For public relations firms to deepen clients’ confidence in their communication services as well as demonstrate how PR activities contribute to the bottom-line of businesses, leading telecommunication services provider has advocated for the establishment of independent body that can effectively measure and evaluate communications.
Airtel’s Director of Corporate Communications and CSR, Mr. Emeka Oparah, made this submission during the workshop on Measurement and Evaluation (M&E) of communication organised by CMC Connect Burson-Marsteller in collaboration with International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communications (AMEC), and a brand intelligence and research company, Ornico.
According to Mr. Oparah, the situation where public relations firm measures and evaluates its PR activities is similar to a student who writes exam and also marks his own scripts, and this is not right.
“In those days, we used to have independent bodies that embarked on research and evaluation for organisations. This is a way to position the communications department as a value adding unit to the organisation.”
He also noted that public relations firms and practitioners will up the ante in the profession by applying the Barcelona Principle 2.0, which is a contemporary international method of evaluating communication, as against the outdated and unreliable Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE).
He also commended CMC Connect Burson Marsteller for coming up with the initiative, which he described as timely and relevant.
Country Managing Director, Accenture Nigeria, Mr. Niyi Yusuf, delivered the keynote address at the workshop. He spoke on the importance of measurement to communications, saying that setting specific return of investment (ROI) model will help PR practitioners define measurement and evaluation.
In his explanation, Mr. Yusuf advised practitioners to start a campaign with a formative research at the beginning, think about outcome not output, agree on objectives and outcomes upfront and close with the campaign evaluative research when presenting to clients
The workshop themed ‘Can You Measure Up?’ was organised to mark September 2016 as the measurement month in line with AMEC declaration. It brought together a host of experienced communications and public relations practitioners from different organisations including Accenture, Access Bank, Stanbic IBTC Jagal, FBN Quest, Nigerian Breweries, representatives of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) etc.
In his closing remarks, MD, CMC Connect Burson-Marsteller, Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya thanked the participant who were present at the workshop and charged them to ensure that the highlights from the workshop are put into practice. He said this will help reinforce the value which the communications department is adding to the organisation. According to him, the aspect of measurement has remained a knotty issue in the field of communications for a long time. The adoption of the measurement principles endorsed by the global measurement body AMEC will go a long way in helping practitioners prove the value of their activities to the bottom-line of their respective organisations.