The underlying motivation for the Barcelona Principles was to strengthen the credibility of media analysis to ensure that when astute business managers ask probing questions, the answers are transparent and consistent.
The seven Principles seek to standardise metrics and methodologies used in media measurement and better align PR and Comms activity with an organisation’s objectives. Traditionally, media analysis has reported on a group of metrics – often blurred by statistical theory and convenient manipulation. As long as the same methodology was applied, these metrics could be compared overtime but provided little insight into the direct impact of media activity on an organisation’s goals.
The seven wonders of the measurement world
The 2010 (Updated in 2015, see link below) delegation in Barcelona agreed on seven principles for PR measurement, including abolishing the use of advertising value equivalents (AVEs). They were recently revised to the following:
1. Goal setting and measurement are fundamental to communication and public relations.
2. Measuring communication outcomes is recommended versus only measuring outputs.
3. The effect on organisational performance can and should be measured where possible.
4. Measurement and evaluation require both qualitative and quantitative methods.
5. AVEs are not the value of communication.
6. Social media can and should be measured consistently with other media channels.
7. Measurement and evaluation should be transparent, consistent and valid.
While the intricate and varied nature of communication and PR work means a one-size-fits-all approach to measurement is not only difficult to achieve, but also inappropriate, the seven principles provide an underlying platform for standardised measurement that will hold up under boardroom scrutiny
New and improved
In 2015, the Barcelona Principles were refined to better align with the changing world of media metrics, check out the new guidelines here.