Barcelona Declaration of Measurement Principles

Jun 20, 2012

Click here for PDF version.

Presented June 17, 2010
Revised June 20, 2010
Final July 19, 2010

Global Alliance
ICCO
Institute for Public Relations
Public Relations Society of America
AMEC U.S. & Agency Leaders Chapter

Seven Principles

  1. Importance of Goal Setting and Measurement
  2. Measuring the Effect on Outcomes is Preferred to Measuring Outputs
  3. The Effect on Business Results Can and Should Be Measured Where Possible
  4. Media Measurement Requires Quantity and Quality
  5. AVEs are not the Value of Public Relations
  6. Social Media Can and Should be Measured
  7. Transparency and Replicability are Paramount to Sound Measurement

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. Related points are:

Clients are creating demand for market mix models to evaluate the effect on consumer marketing
The PR industry needs to understand the value and implications of market mix models for accurate evaluation of consumer marketing PR, in contrast to other measurement approaches
The PR industry needs to develop PR measures that can provide reliable input into market mix models
Survey research can also be used to isolate the change in purchasing, purchase preference or attitude shift resulting from exposure to PR initiatives



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, including specifying:

Media Measurement:

  • Source of the content (print, broadcast, internet, consumer generated media) along with criteria used for collection
  • Analysis methodology –for example, whether human or automated, tone scale, reach to target, content analysis parameters

Surveys:

  • Methodology –sampling frame and size, margin of error, probability or non-probability
  • Questions –all should be released as asked (wording and order)
  • Statistical methodology-how specific metrics are calculated

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