Funnels, plain speaking and awards!

Comms Directors Forum smlIt’s been more than 15 years since I first got involved with developing evaluation systems for agencies. My initiation was representing the PRCA on a joint initiative with the then IPR – the PR Planning and Evaluation Toolkit. While the world has gone digital this august publication still provides relevant tips if you can get your hands on one of the spiral bound copies.

Evaluation remains an issue for the majority of agencies. I rarely see campaigns with measurable objectives and associated measurement, and the majority of budgets are untroubled by an evaluation cost line.  The last decade and half has been a case of evolution not revolution!

So I was pleased to see that my good friends at AMEC have launched a new framework for evaluating social media campaigns that can also handle traditional channels as well.

It is designed to support PRs with the planning, monitoring and evaluation of campaigns and follows a similar structure to the well established marketing funnel. In AMEC’s case the funnel takes you on the journey from Exposure to Advocacy visiting engagement, influence and impact on the way. Because it is based on a model familiar to the general business community and because it allows you to monitor the impact of social and traditional channels in the same framework it really is a very useful tool. Plus, there are a plethora of suggested evaluation tactics to chose from.

I used this framework as the centre piece for a presentation I gave at this year’s Communications Directors’ Forum on P&O’s Aurora. Listening to the questions I got from the audience it is clear that many clients are struggling with the evaluation piece as well. Which if you consider our industry was valued at £9.62 billion in the PRCA’s 2013 Census seems a strange state of affairs.

If you see evaluation as a critical part of growing your agency (and I think it needs to be) then do take a look at the AMEC model and see how you can apply it your clients. If nothing else it will dramatically improve your chances of winning an award in 2015.