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Talking about measurement is BORING…




says Gemma Moroney, partner, as ISBA launches a member guide on KPIs and metrics for comms, co-authored by Engine and supported by industry leaders. 

There is a great myth when it comes to earned media: it can’t be measured. It can.

Attribution modelling has shown the impact PR can have on sales when tasked with it, and studies have shown digital advertising to be 26% more effective when paired with earned media.

This all starts with knowing what you want to affect. Great PR measurement and evaluation really makes a difference to the organisational impact PR provides – if you think about it from the start.  Then, you can link communications goals to business objectives and ensure a plan meets them.

That’s why over the last six months we’ve been helping develop a new guide for ISBA members, de-mystifying KPIs and metrics for comms. It’s something ISBA has wanted to do for some time, to help guide members on even better briefing, the impact of integration and the importance of an ongoing and long-term approach.

Thanks to the generosity of the trade body AMEC, best practice from across Engine and the fantastic support of the PRCA and PRWeek, we’ve managed to finally make it happen for them. It’s a real coup. It means ISBA’s members  - 3,000 UK advertisers - will now be able to be champions of best practice. More brand owners and marketers joining the push for better measurement can only be a good thing for brands and for the industry.

Running to 10,000 words (but easy to read, we promise), the ISBA guide uses best practice from a variety of Engine campaigns and communications leaders to give both industry-leading advice and real, practical help including on:

- A reminder of what PR can do

- Measurement and evaluation best practice

- Setting KPIs and metrics for agencies/ in-house PR teams

- Sources, tools and measurement partners

- Taking a long-termist approach to PR measurement and evaluation

- Guidance on levels of investment

- Integrated and multi-discipline campaigns

- A look at the future

It covers a wide variety of disciplines and sectors, from consumer and corporate to healthcare and not for profit.

The guide is available for ISBA members and AMEC members, so if you want some bedtime reading, give Traci Dunne or Johna Burke a shout – they’d love to tell you more. As would we!

So remember, talking about measurement is boring but when you hear how best practice has helped a brand increase consideration by 82%, raised millions of pounds of fundraising or changed government policy, it’s clear doing best practice measurement and evaluation is anything but boring. 

Eight tips from the new ISBA guide to get you thinking

1. Get a head-start with the wealth of free resources already available from AMEC

2. Use what you’ve got – you might already be sitting on data and insight that can be part of your measurement efforts

3. Look at best practice, such as the PRCA Measurement Champions scheme and PRWeek and PRCA award winners

4. Start with business objectives and desired impacts

5. Challenge your agency (or yourself) to demonstrate the value their work brings in business impact, not just the output of their efforts

6. Be long-termist – try to have ongoing measurement and evaluation metrics that can be benchmarked and act as an ongoing barometer

7. Know the difference between measurement (scoring) and evaluation (continuous improvement) and keep up to date with the latest ways to do them

8. Integration is key – taking time to ensure an integrated approach and focusing everyone on the same goals reaps rewards


Gemma Moroney, Partner