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Setting off on your measurement journey! The role of AMEC

Winning the game AMEC cover
Posted: May 8, 2015 By: Comments: 0

by Barry Leggetter, FCIPR, FPRCA, CEO, the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC)

If we’re honest, we’ve all got a favourite time in our career. Mine was when as a young journalist I did nightly news desk work for a UK national daily paper.

What I learned was decisions you took, always against the clock, made all the difference to the final editorial “product” – the story – whether it was to ask the Art Desk to create a special graphic, have a feature writer pen an analysis piece; or send reporters out to gain more background. It all contributed to making a difference.

Fast forward and it feels like AMEC has morphed into its own version of a My Measurement News Desk!

What gets measured gets doneAMEC has grown rapidly to become the world’s largest trade body for the PR measurement and analytics sector. We have a global footprint through our International Chapters in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Our Board is currently evaluating the potential for an International Chapter in Latin America.

We have a Non-Profit Chapter whose founding members – UNICEF, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Cleveland Clinic and CARE International – are now being joined by others, including Amnesty International UK. The existence of this Chapter confirms that measurement knows no boundaries, and is as relevant to a Non-Profit organisation as it is to a FMCG business or a global pharmaceutical company.

In practice, what AMEC does is act as the catalyst for new thinking, for germinating ideas from different parts of the world and helping fuel what is becoming an unstoppable thirst for information about the power of measurement and analytics in public relations practice.

Let me illustrate the AMEC My Measurement News Desk in action and what happens to great ideas.

  • Melbourne, Australia and Khalli Sakkas, the Insights Manager for Australia. She had the idea and pitched it to her CEO on the AMEC Board that AMEC member companies could sponsor the first year’s membership of a Non-Profit. We’re running with it!
  • New York, USA and Ketchum Partner, David Rockland, had the idea for a sector group for the US – a Forum for like-minded professionals. What started as the Agency Leader’s Group became the first (of three) AMEC International Chapters and remains our most successful.
  • London, England and Brendon Craigie, Global CEO for the Hotwire PR group, pitched an idea to David Rockland, Ketchum Partner, then AMEC Chairman and I, to run a Measurement Week to create international awareness. We ran with it in 2014 and it was so successful that in 2015 it will become Measurement Month!
  • Stockholm, Sweden and the feedback from Ann-Sofie Krol, Head of Analysis & Consulting at member company Opoint, was that more needed to be done in Scandinavia to promote the benefits of measurement and generate more awareness of AMEC. We’ve picked up on that too and are looking at the formation of a Scandinavia Regional Group. More on this soon!

AMEC’s most routine inquiry is from an in-house team or PR consultancy expressing interest in taking measurement seriously – but not knowing where to start.

No to AVEsFor many practitioners wanting to take the leap, the overriding question is what will their measurement framework look like? AMEC is able to help by pointing firms to the Valid Metrics Framework; the Social Media Measurement Framework and the ground-breaking Barcelona Principles which outlawed AVEs.

We can help, too, through AMEC’s deliberate policy to have an open-source Knowledge Share website with a rich resource centre of downloadable frameworks, presentations and video presentations by some of the world’s top research professionals.

We are aware there is some evidence of a measurement skills gap. A survey in the UK by AMEC’s training provider, the PR Academy, earlier this year, showed that measurement is the top skills gap for the second year running, cited by 53 percent of respondents, the majority of them in-house professionals.

AMEC Global Education ProgramTo fill a skills gap takes commitment and education and that is where AMEC’s Global Education Programme comes in.

I recognise that for many Non-Profit teams your resources (including budgets) may be challenging.

But think about adopting the MUST manta as your own personal commitment to adopting measurement as an integral part of your communications work.

  • Measurement is not a nice to have. It’s an absolute essential!
  • Use it to prove business benefit to your company or organisation.
  • Seek advice from the AMEC community: you will find people will want to help.
  • Train your team to seek the value in proving the effectiveness of what you do, even if it is in baby steps.

The theme of AMEC’s International Summit in Stockholm in 2015 is “Winning The Game.” We have not ‘won’ yet…but every AMEC member is part of the worldwide team that will make success inevitable!

Contact me at

Barry LeggetterBarry Leggetter

Barry Leggetter is CEO of the international Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication ( He has been responsible for driving initiatives which have turned AMEC into an international body, with members in more than 40 countries. They include the development of the AMEC International Summit as the largest event of its kind in the world; the creation of new educational content through the online AMEC College and the new Measurement Month initiative.

A former news journalist, he spent 25 years in PR consultancy and was UK Managing Director for three major public relations networks, Porter Novelli, Fleishman-Hillard and Golin/Harris, climaxing his PR career in the role of international Chairman of Bite Communications.

He is a former Chairman of the UK Public Relations Consultants Association and is a Fellow of both the PRCA and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).