PR measurementI have a question for all you communications professionals: Do you know what’s significant about November?

Take a moment to consider it, while we cue the Jeopardy thinking music.

We’ll wait …

OK, time’s up.

And no … the answer we’re looking for is not Thanksgiving.

Nor is it PR planning.

How many of you said PR measurement?


Now ask yourself why you didn’t come up with that?

According to AMEC, the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication, November is PR Measurement Month.

You can participate in events to improve your PR measurement game, or even follow a hashtag on Twitter to ensure you’re up to speed on the latest and greatest in communications metrics: #AMECmm.

Not Good at Math Just Doesn’t Cut it Anymore

OK, so a lot of us jokingly say we got into PR and communications because we don’t consider ourselves very good at math.

We’re storytellers.


Writers and creators.

And that’s all great.

But we’re also business professionals and, as such, need to demonstrate the value we bring to the table and demonstrate how our efforts contribute to organizational goals.

For too long, we’ve shied away from measurement, relying on impressions (and before that—insert collective shudder—AVEs).

But we now have tools and usable methodologies to “measure what matters” and focus on outcomes and impact, not outputs.

In honor of PR Measurement Month, our next #SpinSucksAMA on Monday, November 11 at 1 pm ET, features Johna Burke, Global Managing Director, AMEC.

Johna will be answering some of your toughest questions about how and what to measure and how to develop effective PR measurement strategies.

Meet Johna Burke

If you’re active in PRSA Counselors Academy, or PRSA, for that matter, you’ve probably met Johna Burke. Johna has a big personality and a bigger heart. And there’s no one we know who gets as passionate as she does about PR measurement. Johna’s been a PR professional for over 25 years, was CMO of BurrellesLuce, and was inducted into the PR News Measurement Hall of Fame in 2015.

And if you don’t know AMEC, check out the site, its resources and tools on PR measurement, and a list of measurement month events.

Refine Your PR Measurement Approach

We asked Johna why PR pros seem to lag so far behind our marketing colleagues when it comes to measuring business outcomes and what we might be able to do to change that?


I don’t think PR is ‘behind marketing’ but perhaps we are struggling with focusing on what matters. There’s a push to compete with the marketing stack and that’s likely shooting at the wrong target for most PR teams.  Marketing gets prospects in the funnel, giving them access to faster yield data, but it’s still not all conversion data.

PR is a longer game than marketing for most companies and as a result the metrics are different. We know they both work and we also know when they are aligned it can transform a brands ability to convert leads, retain customers and drive market share.

Q: Tell us about how AMEC is trying to shift our approach to measurement.


We will be launching a planning guide this month.  We see this as a gap in many PR programs. Without clearly defined measurable objectives communications pros revert to tracking metrics that are easy in place of metrics that are important to the business. In addition, we have an amazing resource in our Integrated Evaluation Framework (IEF)—in more than 20 languages—which includes a full taxonomy prepared my Professor Jim McNamara. This is a roadmap for any pro wanting to move beyond tracking outputs to measuring outcomes.

#SpinSucksAMA on PR Measurement—How to Sign Up

If you want to learn how to measure what matters, save the date for our next #SpinSucksAMA on PR measurement.

But you need to be a member of our free Spin Sucks community in order to take part.

If you’re already there, we’ll be sharing an RSVP form and more details about the webinar.

If not, here’s how to join.

Once you’re in, you can RSVP to the webinar, add your questions, and also join in the conversation with our smart, helpful, and fun group of communications pros.

See you there!

Martin Waxman

Martin Waxman, MCM, APR, is a senior advisor to Spin Sucks and runs a consultancy, Martin Waxman Communications. He leads digital and social media training workshops, conducts AI research, and is a LinkedIn Learning author and one of the hosts of the Inside PR podcast. Martin teaches social media at McMaster University, the Schulich School of Business, Seneca College, and the UToronto SCS and regularly speaks at conferences and events across North America.

View all posts by Martin Waxman