Communications Measurement Matters More Now Than Ever

November 10, 2020By Tressa RobbinsAMEC, Burrelles, Communications, Media Measurement, Media Monitoring, Public Relations 2 Comments

First, a little history: The International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communications (AMEC) began 25 years ago as the Association of Media Evaluation Companies. Back then, in 1996, the organization was founded with only seven members.

Since then, AMEC has grown into the global media measurement association that we know today—”the world’s largest media intelligence and insights professional organization, representing organizations and practitioners who provide media evaluation and communication research.”

The organization’s evolution brought increased focus on educating the profession of public relations and communications professionals, rather than competing against one another.

In February 2012, AMEC became part of a new coalition to drive standards for PR research and measurement—along with the Council of Public Relations Firms (which eventually became known as the PR Council), the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the Institute for PR (IPR), the International Communications Consultancy Organization (ICCO), the Public Relations & Communications Association (PRCA), and other partners.

We previously talked about the Barcelona Principles, most recently about the updated Barcelona Principles 3.0, announced in July of this year (2020).

We also covered the launch and explanation of the Integrated Evaluation Framework (IEF) in 2016, which has now been translated into 22 different languages and is being taught at universities. The IEF, which includes all PESO (paid, earned, shared, and owned) media, is, as Richard states, “a free tool that anyone can follow to implement a valid measurement program linked to objectives and not just outputs, rather than outtakes and outcomes.”

In 2017, AMEC launched the “Say No to AVEs” campaign, recognizing that while “advertising value equivalencies” (AVEs) have some value, they should not be used “as sole means of evaluating the success of a PR or communications campaign.”

For those unsure where to begin with all of this, in 2018, the free AMEC Maturity Mapper (aka M3) was launched. The M3 tool helps you benchmark where you currently are in your measurement and evaluation process and help you determine your next steps—focusing on “this is what you should do to do it better.”

Measurement Month: November is designated as AMEC Measurement Month (#AMECMM), which is solely dedicated to the education mission. As Richard Bagnell, Chairman of AMEC, shared during a recent webinar, the attitude now is that “rising tides lift all ships,” and there is always room for improvement in communications and PR measurement. You can see a replay of that webinar here.

In a recent AMEC blog post entitled Why 2020 Has Changed Everything and Nothing by the Chair of AMEC’s Agency Group, Jon Meakin, stated, “What a year 2020 has been. The global pandemic has touched every person on the planet, one way or another, reminding us how connected we are – and how fragile.”

Jon went on to say he “couldn’t think of a better time to be re-framing the conversation with clients about the impact of Comms, and how effective planning, measurement and evaluation is the means by which we go about proving the value. Let the message go out loud and clear from AMEC Agency members: It’s not a line item to be cut; it’s an essential investment.”

During his webinar, Richard warned of the automated SaaS systems out there that are just providing vanity metrics. He said that is the biggest threat to valid measurement — “we’re not actually measuring what matters, we’re just counting what’s easy to count.”

We agree. While Burelles provides a “media cost” value for our clients who need those figures, we understand there is a better way. For this reason that we have long offered qualitative, in addition to quantitative, measurement and reporting. Qualitative measurement requires human intellect and discernment—something that artificial intelligence (AI) has yet to match.

We also believe, as Jon ended his post with, “…yes, 2020 has changed everything. But it has also changed nothing. The need for PR and Comms to prove its value is as urgent now as it has ever been.”

How does your organization approach media relations, communications, and PR measurement? Let us know below.


Burrelles’ media monitoring provides both automated, software-based measurement, and the option for human-verified, qualitative coverage—both online and off. You can contact us here for more information and to discuss your measurement needs.


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