A week ago I was in London to attend the AMEC (The International Association for Measuring and Evaluation of Communication) summit, with 300 delegates from 39 countries. Being part of a new company, byBrick Insight, and having the opportunity to bring all my colleagues with me to this year’s summit I feel the need to conclude a bit of the things I picked up on. A proof of concept in a way, in what we are doing at byBrick Insight and how we see the market evolving when listening to peers, customers and downright some of the best brains I ever have had the privilege of working with.
Analysis and Strategy – one cannot exist without the other
I had the great opportunity of getting to know the fantastic Shonali Burke, a PR and social media expert and consultant based in Washington, D.C, during this summit. I was part of her panel at this month’s #measurePR twitter chat and we had the chance to discuss our industry. We both stand firm in our belief that Analysis and strategy go hand in hand. At byBrick Insight we always say that we can’t do our jobs as consultants if we don’t do the analysis first. We would never go into a strategy process blind and once you have set a strategy you want to have good measuring and analysis as a support of the process moving into implementation and tactics. We would never let our clients take on a new journey without a clear goal, a map, a compass and defined tollgates.
Silos breaking down, not only between communication disciplines
We have seen the silos between communication disciplines breaking down as the new communication landscape has evolved and new technology creates new behaviours. But we also see other silos breaking down in our customers’ organisations and we see functions come together around communication, such as HR, Sales and Business development. Aaron Radelet, Vice President, Global Communications at Hilton Worldwide talked about how company culture is the best measure for them on how well they are doing. Since that is an effect of all the efforts they do at Hilton on internal communication and brand building and such a big part of what they deliver, being in the hospitality industry. The fact that we at byBrick Insight measure and advice around Employer branding, Internal communication and company culture feels aligned in the development where content is no longer king, the audience is – internal or external.
Management involvement for greater impact
One of my favourite quotes from this summit came from Aaron Radelet at Hilton, when he described how he works together with the CEO of Hilton. “Talk to the CEO about PR & measurement. You don’t get the CEO position by not having an opinion”. Which is so true, but also a big ask for some companies and CEOs. It is important to make communication, and evaluation of the same, easy to grasp for top management where the communication landscape can seem confusing and far from the everyday work. Or as Eileen Sheil, Executive Director of Corporate Communications for the Cleveland Clinic, said at the summit: “Management will not understand the value of communication without educating them on why it matters!” But by connecting the evaluation to other KPIs of the business and discuss openly what gives what effect and educate where needed there will be great potential. Such as getting a better decision making process and connect tighter to brand values, company culture and leadership. And finally – a better understanding for investments and budgeting.
So when audience is king the need for understanding the audience becomes greater, departments need to come together and leadership change! The keys in that process are analysis and strategy!
I come back from London feeling empowered but also amazed and thankful to be part of the AMEC organisation that truly supports and enables the development of measuring and analysis on a broader scale. And to top it off having the opportunity to be part of the team and journey of developing the new free-to-use AMEC interactive Framework.
Exciting times or should I say KAIZEN – continuous improvement!