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AMEC Summit 2022

AMEC Summit 2022

AMEC - the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communications - celebrated 25 years in 2021. But, with various lockdown restrictions and mask mandates, its international community had to wait until May 2022 to convene in Vienna for its annual summit. Operating under the theme of ‘The Next Normal: Communicators at the Data Table’, speakers explored data, its role in driving business outcomes, and what PR measurement tooling looks like in 2022.

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At AMEC, we often talk about change. Be it moving from quantitative analysis to a mix of objective-focussed metrics, tool migration, or changes to NLA media access. 2022 will be remembered as a year of change for AMEC with Richard Bagnall, who served as AMEC Chairman for six years, stands down. It’s fitting therefore that Richard tops our leaderboard as the most influential account related to the AMEC Summit. ‘Mr Measurement’, as he is often labeled, is succeeded by Aseem Sood.

Top Twitter Influencers - #AMECsummit 2022

The images shows a table of influencers ranked by engagement.

Top Twitter Influencers - #AMECsummit 2022 (Source: Talkwalker)

This year’s summit began with a keynote from Chris Foster, CEO, Omnicom Public Relations Group. His presentation, emphasising value over vanity metrics and problem solving over counting stuff; set the scene for the coming two days. “I need a future workforce that is curious, and data literate. At a conference which so often looks to the future more than it looks backwards, Foster shared that the communications practitioners of the future need to be storytellers, have a consultative mindset, and need to thrive with change. Relationships and reputation are #public relations greatest currency, he explained, and the next generation or PR pros will be the ones to trade in it, but they must be equipped with the data to do so.

Conveniently, much of this years’ summit can be characterised with alliteration - performance, platforms, and planning. With the programme (that’s an extra ‘p’ for good measure) filled with survey results, case studies, and vendor & user conversations; this year’s summit was a favourite for many.

Performance

The results of the AMEC Survey 2022 are in. And the results are good - now is our moment. The optimism surrounding the future of the industry is almost universal, with 88% of respondents expecting the sector to grow in the next twelve months. This sentiment is shared by Chris Foster of Omnicom, who is excited about future industry developments.

The full survey results will be shared in June.

Such optimism is easy to understand, at an event with two rooms filled with excited practitioners and fizzing with stories of excellence, and measurement journeys which have resulted in data-driven, insight-led communications departments. Aviva shared that in moving to high performance, they looked for a partner who helped build reputation - a theme throughout the conference - and that they wanted to do so through ‘indisputable and granular insights’ which ‘balance the AI and the human touch’.

This idea of building a measurement approach which focuses on reputation is crucial - reminding us that if we keep counting stuff, we will end up in a perpetual cycle of doing stuff, and failing to move our organisation forward. One presentation suggested that, in order for organisations to understand their impact and reputation, they should ask themselves “If you were to disappear tomorrow, what would be your impact on consumers and how would they remember you?”. After all, ‘only PR can drive reputation’, according to Omnicom CEO Chris Foster.

Platform

As a tech vendor, we work hard to drive genuine value for our customers, providing solutions to problems and equipping them with the data they need to tell the stories they want to tell. But this isn’t always the case for all vendors, all of the time. Jonny Bentwood, Global Head of Data & Analytics, Golin and Sophia Karakeva, Communications & Marketing Executive, Datascouting went head to head in a panel discussion moderated by Talkwalker’s very own Todd Grossman, where a Head-to-head Buyer vs Seller Monitoring Comparison explored the disconnect between what buyers want, and what sellers think they need to provide. Where technology providers strive for strategic value where their platform is used to evaluate, plan, and predict issues and opportunities in real time with advanced intelligence gathering analytics; tech buyers - mainly within the marketing and PR teams - simply want an enhanced tool for their planning, evaluation, and issue awareness purposes.

But this isn’t the only focus area for tech vendors. Or at least it shouldn’t be. The IPR’s Tina McCorkindale shared the shocking truths of disinformation. From reputational harm and a reduction in sales through to widespread hate and erosion of trust; we were reminded that it is incumbent on platforms to do their bit. Social media platforms, she says, must do their bit to counter misinformation and disinformation. Monitoring firms can do their bit too, she says, by enabling the identification of so-called ‘fake news’.

Planning

Behind every PR campaign that hits its objectives, is a well-thought-out measurement approach, which starts with a proper objective-led plan. Such planning moves us away from tactical and reactive activity, and drives insight-driven, strategic work that truly moves the needle for the organisation.

And with the importance of planning higher on the agenda than ever, at last year’s virtual summit, AMEC launched its new planning resources. The issue remains high on the agenda of many, with the concept of planning central to the presentations of both Ketchum and Novartis. While Novartis’ presentation focussed on Integrated analytics and strategic planning, Mary-Elizabeth Germaine, Partner/Managing Director, Global Research & Analytics, Ketchum positioned planning as that foundational piece of measurement.

It can be hard to align strategy to corporate values, but you can work out proxies for success. If you go from brief to tactic - you miss the strategy. But, if you spend the time in the strategy and establish how communications (or any function for that matter) can fit into that strategy, that is where you identify tactics; find the metrics that help you measure better; make more informed decisions, and drive business value.

The lessons

Communications, public relations, and marketing professionals are continuing on a journey that moves their organisation from vanity to value metrics. We’re seeing a widespread movement that is resulting in a shift from counting stuff, to an approach of integrated analytics with a trusted partner. The best communicators, those who can have widespread impact on their organisation - from client success to new business and everything in between - are those who are objective-focussed, data-driven, integrated practitioners. That is the journey we are going on, and that is the overall message we took from the AMEC Summit 2022 in Vienna. Book your free demo with us if you want to know how to measure and evaluate and improve your communications with consumer intelligence.