The world evolves – so does the AMEC International Certificate Course

About the author

Thomas Stoeckle leads the AMEC International Certificate in Measurement and Evaluation for PR Academy and is a part-time lecturer at Bournemouth University.

The world is in flux. So is the practice of measuring and evaluating of public (especially media) communication. What was once neatly divided into media monitoring (in pre-digital days, that would have been the domain of press clipping agencies) and media analysis (done by specialist companies, with teams of coders analysing content, and teams of analysts writing client reports about last month’s / last quarters’ / last year’s ‘media performance’), has now become a fully integrated practice of data-led communication planning, execution and performance evaluation.

Media monitoring and media analysis have not disappeared. Rather, they have evolved and become an integral part of an ongoing research process that leading communication researcher Jim Macnamara divides into a formative (upfront), a process (during activities), and a summative (after completion of activities) part. This evolution of practice has been led and supported by AMEC, through:

  • the introduction of the Barcelona Principles in 2010 (now BP 3.0)
  • communication planning and assessment tools such as the Measurement Maturity Mapper, Integrated Evaluation Framework and Planning Sheet
  • education and training initiatives via AMEC College, and in particular
  • the AMEC International Certificate in Measurement and Evaluation, delivered by PR Academy.

I have been leading and further developing this post-graduate level, professional qualification course since 2020. With the support of the teams at AMEC and PR Academy, the course has now been revamped and updated to reflect both best practice in the field. This includes technology innovation in the field of generative artificial intelligence such as ChatGPT, which will transform content generation as well as measurement and evaluation, and will likely lead to a wave of new AI-enabled tools and vendors which practitioners need to have the knowledge and insight to assess. It also includes wider developments in society, such as the growing importance of stakeholders for organisations.

This revamped and updated course will be delivered via PR Academy’s brand-new online learning platform.

This revamped and updated course will be delivered via PR Academy’s brand-new online learning platform – the Study Hub – which will allow students to enrol at a time of their choosing and study in their own time, working through a mix of up to date on-demand content – video, guided reading from our specially curated online library, podcasts etc, plus in person tutor support and regular live interactive workshops where the concepts and models from the course are discussed and put into practice.

The course continues to focus on the application of the Barcelona Principles and AMEC’s online tools to support research and planning activities ensuring that communication contributes to organisational success. Areas of expansion and increased depth include:

  • how to best report findings
  • understanding the analytics value chain
  • how to arrive at true insights to support business decisions
  • the importance of stakeholder mapping and management
  • the future of the practice, including:
    • more holistic perspectives on organisations, audiences and stakeholders (in a world of wicked problems)
    • the rapid, disruptive development of generative AI tools (such as ChatGPT) – see this new CIPR report on the importance of AI for public relations

As I stated at the beginning – the world is in flux, and with it the practice of measuring and evaluating communication. This is an ongoing process, and so the AMEC International Certificate in Measurement and Evaluation will continue to evolve to ensure it always delivers best practice education and training for students. The CIPR’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools and the impact on public relations (PR) practice report published in February 2023 states clearly that the ‘AI revolution’ has only just begun, and that it is “inevitable that there’ll be much further innovation in this area in the next 12 months and beyond.”

Together, PR Academy and AMEC will continue to reflect these and other relevant developments in their education and training efforts, to support practitioners in realising their potential.