PR industry adopts measurement standards

NEW YORK: A group of PR trade bodies and agencies have signed up to a new list of standards for PR measurement called the Barcelona Principles.

NEW YORK: A group of PR trade bodies and agencies have formally adopted a new list of standards for PR measurement called the Barcelona Principles.

The principles state that social media PR initiatives can and should be measured and that measuring outcomes is preferred over output. They highlight the importance of goal setting, transparency and the fact that the measured value of advertising is not the value of PR.

The standards were ratified in June by 200 delegates from 33 countries at the 2nd annual European Summit on Measurement in Barcelona. The Institute for Public Relations, the Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communications, the Public Relations Society of America and the International Communications Consultancy Organization back the principles.

The initiative is a response to growing client demand for reliable indicators that justify PR spending.

Tim Marklein, EVP of measurement and strategy for Weber Shandwick, which also endorsed the principles, said: "For agencies still using bad metrics that are really not proven to be valid, this gives the industry more ammunition to move from bad to best practice."

Marklein said the recent recession left clients demanding clear metric standards that justified their PR spending and its contribution to their bottom line. He also said social media is rapidly "changing the commonly accepted approach to metrics."

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