media analysis provider will happily walk you through this data and help you to use it effectively.
Now, we have a question for you: what data do you regularly use to understand your impact on brand reputation, sales and performance? And, why do you use that data?