I was never satisfied with common PR measurement approaches, or indeed with many other approaches to marketing measurement. They too often appear vague. Measurement and evaluation come across too frequently as more about post-rationalizing our decisions to pursue particular strategies and campaigns or proving to our clients that they should continue to retain us, than about seeking to secure an objective organizational learning opportunity.
Take the traditional reliance of the PR profession on advertising value equivalence (AVE); a greater waste of time and effort you couldn’t hope to find. In all my years in PR I have always refused point blank to ‘calculate’ AVE or have it worked out by a third party, and once I’d explained my thinking and put other tailor-made metrics in place, it turns out that my refusal never cost me a client.
The Barcelona Principles
The PR measurement and evaluation community came together in Barcelona in June 2010 for the AMEC Second European Summit. AMEC is the Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication, and it played host to organizations such as the IPR, the PRSA, the ICCO, the CIPR and the PR Global Alliance. I was there, representing the CIPR.
The 7 principles are:
1. Goal setting and measurement are important
2. Media measurement requires quantity and quality
3. AVEs are not the value of public relations
4. Social media can and should be measured
5. Measuring outcomes is preferred to measuring media results (outputs) ...