Barcelona Principles


Media measurement has made major advances in the four years since the framing of the Barcelona Principles, says Salience Insight CEO Giselle Bodie, but further education on best practice is key to highlighting its value and relevance to communicators and the wider business community.

> Four years on from the creation of the Barcelona Principles, what do you think is the overall state of PR measurement?

At Salience Insight, we have clear evidence that PR measurement is growing and in good health. However, while it is pleasing for the industry that, slowly but surely, it is establishing a foothold in the wider PR and marketing consciousness, we are still a ‘work in progress.’ Much works remains to be done still on educating the market about best practice in measurement.

> What grade would you give the PR industry overall regarding its adoption of the Principles?

On a good day, 6 out of 10. I believe both the PR and media measurement industries can take a lot of credit from their combined efforts in framing the Principles, and in promoting their relevance. Accountability is now higher up the agenda and that can only be a positive development.

> Has Barcelona, however gradually, gotten PR managers and directors away from a “bigger is better” mind set when it comes to measuring the results of PR campaigns?

Yes, but at best it is a gradual process. We are witnessing a shift away from what I can only describe as ‘pile them high’ measures, towards a more intelligent combination of quantitative and qualitative measures, aligned to campaign objectives. Again, media measurement providers have a role to play here in helping organizations and agencies focus on KPIs, and achieving specific business outcomes.

> Are there still too many PR departments and agencies that fail to budget for measurement from the get-go, and subsequently have to play catch-up?

Yes. Measurement doesn’t have to be expensive, but if you are forced to scrabble around retrospectively, the results can be disappointing. There can be a cost impact, too. Failing to factor in measurement from the outset can mean, for example, that an unsuccessful PR campaign runs unchecked for longer, increasing the potential for damage to reputation, product or service.

> Where does PR measurement go from here, vis-a-vis the Barcelona Principles?

It is encouraging to be part of a combined push by the measurement industry and PR professional bodies to promote better education about the benefits of measurement. In September, for example, AMEC will be running ‘Measurement Week’ aimed at improving awareness of measurement among PR and communication professionals. Salience Insight is delighted to be part of this initiative: