Measuring Trust

PR News Measurement Hall of Famer, Pauline Draper-Watts, and her Edelman Intelligence colleague Lauren Vincelli recently led an AMEC Measurement Month webinar, hosted by Burrelles, discussing some of the key findings from the annual Edelman Trust Barometer and how to measure trust.

Pauline kicked things off by taking us on a deeper dive into a few key findings and the data behind those results—sharing the numbers by specific segments, countries, and groups.

Overall Trust Inequality Returns to Record Highs

In the mass population—the 85 percent of the general public that is not the informed public—there’s a disparity of the trust between the informed public and everyone else.

The trust levels among the informed public and the mass population over time are diverging. In fact, we’ve returned to the record high level of trust inequality with a 16-point gap. In other words, the mass population has not benefited from the improved outlook—having not grown much since 2012.

“This disparity creates a world that truly feels out of balance, one where your ability to rely on institutions differs greatly depending on your level of income and education,” Pauline stated.

My Employer Most-Trusted Relationship

The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer revealed that trust has changed profoundly in the past year. People shifted their trust to the relationships within their control, most notably their employers.

Globally, 75 percent of people trust “my employer” to do what is right, significantly more than NGOs (57 percent), business (56 percent) and government and media (both 47 percent). We see general distrust of NGOs, business, government, and the media.

While these institutions aren’t trusted, people are turning to what is close to them—local and personal—their relationship with their employer. People feel invested in their employer-employee relationship because it’s tangible and comes with a sense of control. They can choose to change jobs or have some leverage over that relationship.

In fact, people want to hear more from their CEO (not CEOs in general, but their CEO). The majority of employees say that it is critically important for their employer to respond and talk about challenging times. These include industry-related issues, but also political events, national crises and other employee-driven issues. They want to work for an employer that offers leadership—one that stands up for them and their shared values.

Investing in Employee Trust is Investing in Your Bottom Line

For companies, building trust internally results in higher trust externally because most people (78 percent) see how you treat your employees as one of the most powerful indicators of whether your company can be trusted, Pauline explained. While a good reputation may convince someone to try a product or service, “if they do not come to trust you they will cease to buy from your company regardless of your reputation.”

Business has an obligation (and an opportunity) to fill the void left by other institutions, and it is not necessary to choose between societal impact and profits.

Globally, 73 percent agree that “a company can take specific actions that both increase profits and improve the economic and societal conditions in the communities where it operates.” For example, some of the tech companies have made a commitment to invest heavily in affordable housing in the Silicon Valley area—recognizing this is what they need to do for their business, as well as society, in terms of their reputation.

(Dis)Trust in Media

The media remains one of the least-trusted institutions. Nineteen (of the 26 markets) showed an improvement in trust in the media to do what is right; however, 16 markets remained in the distrust category.

While the US market showed an 8-point improvement, it remains in the distrust category with less than 50 percent trusting the media do what’s right. Pauline added, “which is a very sad state of affairs.”

This leads us to one of the most stunning (and seemingly contradictory) findings of the 2019 Trust Barometer.

Massive Rise in News Engagement

There was a 22 percent increase in people engaging with news content. On one hand, they are distrusting news but on the other they are engaging with the content more. Pauline says this is a profound shift.

The disengaged (those who consume news less than weekly) fell from 49 percent in 2018, to 25 percent in 2019—going from one to in two people not engaging with news content to only one in four not engaging. Seventy-two percent now engage in the news on a regular basis.

The category that saw the largest increase was amplifiers—those who not only regularly consume news but also share or post content, often adding their own voice to the conversation, several times a month or more.

Breaking this down further, more women than men became those amplifiers. A 23-point increase of women in the informed public category, and 13-point increase of women in the mass population.

Traditional Media, Search Most Trusted

While we saw significant distrust in the media, we’ve also seen the amplification of news increase. And now we see traditional media and search engines are still the most trusted—with social media trust lagging behind by more than 30 points in the US. Overwhelmingly, when people are looking for reliable sources, they turn to traditional media and search.

Measuring Your Trust

An enormous amount of time and energy has been spent on understanding the differences between those companies that are trusted and those who are not, says Lauren Vincelli, Edelman Intelligence Senior Vice President.

Lauren says trust is “not just a vanity metric—it is predictive of financial performance and other essential drivers of business success.”

Trusted organizations have some commonalities:

  1. They have more advocates/customers who are vocal and willing to recommend them.
  2. Their employees are more loyal, stronger and more vocal.
  3. Regulators are less likely to scrutinize or over-regulate these organizations.
  4. Investors see out-performance over companies that are not trusted, so they are more likely to receive investment dollars.
  5. They are more resilient in the face of crisis—they bounce back faster.
  6. High trust companies outperformed their sector by an average of 5 percent last year.

Companies in general are really good at measuring their own brand reputation and tying that back to sales. Conversely, Edelman is often looking at organizational and corporate reputation as a separate, distinct and very important measurement. They help businesses or organizations determine their “score” and best manage their trust capital among its audiences, stakeholders and shareholders.

Measuring Trust: Breaking it Down

While the infamous Edelman Trust Score is what most companies want to know, Lauren says that score without any context means nothing. When you look at the score differences across competitors and audiences, that score begins to come to life—it shows what comprises this score. Where do you perform the best? What is contributing to that score? Where do people most trust you? And what is most important to people?

Lauren explained the four trust dimensions that have been established and contribute to the Edelman trust score:

  1. Ability. Being good at what you do.
  2. Integrity. Being honest and transparent.
  3. Dependability. Keeps its promises and delivers.
  4. Purpose. Having a positive impact on society.

Where it can be customized and make this data actionable is to validate a list of drivers—behaviors that they are already doing, or behaviors they are planning to deliver—and establishing how important they are to people, and how the company performs them.

Finally, mapping that back to the connection between all the dimensions of trust shows how familiar and aware people are, and how they view and perceive communications from the company or organization. Then they have the data to put together a ‘road map’ to drive an increase in trust.

Making Trust Actionable

To clarify, the five steps to making trust actionable are:

  1. Start to prioritize trust drivers based on importance.
  2. Re-take stock of strengths to build on.
  3. Think about where you need more “evidence” (research).
  4. Look at your current communication across audiences and identify what needs to be better supported or developed.
  5. Establish internally what proof points are for key areas and build content around it.

While this is a long post on what was covered in this webinar, it certainly doesn’t cover everything. Seeing and hearing the webinar for yourself will help you link all of these together (and to see the charts and graphs demonstrating all of these statistics and how they correlate).

Click here for a replay of the webinar.

 

.*A version of this post by Tressa Robbins originally appeared on December 10, 2019, on the Burrelles Fresh Ideas blog at https://burrelles.com/measuring-trust/ and is cross-posted here with permission. 

How to Best Measure PR Campaigns—Because It’s No Longer Optional

In my last post, I shared information on the components that make up a PR campaign. Setting measurable objectives was just a passing mention but measurement deserves a full post.

Before we dive into the “how”, let’s be clear—a myriad of industry leaders agree that measurement is no longer an option for public relations professionals. It’s a must!

Why should I measure?

Gini Dietrich, who you may know as the developer of the PESO Model, has said on many occasions to get over your fear of numbers!

Tina McCorkindale, Ph.D., APR, the President and CEO of the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) also an AMEC Academic Advisory Board member, has said we need to stop measuring just for the “purpose of proving our value” instead we “need to be more future-looking and purpose-driven… The time is now for the industry to embrace new technologies and methods.

Nicole Moreo, Ketchum SVP of Analytics and AMEC North American Chair has said, “Sometimes just putting out basic metrics can actually hurt your measurement program and not help management see the true ROI and efforts you are putting in.”

Alex Aiken, Executive Director for UK Government Communications, puts it tersely, “To not measure communications is lazy and shows a lack of pride in the work being done.”

If it’s not already clear enough why measurement (the right way) is so important, Wendy Marx, President of Marx Communications, summed up the numerous benefits of PR measurement on her blog:

  • Offers a better understanding of a PR campaign’s results
  • Shows the impact of your efforts across all your platforms
  • Allows you to compare the effectiveness of PR campaigns
  • Demonstrates investment value for your PR strategy
  • Allows PR professionals to prove their worth to an organization
  • Provides future direction

What you need

Let’s begin by recapping what you need in order to measure:

  • Understand your (or your client’s) key business objectives and how they align with your communications program.
  • Set SMART goals that align with your key business objectives. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-focused, and Time-bound. *Note that Johna Burke, AMEC Global Managing Director, says you should be SMARTERadding Ethical and Revolutionizing.
  • Comprehend strategies and tactics–understand the difference.
    • Strategy is the why: Why are you doing something?
    • Tactics are the how: How and what will do accomplish the goal, meet the objective and fulfill the strategy. How do they support your goals and objectives?
  • Assign KPIs (key performance indicators) that align with your strategies, tactics, and goals, which also align with your key business objectives.

Industry-leading measurement tools

In case you aren’t already aware, AMEC is the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication. It is the world’s largest media intelligence and insights professional organization, and currently has more than 160 members in 86 countries worldwide.

BurrellesLuce is an AMEC member, and as such, endorses the Barcelona Principles and the Integrated Evaluation Framework (IEF).

Measuring communications campaigns isn’t easy—there is no magic bullet. However, the AMEC framework provides you with explanations and examples of each step, making it easier to identify the areas where you need input from other members of management, other teams and your own team. It points out you’ll also need:

  • OutputsWhat you put out to your target audiences—these could be paid (advertising, sponsorships), earned (media volume and impressions), owned (web sites, partnerships, direct email), and shared (volume of social shares, posts, videos, etc.).
  • Outtakes: What the audience takes away from the outputs—what did they do after being exposed to your output? What action did they take—click through, subscribe, share, comment, etc.?
  • Outcomes: Impact of PR activity on the audience—was there a change in awareness, knowledge, attitude, opinion, behavior? What were your audience’s takeaways from your output?
  • Impact: Once this process is completed, you’ll have solid comprehensive data that you will then “use to tell the story of how the investment in PR and these communications activities all build to take consumers through the funnel and to your ultimate goal,” PR News Measurement Hall of Famer Marianne Eisenmann, explained during a past webinar that I reported on.

There are numerous resources available on the AMEC site, for example, a complete taxonomy of evaluation tailored to strategic public communication—in simple terms, it shows where things go and where they fit in relation to each other in the process.

As you go through your measurement journey, some key concepts to keep in mind are:

  • Embrace all data–even if it reveals poor results.
  • Use data as a tool for learning and course correcting.
  • Look beyond the numbers. Do not report data only!
  • Data without context is meaningless—tell the story using the data as support.

Where do I start?

And, finally, like many others, you may be unsure of where to begin with all of this. We highly recommend the AMEC Maturity Mapper (aka M3). This will help you understand where you currently are in your measurement and evaluation process (a benchmark) but will also help you map your next steps.

Now we would like to hear from you! Are you currently or planning to use analytics to measure your public relations efforts? How does this process compare to how you are doing it? Let us know in the comments.


*This post by Tressa Robbins originally appeared on July 16, 2019, on the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog at https://burrellesluce.com/how-to-best-measure-pr-campaigns-because-its-no-longer-optional-2/  and is cross-posted here with permission. 

Integrated Approach to PR Measurement

PR News Measurement Hall of Famer, Marianne Eisenmann, recently led a #AMECMM webinar to discuss how the emphasis on multi-channel marketing has blurred the lines between paid, earned, shared and owned (PESO) information sources. As we know, consumers now engage with companies or brands in many different ways—across multiple platforms and channels. As a result, measuring requires a more integrated approach, such as the AMEC Integrated Evaluation Framework, to appreciate the impact of all marketing efforts.

Marianne pointed out that your clients (internal or external) now care less about the source and more about the content and messages. She demonstrated how those messages can begin as earned media but then may be repurposed and moved through owned, shared and/or paid to boost engagement and awareness.

amec-framework

Marianne focused on updating your measurement model by utilizing the recently launched interactive (free) AMEC framework’s seven steps, but more specifically, what she calls the core elements of integrated measurement: Outputs, Outtakes, Outcomes.

Outputs

What you put out to your target audiences—these could be paid (advertising, sponsorships), earned (media volume and impressions), owned (web sites, partnerships, direct email), and shared (volume of social shares, posts, videos, etc.).

Outtakes

What the audience takes away from the outputs—what did they do after being exposed to your output? What action did they take—click through, subscribe, share, comment, etc.?

Outcomes

Impact of PR activity on the audience—was there a change in awareness, knowledge, attitude, opinion, behavior? What were your audience’s takeaways from your output?

After providing examples and scenarios of the three steps above, Marianne showed us a format she’s used (based on the same concept as the “sales funnel”) to demonstrate how the audience moved from the awareness and knowledge phase on to actual consideration, engagement or action.  NOTE that if you missed the live webinar, it is now available on-demand.

Once this process is completed, you’ll have solid comprehensive data that you will then “use to tell the story of how the investment in PR and these communications activities all build to take consumers through the funnel and to your ultimate goal,” Marianne explained.

As moderator, Johna Burke, AMEC North American Co-Chair and BurrellesLuce CMO, closed the webinar with a few specific questions from participants which Marianne readily answered. They both agreed, in the final comments, that the one thing we cannot do is continue to measure the old way (multiplied impressions, AVEs, etc.).

 

.*This post by Tressa Robbins originally appeared on October 3, 2016, on the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog at http://www.burrellesluce.com/freshideas/2016/10/integrated-approach-to-pr-measurement/ and is cross-posted here with permission. 

PR Can Speak ROI With Marketing: Be Bold!

AMEC measurement week here in the U.S. may be in our rearview mirror, but the webinar series recaps continue. AMEC North American Co-chair Jeni Lee Chapman was joined by Aron Galonsky, Managing Director of Hotspex US, to talk about bridging the communications gap between PR/communications and marketing—specifically when it comes to ROI (return on investment).

Jeni kicked-off the webinar by sharing some results from a 2015 AMEC study (which included AMEC members from top public relations agencies, measurement firms and corporate communications).

  • 74% of the companies experienced stronger revenue in 2015 vs. 2014
  • 86% agree that PR consultancies recognize the importance of measurement of analytics (up from 72% in 2014)
  • Metrics and tracking systems are in the top 3 priorities according to the Arthur Page Society (comprised of Fortune 500 CCOs)

Any good measurement program begins with conversations—both with management and your marketing counterparts. Jeni and Aron agree that alignment is critical. When this is not the case, it can be difficult to prove that your PR work has increased awareness and engagement—especially when marketing is taking the credit for it (because you are not measuring). Perhaps you don’t have the data you need, or don’t have the budget, or have trouble convincing management of the need (when they just want to see volume of clips).

Five questions to ask when having those conversations, Jeni and Aron recommend:

  • What audiences are PR/communications targeting as compared to marketing?
  • How are we ensuring quality data is being used—not quantitative data that may or may not have value (such as AVEs, impressions, etc.)
  • What are the options for ROI analysis–do you have access to the data you really need?
  • Have we double-checked that we have the right input and outcome variables (tied back to the business objectives)?
  • What is the analysis plan (how do they plan to look at it)?

Setting objectives and creating your alignment model (with the AMEC integrated evaluation framework) in the right context is crucial.  So is having this plan in writing and confirming all interested parties are in agreement.

Aron discussed some of the different ROI modeling from those that are not very complex to those that are highly complex. What you choose all depends on the results of those conversations you’ve had and your subsequent objectives. “If you are not part of the equation, you are not part of the solution, he stated, after explaining key driver analysis, correlation analysis, lift modeling, market mix modeling and more.  Jeni remarked, “what gets measured, gets funded—this is what gives you a seat at the table.”

Throughout the webinar, Jeni and Aron shared some examples and case studies that really made these scenarios easier to understand. If you missed the live webinar, it’s available on demand.

One of their compelling closing comments was, “Experimenting is valid and necessary. Just doing what everyone else is doing is not enough. Be bold!”

 

.*This post by Tressa Robbins originally appeared on September 30, 2016, on the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog at http://www.burrellesluce.com/freshideas/2016/09/pr-can-speak-roi-with-marketing-be-bold/ and is cross-posted here with permission. 

 

Text and Image: PR Power Punch

More and more social networks are adding image recognition to their toolkits. Is this a hot new trend in measurement or have we seen it before? That’s how this AMEC measurement week webinar was described and certainly didn’t disappoint!

PR News Measurement Hall of Famers, Margot Savell, SVP Global Measurement, Research+Data Insights at Hill+Knowlton, , and Johna Burke, AMEC North American Co-chair and BurrellesLuce CMO, teamed up to talk about how, in this world of big data, images (in addition to text) need to be part of your evaluation.

Images are extremely powerful .You remember stories more when an image is associated with it, and therefore, it creates higher return on influence, Margot began.

Did you know that 3.25 billion photos are shared on social channels daily?  By comparison, in 2014, this figure was just 1.8 billion. I’m still trying to wrap my head around all the staggering social media statistics that Margot cited. Because these numbers have skyrocketed, the long-time practice of image analytics in traditional media has become this hot new trend in social media. When you think about how many visual stories are being shared every day, think about what you are likely missing if you’re only looking at text. “Are you really capturing all the data that’s going to give you a complete understanding of how your brand is being perceived in social media? I think not,” declared Margot.

She shared that up to 80% of posts with logos do not mention the name of the brand in the text, according to Talkwalker. In my opinion, that statistic alone should scare you into paying attention to visuals—think about how much you are missing if you’re only monitoring for and reporting on text!

Photo journalism and images have been important since the turn of the century, Johna chimed in, it’s a bit of what’s old is new again with all the eyes on social media now. “People are exposed to more and more information, however they are less informed. Naturally, the human eye is drawn to a headline and an image—the two main factors that determine how people are going to spend their time consuming information and news. So, any program that doesn’t include imagery is really missing out on a huge segment.” Making all these other metrics we talk about incomplete if we aren’t taking these images into consideration.

She went through several examples, straight from the headlines, featuring well-known brands, and discussed the images as they relate to reputation management, crisis communications and more. One of these examples demonstrated color photos on the newspaper section front page (but no brand mention in teaser text) and then black and white photos with the story itself. If you were not monitoring the actual print publication and the images it used, you are not really seeing the whole picture. These examples and analogies really made the concepts come to life for me and I believe they will for you as well. (You can see and listen to the playback here.)

Margot and Johna answered some additional measurement questions, shared off-the-cuff thoughts and even offered some examples of how using vanity metrics (or as Johna calls it, “low-hanging fruit”) give a completely inaccurate depiction and do not contribute to deeper brand insights.

Bottom line? We need to be sure we are making true data-driven decisions that tie-back to the overall business objectives, and that requires us to be completely informed. Johna believes it boils down to listening / watching, reacting and applying the logic..

*This post by Tressa Robbins originally appeared on September 27, 2016, on the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog at http://www.burrellesluce.com/freshideas/2016/09/text-and-image-pr-power-punch/ and is cross-posted here with permission. 

How to Use the New AMEC Measurement Framework—A Practical Session

For this  webinar, guest experts Richard Bagnall and Giles Peddy joined us from across the pond while AMEC North American Co-chair (and BurrellesLuce CMO) Johna Burke moderated. Richard took pole position with the fascinating story about how the sad state of PR measurement back in the 1990’s spurred the formation of the AMEC organization, which eventually led to the creation of the Barcelona Principles in 2010 and more recently, the Integrated Evaluation Framework.

The Integrated Evaluation Framework better reflects today’s public relations environment, where we’re working across Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned media. The PESO model was developed and championed by Gini Dietrich, a well-known industry thought leader and author of Spin Sucks.

Richard described how we now “must measure across all these different channels if we’re going to give a credible measurement of the work that we’re doing.” He cautioned that we must be careful to not “just count what’s easy to count but we measure what really matters” to the business. (To hear this in that splendid British accent, you’ll need to listen to the playback!)

The Integrated Evaluation Framework helps us to stop measuring in silos and brings it all together. Giles then talked about the context to the framework stating that communication professionals must show the effect that their work had on the business objective—not just output metrics (aka vanity metrics).  He explained how a diverse global group was put together and worked for an entire year to create what is now a free, non-proprietary, step-by-step process—essentially “how to operationalize the Barcelona Principles”.

Interactive Evaluation Framework

When you land on the website, you’ll find a tile-based, simple to use, clickable worksheet that can be completed right on the site itself (and then download the finished product). Giles walked us through many of the steps which include descriptions and inline help text—way too much information to incorporate into a blog post, so I encourage you to listen to the playback of this presentation and go explore the site. To be honest, for me, this whole concept seemed very complicated and a bit overwhelming—that is, until I attended this webinar!

Giles went on to share how the initial response has been overwhelmingly positive. Lewis PR and many other major agencies and consultancies have already adopted the model, along with the UK government. It’s also being shared with and by other PR and communications trade organizations (such as the US-based Institute for Public Relations) as the key model to use.

Richard chimed in, “In the end, this framework helps you run your campaign effectively and measure it in a way that allows you to understand what it is you’re trying to achieve, understand what success would look like, agree on the targets, plan to run your campaign effectively and measure it appropriately.” However, he explained, that isn’t the end. You need to then take that information and the “flow of the process and tell your measurement story around it. You need to then bring it to life about how you did your work, what it meant for the business, how it helped and, importantly, what you’ve learned—what perhaps didn’t work as well as you had expected and what you’re going to be doing differently.”

Johna summed it up with “this is such a great resource for everyone, whether you have an existing successful measurement program and team or you’re just starting out, to really create and to utilize a program that’s been implemented on your behalf” and is such a great resource.

*This post by Tressa Robbins originally appeared on September 26, 2016, on the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog at http://www.burrellesluce.com/freshideas/2016/09/how-to-use-the-new-amec-measurement-framework-a-practical-session/ and is cross-posted here with permission. 

 

PR Measurement: Beyond Vanity Metrics

“Sometimes just putting out basic metrics can actually hurt your measurement program and not help management see the true ROI and efforts you are putting in.” That was how Nicole Moreo began this AMEC measurement week webinar.  Well, that certainly got my attention! I thought how can reporting on basic metrics hurt my credibility?  Nicole explains.

Vanity metrics are metrics that feel important but are ultimately superficial, or worse, deceptive. What we usually think of are things like impressions, likes, re-tweets, AVEs (ad value equivalency), share of voice, mentions, page views, etc. They are not performance indicators. While some of these are important for benchmarking purposes, they should not be relied upon for actual intelligence.  In the big picture, vanity metrics actually hold you back.

So, how do we figure out what to measure?  First, Nicole cautioned, resist the urge to run out and subscribe to the latest tool or aggregator service that claims to programmatically measure for you.  She went on to outline the steps PR pros must take—before embarking on a measurement program.

Listen and Ask

Listen to senior management, your team, your clients (internal or external). Ask questions, such as

  • What is the strategic goal of the PR / marketing program, specifically the business goal? You may hear, for example, “increase share of voice” (SOV)—why? Or, “we want to put this message out on social media so people can see it”—why? What is the goal? Are you trying to increase sales? Are you trying to get people to download a whitepaper? How does that tie back to the business goal?
  • Who are the key audiences? Your program is obviously not to every single person in the universe, so precisely who do you want to reach?
  • Which platforms will be effective—based on the answers to the first two questions?
  • What are the internal KPIs (key performance indicators) that are being used? What business point does that tie back to?
  • What is the internal reporting structure?
  • What insights are you hoping for?

Once you have the answers to those questions, you want to use your metrics as a tool to tell a story (after all, that’s what public relations practitioners are good at—storytelling)!

So What?

Start with the basic metrics, like share of voice—but who are you comparing to? Competitors? Other divisions within the company? Ensure what you are comparing is apples to apples.  Engagement is also a basic metric that allows you to know how many people are actually interacting with your content and potentially have the influence to share it. Tonality (sentiment) is another that you may opt to use and there are others but start with these basics.  Then, ask again, so what? That may lead you to another point, where you once again ask, so what? Nicole recommends asking this three times will help you find the answers that offer a mix of qualitative explanations and quantitative variables.

She went on to offer specific examples, showing charts and graphs  sharing how each of them created a story of insights and intelligence that were meaningful and actionable. This was all possible by asking the right questions before embarking on the program.

*This post by Tressa Robbins originally appeared on September 23, 2016, on the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog at http://www.burrellesluce.com/freshideas/2016/09/pr-measurement-beyond-vanity-metrics/ and is cross-posted here with permission.