Reputation, ESG, purpose, and employee engagement were at the core of conversations in the PR and communications world in 2021. As we look toward 2022, they will continue to gain momentum and be at the front-of-mind for organisations. Against this sophisticated backdrop where PR professionals today need to grapple with both internal and external message resonance, communications measurement has undeniably accelerated in its role to inform the work of the PR industry, which is leading these shifts.
In the recent event “2022: The Year of” organised by PRCA APAC, Khali Sakkas, Head of Insights for CARMA Asia, shared four trends in the measurement and evaluation space that communications professionals need to keep an eye on.
“We will continue to see disruption and evolution in measurement and evaluation. They will go from strength to strength in delivering actionable insights and demonstrate what it can bring to organisations,” said Khali.
1. The infamous AVE will continue to be endangered in 2022
As much as the industry works tirelessly to make this metric extinct, it will survive on the “endangered list” of metrics throughout 2022. Many organisations are still using this as a legacy reporting metric or as a way to compare exposure across multiple markets.
The good news is, AVEs will continue to be threatened by meaningful metrics that highlight the success of media activity in terms of outputs and the real impact of PR. Finding outcome results through digitisation and breaking down silos within the organisation is making it easier for measurement professionals to raise the communications function to the top table, and be involved in campaigns from setting objectives right through to planning, output and outcomes.
As reputation remains at the heart of what we do, with ESG being a pivotal component, AVEs will further fail as a meaningful measurement. The true value and resonance of ESG messaging and the complexities of corporate reputation cannot be measured by an AVE figure.
2. Single impact scores are making a comeback
Impact scores will find their way back into reporting and rise as a trend this year, according to Khali, having seen it emerge amongst clients in 2021. The complexities of integrated campaigns often result in fragmented and disconnected measurement between business units, so the idea that you can have one single metric to tell you what good looks like, how you are performing against your peers, will be invaluable to internal stakeholders and C-suites. It is multi-variate – includes several qualitative and quantitative metrics feeding into this number.
3. Measuring internal communications is going to be just as important as external
The Great Resignation and a war for talent are huge challenges for organisations. According to Microsoft research, 41% of the global workforce is likely to consider leaving their current employer within the next year. As the workforce returns to the workplace, we are seeing that employees want the best of both worlds – over 70% of workers want flexible remote work options to continue, while over 65% are craving more in-person time with their teams.
These challenges will bring internal metrics into focus. Measuring external communications will increasingly become just one piece of the puzzle.
CARMA’s study on Media Trends in Big Tech showed that breaking news, which has the potential to cause damage to corporate reputation, is coming from within. Organisations need to have their fingers on the pulse on what they are communicating internally and that it matches what they are talking about externally. This is especially true for technology companies, evident from recent cases about Facebook’s (now Meta) internal document leak and Alibaba’s communication with internal communications on the intranet went public.
4. Social media will continue to disrupt research
Social media will continue to enrich the way we measure and analyse PR effectiveness and tap into public and consumer sentiment. In market research, there will be a rapid change in the turn-around time for surveys, with real-time conversations that provide a rich data source to analyse and run predictive analytics across. “We will see social media analysis continue to disrupt traditional market research methods and we’re going to benefit from faster results and data from campaigns,” said Khali.
Read our report “Big Tech: Media Perspectives and Trends” at carma.com/bigtech.