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Evolution – PR Measurement and the Barcelona Principles

AMEC (International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication) is the world’s largest media intelligence and insights professional organization, with more than 160 members in 86 countries. AMEC’s mission is education and innovation in PR communications measurement and evaluation. Universal Information Services is a member of AMEC and adheres to its guidance for valid and reliable methodology.

A Change to the Barcelona Principles

To assist PR professionals in this effort, AMEC created the Barcelona Principles. These seven principles provide guidance to those who want to successfully measure media outcomes and gain actionable insights. To that end, AMEC launched a global “Say No to AVEs” campaign to eliminate the use of Ad Value Equivalents in PR and communications work.

Barcelona Principles for PR Measurement 3

Universal has always aligned itself with the Barcelona Principles to take a holistic approach to the measurement we provide clients. This year, the Barcelona Principles were revised to tighten “the communications industry’s focus on inclusion, impact and integrity.” Additionally, AMEC acknowledges that the industry changes rapidly and principles put into place even five years ago may be outdated.

Thus, the Barcelona Principles 3.0 were released this year. We’ve been previewing them for you the last few weeks on social media, but now we bring all the principles together in one place!

When you put so much time and energy into creating a media campaign, you definitely want to know how well it is performing. Real-time monitoring with comprehensive and ongoing analysis can provide you with a handy road map, alerting you to road bumps and potential detours you may have to make depending on the way your coverage is received.

Applied to PR Measurement

To take measurement of the ROI on your media efforts to the next level, you should start SMART. That means working within the framework of the Barcelona Principles.

  1. Your PR measurement goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timebound). Only conduct measurement and evaluation against defined goals.
  2. Next up, you want to evaluate your media efforts! Measurement and evaluation should identify outputs, outcomes and potential impact. Demonstrating the impact of your efforts means studying your media coverage consistently over a period of time. At Universal we use our Impact Score for this.
  3. You have defined your goals and you have identified potential impact. What’s next? It’s all about identifying impact and outcomes for stakeholders. To do this, you want to think beyond sales or service provided. You’re looking for things like how communication impacts brand recognition.
PR Measurement Dashboard by Universal Information Services

What is good PR Measurement?

  1. Good measurement should include both numbers (quantitative) and narrative (qualitative). Application of a mixed-methods analysis should be specific to the target audience you want to engage with and be grounded in the goals you’ve set for your program. And if you can provide this information in an easy-to-digest format for your stakeholders, so much the better.
  2. AVE’s are NOT the value of communication. What should you look for instead? Consider the quality of your coverage. The best method for doing this is using human-led content analysis for a deeper dive into message delivery and themes. Stories should be evaluated by trained PR analysts, without clumsy automation on the qualitative points generating false sentiment and tone scores. This ensures the highest level of reliability in PR measurement.
  3. It’s important to use a holistic approach to communication measurement and evaluation. What does that mean? Basically, measurement and evaluation should be done across all applicable communication channels, including social media. Social listening and monitoring is often necessary to gauge the success of your media efforts. If you’re only tracking traditional media channels, you’re only getting part of your story.
  4. And lastly, don’t forget that ethical and transparent practices are essential to measurement. It’s important to know where your information came from, what methodology it’s rooted in and what it means for your media efforts moving forward. Comprehensive media intelligence not only tells you how your efforts are working, but also provides insights as to where you may want to head in the future.

Not sure where to start? Here are three meaningful metrics to be measuring for right now. https://universal-info.com/2020/06/implementing-3-important-media-metrics-for-pr-none-are-ave/.

Set up your consult today to find out more about our concierge measurement service.

(402) 342-4178 or email analysis@universal-info.com


*Here are some FAQ’s about Universal’s media measurement, including more info on our reliability rates.

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