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Changes from the original Barcelona Principles 2010 to the Barcelona Principles 2015

Principle 1:

  • From: Importance of Goal Setting and Measurement
  • To: Goal Setting and Measurement are Fundamental to Communication and Public Relations

While the Barcelona Principles were intended to provide a foundation for PR programs, the updated Principles recognize that they can also be applied to the larger communication function of any organization, government, company or brand globally. In fact, measurement, evaluation and goal-setting should be holistic across media and paid, earned, owned and shared channels.

Principle 2:

  • From: Measuring the Effect on Outcomes is Preferred to Measuring Outputs
  • To: Measuring Communication Outcomes is Recommended Versus Only Measuring Outputs

The updated Principle is more encompassing of the role of qualitative methods. While the original Principle stated quantitative methods of measuring outcomes were “often preferable,” the updated Principle recognizes that the use of qualitative methods (along with quantitative) should be used as appropriate. The updated Principle also specifically calls out advocacy as an outcome that can (and should) be measured.

Principle 3:

  • From: The Effect on Business Results Can and Should Be Measured Where Possible
  • To: The Effect on Organizational Performance Can and Should Be Measured Where Possible

The updated Principle emphasizes that communications impact more than just business results; rather communications can impact the overall performance of an organization. To do this, organizations must have, and practitioners must understand, integrated marketing and communication models. The PR channel does not exist in a silo, nor should PR measures.

Principle 4:

  • From: Media Measurement Requires Quantity and Quality
  • To: Measurement and Evaluation Require Both Qualitative and Quantitative Methods

The updated Principle recognizes that qualitative measures are often needed in order to explain “the why” behind the quantitative outcomes. In addition, the updated Principle reminds practitioners that to be truly objective, we need focus on measuring performance (be it positive, negative or neutral), and avoid making assumptions that results will always be positive or “successful.”

Principle 5:

  • From: AVEs are not the Value of Public Relations
  • To: AVEs are not the Value of Communications

The updated Principle continues to underline that Advertising Value Equivalents (AVEs) measure the cost of media space or time and do not measure the value of PR or communication, media content, earned media, etc.

Principle 6:

  • From: Social Media Can and Should be Measured
  • To: Social Media Can and Should be Measured Consistently with Other Media Channels

The updated Principle recognizes that social media measurement tools have evolved to a point where there is greater potential for consistent measurement on engagement, along with quantity and quality.

Principle 7:

  • From: Transparency and Replicability are Paramount to Sound Measurement
  • To: Measurement and Evaluation Should be Transparent, Consistent and Valid

In the spirit of integrity, honesty and openness, the updated Principle includes more specific guidance valid quantitative and qualitative methods in an effort to ensure quantitative methods are reliable and replicable and qualitative methods are trustworthy.

About AMEC

AMEC is the world’s largest trade body representing communications research, measurement and insights. AMEC has over 140 members in 40 countries, including media intelligence companies, global PR Groups, Government departments and Non-Profit organisations.

For further information contact:
Johna Burke,
Global Managing Director,
+1 (602) 319-6726
[email protected]