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Speed launches online PR measurement tool, PACE

Speed has launched a new online analytics tool that enables clients to track campaign performance in real-time.

The new tool, PACE, provides a dynamic and interactive analytics dashboard, allowing communications professionals to demonstrate bottom line impact by measuring campaign activities alongside organisational performance.

PACE, built on Microsoft Power BI, combines multiple measurements and data sources – like media mentions, influencer engagement, website performance, marketing qualified leads and sales data. It applies a methodology based on best practice principles supported by the Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC).

The PR industry’s Barcelona Principles 2.0 emphasise that measurement should focus on outcomes rather than outputs, based on SMART objectives and linked to business performance. But adoption has been slow in many areas, with PR often carrying a reputation as a discipline that struggles to provide data-backed proof of return on investment.

PACE was unveiled to marketing industry leaders at special event in London in November, coinciding with AMEC’s Measurement Month 2019.

The launch is the result of two years of research and development. It represents a significant investment by the agency and an acknowledgement that effective measurement is a priority for businesses and brands investing in communications campaigns.

Speed MD Kelly Pepworth said: “Any business investment needs to be able to demonstrate return and PR is not an exception to this rule. Clients expect to be able to assess the commercial impact of their PR budget and rightly so. Speed is committed to helping raise the standard of measurement in our industry. It’s an essential part of our offer for clients, regardless of the size or scale of their campaign, and our approach needed to go beyond coverage volumes and brand mentions. Instead, we have developed a cost-effective tool that allows our clients to see in real-time how their campaigns are impacting on business objectives.”

Speed’s original spreadsheet-based proof-of-concept tool, PACE Essential, was benchmarked as ‘above average’ by AMEC’s Measurement Maturity Mapper in December 2018, and the Association has welcomed the launch of the new enhanced PACE application.

AMEC Global Managing Director Johna Burke said: “AMEC’s Measurement Month seeks to shine a light on the need for PR professionals to focus attention on evaluation that demonstrates the impact and effectiveness of their campaigns. All year round, we are championing the need for measurement to be taken seriously by PR agencies, so it is fantastic to see Speed’s dedication to advocating best practice in the industry.”

Vanessa Russell, Marketing Director at The Celtic Manor Collection, who has been testing a BETA version of the new PACE tool, said: “Data-driven measurement is critical in the hospitality and leisure industry to allow us to make strategic decisions as we move through campaigns. The development of PACE has brought cost-effective communications measurement in line with other channels in the marketing mix.”

Victoria McDonnell, Group Marketing Manager at Brookson, who has also been testing PACE, added: “Demonstrating impact and analysing how PR has supported lead generation has long been challenge in marketing and this tool goes a long way towards addressing that. I applaud Speed for taking a proactive stance on measurement and making it easy and engaging for us to report internally. This really differentiates them from other agencies taking more of a ‘leap of faith’ approach.”

PACE will be rolled out to Speed clients in 2020 and previewed at its Measurement Matters breakfast seminar in London on November 28. For more information and to register, please visit: http://speedcommunications.com/2019/11/join-us-measurement-matters-breakfast-briefing/

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