Written by Jessica Noviena, an Analyst in the Monitoring and Analytics Department.

For the longest time, the PR industry has relied on PR value as a metric of success but experts are now arguing that many of the evaluation methods and techniques that have been taken for granted for so many years are no longer enough and that it was now time to move on towards a more consistent and credible approach. 

In March 2021, PR Indonesia organized a virtual discussion on the AMEC Integrated Evaluation Framework. For the first time in Indonesia, 16 PR experts from the public and private sectors, including Garuda Indonesia, Astra International, the Finance Ministry and Pelindo 1 gathered to discuss meaningful communication measurement beyond PR value. 

Maverick was the only communications agency invited to speak at the meeting because of its consistency in advocating a switch to AMEC measurement metrics. Maverick’s Head of Monitoring and Analytics Felicia Nugroho was the first Indonesian to be certified by AMEC for measurement.The other speaker was Rajawali Foundation Communications Director Fardila Rachmilliza, who recently became thesecond Indonesian to be certified in AMEC measurement.  

The AMEC Integrated Evaluation Framework is an overarching measurement approach which begins from setting objectives to implementing strategy, as well as measuring and evaluating outcomes in a truly integrated manner.  The framework guides us in measuring the true results of communication: increase in awareness, change in attitude and behavior. Results which are often forgotten as the industry had become satisfied with flawed metrics, such as PR value. The AMEC framework can help PR professionals show the effect that their work has on the aims and targets set by their respective organization.

Although already introduced as early as in 2016, the adoption of this new evaluation method and technique is said to have remained low, especially in Indonesia. 

But much to our surprise,everyone at the meeting seemed to be aware of AMEC and its framework. Some had even implemented it in one way or another, such as Pelindo 1 which used the framework for its submission to the PR Indonesia Awards (PRIA). This is good news, as it indicates that the industry is shifting to adopt a more proper, consistent and credible communication measurement.  

These practitioners agreed that what was keeping the industry from measuring what mattered was the demand for showing impact in terms of monetary gains (expressed through PR value) A more comprehensive measurement should encompass the outputs, outtakes and outcomes to show the impact of a communication exercise. Therefore, a shift needed to happen on all fronts, from the inclusion of the AMEC Framework in university curriculum to convincing CEOs and presidents to recognize the true outcomes of communication.

More importantly, the work towards the change needed to start now. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies are struggling to survive. Wrong decisions based on invalid measurement, that underestimate or overestimate the value of communication investments, can be very costly. 

Taking into consideration the current low level of adoption of the AMEC Integrated Evaluation Framework there is still a very long way to go before this new measurement approach becomes the norm in Indonesia. However, the March discussion may have been the first step in that direction; and we need to keep the momentum going.