Monthly Archives: October 2012

Measuring PR – What are the Barcelona Principles?

BarcelonaBarcelona – home of the 1992 Summer Olympics.

Barcelona – the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, with a population of 1.621.537.

Barcelona – the fourth most visited city in Europe after Paris, London, and Rome.

Barcelona – The epicenter of global PR measurement.

At the 2nd European Summit on Measurement, organized by AMEC and the Institute for Public Relations in Barcelona in June 2010, delegates adopted a new declaration of standards and practices.

The group defined seven principles that should be used to guide measurement and evaluation of public relations.  The following are the principles:

Principle 1: Importance of Goal Setting and Measurement

  • Goal-setting and measurement are fundamental aspects of any public relations program
  • Goals should be as quantitative as possible and address who, what, when and how much the PR program is intended to affect
  • Measurement should take a holistic approach, including representative traditional and social media; changes in awareness among key stakeholders, comprehension, attitude, and behavior as applicable; and effect on business results.

Principle 2: Measuring the Effect on Outcomes is Preferred to Measuring Outputs

  • Outcomes include shifts in awareness, comprehension, attitude and behavior related to purchase, donations, brand equity, corporate reputation, employee engagement, public policy, investment decisions, and other shifts in stakeholders regarding a company, NGO, government or entity, as well as the stakeholder’s own beliefs and behaviors
  • Practices for measuring the effect on outcomes should be tailored to the business objectives of the PR activities. Quantitative measures such as benchmark and tracking surveys, are often preferable. However, qualitative methods can be well suited or used to supplement quantitative measures
  • Standard best practices in survey research including sample design, question wording and order, and statistical analysis should be applied in total transparency

Principle 3: The Effect on Business Results Can and Should Be Measured Where Possible

  • To measure business results from consumer or brand marketing, models that determine the effects of the quantity and quality of PR outputs on sales or other business metrics, while accounting for other variables, are a preferred choice.

Principle 4: Media Measurement Requires Quantity and Quality

  • Overall clip counts and general impressions are usually meaningless. Instead, media measurement, whether in traditional or online channels, should account for:
  • Impressions among the stakeholder or audience
  • Quality of the media coverage including:
    •Tone •Credibility and Relevance of the Medium to the Stakeholder or Audience •Message Delivery •Inclusion of a 3rd party or company spokesperson •Prominence as Relevant to the Medium
  • Quality can be negative, positive, or neutral

Principle 5: AVEs are Not the Value of Public Relations

  • Advertising Value Equivalents (AVEs) do not measure the value of public relations and do not inform future activity; they measure the cost of media space and are rejected as a concept to value public relations
  • Where a comparison has to be made between the cost of space from earned versus paid media, validated metrics should be used, stated for what they are, and reflect:
    •Negotiated advertising rates relevant to the client, as available •Quality of the coverage (see Principle 2), including negative results •The PR industry needs to develop PR measures that can provide reliable input into market mix models •Physical space of the coverage, and the portion of the coverage that is relevant
  • Multipliers intended to reflect a greater media cost for earned versus paid media should never be applied unless proven to exist in the specific case

Principle 6: Social Media Can and Should Be Measured

  • Social media measurement is a discipline, not a tool; but there is no “single metric”
  • Organizations need clearly defined goals and outcomes for social media
  • Media content analysis should be supplemented by web and search analytics, sales and CRM data, survey data and other methods
  • Evaluating quality and quantity is critical, just as it is with conventional media
  • Measurement must focus on “conversation” and “communities” not just “coverage”
  • Understanding reach and influence is important, but existing sources are not accessible, transparent or consistent enough to be reliable; experimentation and testing are key to success

Principle 7: Transparency and Replicability are Paramount to Sound Measurement

PR measurement should be done in a manner that is transparent and replicable for all steps in the process.

The standards are the foundation for future of PR measurement – it is a start.

For more information check out the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication site:

Check out the following link to see the slides –