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We’ve it heard many times before, but, “measurement matters” and that’ll never change. What does change are the methods and tools available to prove your work has delivered value.
At this year’s Cannes Lions, WARC (the World Advertising Research Center) launched their new “Creative Effectiveness Ladder” rallying the industry to use this “universal language” to demonstrate the results of their campaigns.
So, as PR practitioners, what can we learn from this new measurement framework? Here’s three lessons…
#1 PR Is Valued
The Creative Effectiveness Ladder is split into six steps, the higher you go, the more commercially impactful your work is likely to be. When looking at that order, you’ll notice PR’s typical sweet spot “Brand Builder – Improve brand health” is at number 4.
Whilst this doesn’t make concepts like brand health and reputation any easier to measure, it demonstrates that these measures – however intangible they may seem – are valued above most others.
#2 Advertising still doesn’t understand PR
Interestingly, the framework recommends measuring the earned media coverage that an advertising campaign can gain. However, disappointingly, it’s stuck in the 90s, recommending just two metrics:
I’d recommend WARC collaborates with AMEC’s Integrated Evaluation Framework, the PR industry’s finest, to bring this into line.
#3 Get “think” and “do” data
Whilst the PR metrics above are shaky, the rest are great benchmarks, going beyond “reach” to analyse what did the audience think and do as a result. Whether this is a reminder or not, those of us in the PR industry need to recognise that if we’re going to measure, we need to gather data on:
It’s that way of thinking that currently sets advertising apart from the PR industry in general. We know our work matters, so let’s make that change.