a graphHad a very enjoyable and informative day yesterday at the Arts Marketing Association seminar on “Tracking Success: Measuring the impact of press and pr” given by Katie Moffat. A huge amount was covered, but one small piece rang a particular bell for me.

A while back there was a big project by AMEC about measuring the impact of PR and one of the the things they said was “Transparency and replicability are paramount to sound management”. We often we spend time discussing the transparency aspect, but for me it is the replicability that is just so important. Maybe it’s my background in direct marketing, maybe the programmer in me.

How often do we analyse an activity so we can report on it to our clients and those “upstairs”? Didn’t we do well. But analysis just to pat ourselves on the back, or otherwise, is a waste of effort. The reason we need to analyse is to learn and that is why replicability is important, because if we do the same thing again and the outcome is different then we are obviously missing a critical factor and it is something that we should be searching for.

The action – analysis – action cycle should continually improve our performance over time as we learn what factors have the greatest impact on our results. If they don’t then you should be questioning your methods of evaluation.