Part 2 summarised the areas of progress that will form the basis of the agenda moving forward. But what obstacles lie in the way?
Firstly, the two highest priorities (measuring the ROI of PR and adopting global standards for PR measurement) are probably the two most weighty challenges facing the industry. It is right to address them, but probably via several bite-size chunks or we might finish up biting off more than we can chew. Clarity of definitions would seem a sensible first step before the ‘global standards’ can be produced.
Secondly, quite a number of different organisations have a bearing on the delivery of measurement standards – AMEC itself, plus IPR, PRCA, PRSA, ICCO and others no doubt. There would certainly appear to be consistent thinking in terms of intent, but a co-ordinated effort it still required to get everyone in the same place at the end of the road.
Thirdly, this manifests itself in a similar way in the commercial organisations in the industry. There will be a diversity between the needs and demands of larger organisations versus smaller outfits (on both the client-side and the agencies themselves) and also between monitoring organisations whose clients do not currently demand “outcomes” and PR agencies, some of whose clients are becoming more demanding of value delivery. One size will definitely not fit all.
Finally, there is the challenge of educating the clients themselves. The helpful phrase “client leadership” arose during the Summit, but as Richard Houghton of the Consultants’ Organisation, ICCO, will tell you, AVE’s remain ingrained and the commercial incentive to replace them is not clear (yet!)
For further views on the Summit, the ever insightful “Measurement Standard” blog from Katie Paine is on the ball.
In conclusion, the challenges may appear considerable, but with a co-ordinated approach and a will to turn the good intent into practical implementation, the industry can only benefit from the wisdom of Lisbon.