BARCELONA—Delegates from 33 countries at the 2nd European Summit on Measurement voted overwhelmingly to create the Barcelona Declaration of Measurement Principles, the first global standard of PR measurement, agreeing on the importance of goal-setting and measurement and becoming the second major PR body to condemn the use of “advertising value equivalency” as a measure of PR value.
The debate over AVE—which was rejected by the Institute for Public Relations’ Commission on Public Relations and Evaluation last year—was the most contentious, with many delegates apparently hoping for a statement that went further in its condemnation of AVE than the proposed declaration, which states that “advertising value equivalents do not measure the value of PR and do not inform future activity.”
The other principles, all of which passed with around 90 percent support for the attending delegates:
· Goal setting and measurement are fundamental aspects of any PR programmes.
· Media measurement requires quantity and quality; cuttings in themselves are not enough.
· Social media can and should be measured.
· Measuring outcomes is preferred to measuring media results.
· Business results can and should be measured where possible.
· Transparency and Replicability are paramount to sound measurement.
Debate on the principles was chaired by David Rockland, partner and CEO of Ketchum Pleon’s change and global research and chairman of the U.S. agency research leaders group of the Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), which sponsored the summit in partnership with the Institute for Public Relations. Also represented in the debate over the future of research were The Global Alliance, the Public Relations Society of America and the International Communications Consultancy Organisation.
According to Barry Leggetter, executive director of AMEC: “We see this as a major step forward. What will happen next is that the five organisations involved in the debate will work with us in a process of consultation and have the principles finally agreed by the end of July.”
Adds Rockland: “We want to be able to remember the Barcelona Summit as a powerful moment in time in the history of public relations when we acknowledged the need to replace outdated programme measurement models.”