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Fork handles or four candles? The latest from South West Chair, Kelly Pepworth

A workman walks into a hardware store and asks for fork handles. The assistant goes to the back of the store and comes back with four candles. ‘I asked for fork handles,’ he says. ‘Yes, four candles,‘ says the assistant. And so, one of the funniest comedy sketches shown on TV featuring the Two Ronnies took its place in history. It may be 40 years old but it’s a classic. Watch it if this is the first you’ve heard of it.

Why am I talking about fork handles, because it makes a really good point on the importance of getting what you ask for and poor communication. In short, setting and meeting expectations. Every business or brand that invests in PR has an expectation not just on the outputs of the investment be it releases, whitepapers, events, videos, social content but more importantly the outcomes. What impact will this have on my business. Will it increase brand awareness, address reputation standing, drive engagement, build sales – all valid expectations that we as PR people need to address before an investment is made.

Measurement of impact is more important now in PR than it has ever been and, with the advent of digital, the myriad of metrics and tools available allow us to connect the dots like never before. We have the ability to show the direct correlation between the work we do and its impact on a customer’s journey. To choose the metrics that count and move away from vanity measures. We can pinpoint all those micro moments where our value-add content – be it in print media, digital channels or a physical setting – have touched our target audiences and in short shifted the dial.

November is AMEC ‘Measurement Month’ – a month long focus on best practice, thinking and exploration into advances in measurement in the industry. A raft of events is set to take place globally throughout the month with lots of downloadable material to help elevate thinking wherever you are on your measurement journey.  The PRCA got a head start in the South West with ‘Measurement – what’s it worth?’ – a joint event with leading agency Aro PR in Devon. Francis Ingham MPRCA, Director General, PRCA, and Ben Levine, Director and Partner, TRUE Global Intelligence, met with guests on the 15th October to look at measurement and evaluation trends. More events in the region will follow.

We know the value of PR and have witnessed its impact time and time again, but I urge you to use the insight of others to help advance your measurement journey and up your ability to demonstrate PR’s effectiveness in delivering real ROI. Use November as your month to measure up!