Measurement Mavens of the Year 2016

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The competition for Measurement Mavens of the Year 2016 has been fierce, with several very worthy contenders.

The Second Runners-Up award goes to the data geeks and quant guys behind the Democratic Campaign Committee. OK, OK, in terms of measuring outcomes, at least as far as the electoral college goes, their results fell short. But that doesn’t invalidate their techniques. They deserve the honor just for raising the visibility of good data and smart data mining to a whole new level.

The First Runners-Up award goes to all the stellar organizations that have embraced standards-compliant measurement programs and are measuring business outcomes instead of vanity metrics. I know many of you, but not all, so I couldn’t very well pick favorites.

And for the grand prize…

I started thinking about what the future of measurement requires, and listened to the audio on predictions from this year’s Summit on the Future of Communications Measurement. And then in a flash I realized that the real mavens are the folks that are nurturing the future of measurement. People like Peggy Simcic, Philip Bakelaar, Forrest Anderson, Shonali Burke, Sean Williams and all the other practitioners and professors that devote so much of their time and energy to teaching the next generation of communicators how to measure.

The PR profession in general has tended to underestimate the importance of research and evaluation. But in most schools and universities that have good PR programs, research at least has a place in the curriculum. Communications measurement courses are much harder to find. So those of us in the profession all owe a huge debt of gratitude to the schools and professors that teach it. Without them, AVEs will never go away. You are our Measurement Mavens of 2016. ∞

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