Measurement month: Working backwards with Allison Spray – H+K Strategies

The Global Measurement Month

November is Global Measurement Month, and in association with the Public Relations Institute of Australia, this month Smoke Signal Podcast will feature a series of episodes with global leaders in PR measurement, all under the theme of “reimagining measurement and evaluation”.

In the next episode of the series I am joined from London by Allison Spray who is Managing Director H+K Strategies as well as an International Board Director for AMEC.

Allison describes measurement and evaluation as being like a tailored suit – there is no one size that fits all.  Every client is different, every business has different goals and measurement needs to reflect that reality.

As part of her role with AMEC, Allison lead a working group for developing a PR planning Framework. For Allison, It all begins and ends with strategy – what do you want to happen and back track from there.

“What is it you are trying to achieve and do the metrics I am tracking right now prove that I have done that – it is about thinking beyond what data I can collect easily and moving to what do I need to know.”

The Global pandemic has seen everyone get a lot more fluent in the language of data and statistics – we have had to, it has been coming at us everyday. But data has been around a long time, however the scale of data we are talking about now is literally incomprehensible.

Allison cites a fascinating statistic: by 2025 it is estimated humans will interact with data every 18 seconds – that makes data science, AI and engineering increasingly important for the future of communications but for many professionals big data seems miles away from what they are doing day to day.

And Allison accepts that the volume of data makes traditional manual analysis almost impossible, rather what is coming is augmented analytics. The use of enabling technologies or machine learning to help analyse the data, making it digestible and helping practitioners get to the insight faster.

Brandwatch, Signal AI and Quiid are all examples of technology and tools that, often with engaging visualisations, help make sense of the data.

If Allison could change one thing, it would be that measurement doesn’t only come at the end – so many pitches measurement is literally the last slide in the deck. Knowing what you want to achieve and working backwards.

“Measurement needs to be throughout – it needs to be in the front, in the middle at the end. Measurement is an iterative process, constantly evolving, and that is the most value measurement can bring.” 

We will be releasing a new Measurement Month Podcast every Monday throughout November. Be sure to subscribe via the blog, iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Published by Paul

Paul Cheal is an experienced financial and corporate communications leader with over 20 years’ experience working with Australian and global brands to build and protect their reputation.
He is a former journalist and an experienced academic, having been a casual tutor and lecturer at University of Technology, Sydney, teaching PR and communication to undergraduate and post graduate students. With a Masters of Public Communication from UTS as well as a Bachelor of Arts (Communications), Paul is passionate about Public Relations, this podcast is an opportunity to speak with key practitioners, academics, leaders and influencers from across the profession.