May 18, 2011 / by Heidi Sullivan

We’ve covered the impact of social media on the media and public relations industries many times on this blog. As with almost every area of our profession, social media has also had a significant impact on PR measurement. Determining how we measure social media engagement is setting in motion an industry-wide change in all aspects of how we measure our success… in both social and traditional media. Enter 2010’s Barcelona Principles.

The Barcelona Principles

The Barcelona Principles were established at AMEC’s 2010 European Summit on Measurement and introduced a new, defining framework for communications research and measurement. The International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) is the global trade body and professional institute for agencies and practitioners who provide media evaluation and communication research.

The seven Barcelona Principles focus on measuring outcomes and business results instead of traditional “media results.” The principles do away with AVEs (Advertising Value Equivalents) and instead turn to goal setting, balancing quality and quantity and focusing on transparency. When all is said and done, that’s a pretty radical change in our industry. 

Double-Digit Growth in Communications Measurement

Peter Granat

On Monday, AMEC reported that the communications measurement sector has emerged from recession with double digit growth of 14% in the year 2009/10 compared with 2% in the previous 12 months period.

According to Cision’s own North American President & COO Peter Granat “the rebound in media evaluation investment since the recession reflects more than a healthier global economy. It’s driven by the need to be much more precise in determining the impact of earned media on tangible outcomes like consumer behaviour, buying decisions, corporate reputation shifts, regulatory changes, and company valuations.”

2011 Summit on Measurement

Yann Blandy

AMEC’s European Summit on Measurement returns this year – in Lisbon from June 8-10 – and will “push the boundaries further as part of a leadership initiative to finally embed program research and measurement at the heart of every PR program.” 

Over 40 expert international speakers from Facebook, Microsoft, FedEx, Philips, The Independent and more will present – including Cision’s own Granat (who is also an AMEC Board Director) and CEO of Cision Europe  Yann Blandy.
Full details can be found on the Summit website.

 Survey on Attitudes Towards PR Measurement

This year AMEC is organizing a worldwide campaign centered on its European Summit to show how public relations measurement can result in improved brand equity, corporate reputation, employee engagement, stock price and other business objectives. PR organisations throughout the world, including the US, India, Middle East, Europe and Australia are working with AMEC to ask their members to take part in a survey AMEC is running which will form a key part of the flagship Measurement Agenda 2020 Debate at the Summit. The survey is the first step to identify the attitudes of communicators towards program measurement – and the new thinking which is needed to get business leaders to place more value on public relations activity. The results will be presented in Lisbon.

The Future of Measurement?

Do you think that AMEC can achieve the goal of embedding measurement into every PR program? How important is measurement to your organization? Do you apply the Barcelona Principles to your measurement efforts?

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About Heidi Sullivan

One of PRWeek’s 40 under 40 in 2012, Heidi Sullivan is Senior Vice President of Digital Content for Cision and a self-proclaimed social media metrics nerd. She leads the company’s digital and broadcast content teams, the global research team for Cision’s media database, Cision’s social media community team and the company’s content marketing strategy. You can find her on Twitter @hksully.