Barcelona Declaration of Research Principles – A Step in the Right Direction 4


This is a guest post by Gemma Griffiths, Client Director, Racepoint Group London

There has been lots of talk this summer about the death of Advertising Equivalent (AVE), much of which has been spurred on by the European summit on measurement and the release of the hotly debated ‘Barcelona Principles’. For those of you who are not familiar with these principles, and where they have come from, allow me to do a quick recap of this summer’s event and outcome.  

In June this year, leaders of global professional measurement and evaluation bodies – AMEC, Global Alliance, IPR Measurement Commission, PRSA and ICCO – and over 190 of the top PR measurement experts got together in the sunny city of Barcelona to finally bury AVE and discuss potential new ways of measuring the impact of PR.

Following the summit the Barcelona Declaration of Research Principles was released:

  1. Goal setting and measurement are fundamental aspects of any PR programme
  2. Measuring the effect on outcomes is preferred to measuring outputs
  3. The effect on business results can and should be measured where possible
  4. Media measurement requires quality and quantity
  5. AVEs are not the value of PR
  6. Social media can and should be measured
  7. Transparency and replicability are paramount to sound measurement.

It is worth noting that these principles are very broad and apply to measurement, which includes social media measurement.

Critics say that these principles are vague and don’t add much to the debate. I’d agree, but also add that Rome wasn’t built in a day. These principles look like a good foundation and it appears that there are a few experts and organisations committed to the cause and keen to drive this forward – AMEC’s Executive Director Barry Leggetter and Katie Delahaye Paine of KD Paine & Partners are two that spring to mind.

To hear more from these experts, check out an interview with Barry Leggetter and Katie Delahaye Paine on Jay O’Connor’s CIPR blog post. Jay is the President of the CIPR – the professional body for PR in the UK – and former European MD of Racepoint.

More thoughts / updates on measurement and the principles to come soon.


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