PR Measurability

Measuring outcome is essential

When embarking on a public relations activities or a campaign it is important to set goals and measure performance against these goals.

Understanding expectation is essential, discussions on PR objectives against budget are vital.  Expecting certain outcomes makes measuring success simpler.  PR measurability is always part of the planning process, so following project completion achievement can be analysed.

Historically ‘Advertising Value Equivalent’ (AVE) has been used by PR practitioners to measure the impact of PR campaigns.  In July 2010 ‘The International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communications’ (AMEC) set ‘The Barcelona Principals’ as a vital part of building credibility for the PR profession.  A major outcome was the ‘death of AVE’,

“However, for the first time, the global PR profession is united behind a set of principles that clearly state AVE is not a measure of PR value, recognising the complex and changing nature of relationships between an organisation and its publics” Jay O’Connor, FCIPR, CIPR Chartered Practitioner, CIPR President 2010

In the AMEC ‘Global Survey of Communications Measurement 2009’ the top six measurement criteria were:

Hit target media
On time, on budget
Measure of message output
Awareness/image
Client satisfaction
Achievement of goals

The seven Barcelona Principals are a step towards setting global standards to measure public relations.

1. Measurement and goal setting are fundamental to any PR programme
2. Media measurement requires quantity and quality measures; quantity measures on their own are useless
3. AVEs are not the value of PR
4. Social media can and should be measured
5. Measuring outcomes is preferable to measuring to outputs
6. Business results can and should be measured wherever possible
7. Transparency and replicability are paramount to sound measurement

Businesses and organisations have to justify every penny they spend and it is essential builds PR plans that meet expectations and can be measured.

Barcelona Principles – the end of AVE? Chartered Institute of Public Relations

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