Posted by Brittany Lett on Mon, Sep 28 2015

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Introducing the Barcelona Principles 2.0

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In early September, the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) released the Barcelona Principles 2.0, an update to the original Barcelona Principles.

The original Barcelona Principles were released in 2010 and were a set of guidelines created to help practitioners measure the effectiveness of their communications campaigns. They were also designed to replace outdated measurement models and to help end the debate on AVE’s and multipliers.

The industry has evolved so much in the past five years that it was time to refresh and update the principles. The new Barcelona Principles have been updated to reflect the way in which communications professionals work today in three main ways:

  • They are more inclusive and are focused on all types of organizations including global brands, local companies, governments and non-profits.
  • There is a distinction between measurement and evaluation and greater attention to qualitative alongside traditional quantitative methods to actually provide color, context and “the why”.
  • They acknowledge that the world communications professionals operate in today is highly integrated and requires shift in thinking.

The new principles and what they mean for you are below:

New Principle What to do
Goal Setting and Measurement are Fundamental to Communication and Public Relations
  • Conduct measurement and evaluation against defined goals and SMART (specific, measurable with measurement, achievable, relevant and time-oriented) objectives
  • Make goals quantitative and qualitative and be clear about the who, what, how much and ‘by when’
  • Be holistic and comprehensive
  • Be integrated and aligned across PESO channels where possible
Measuring Communication Outcomes is Recommended Versus Only Measuring Outputs
  • Examine outcomes such as changes in awareness, comprehension, attitude, behavior and advocacy related to purchase, donations, brand equity, corporate reputation, employee engagement, etc.
  • Tailor practices for measuring the effect on outcomes to the objectives of the communication programs
  • Consider both quantitative and qualitative methods
  • Apply best practices in target audience research
The Effect on Organizational Performance Can and Should Be Measured Where Possible
  • Measure results using models that determine the effects of the quantity and quality of communication outputs on organizational metrics while taking in to account some variables
  • Develop communications measures that can provide reliable input in to integrated marketing and communications models, including through advanced econometrics and advanced survey analysis
Measurement and Evaluation Require Both Qualitative and Quantitative Methods
  • Consider qualitative methods to further explain/replace quantitative methods
  • Account for impressions amongst stakeholder/target audience, quality of coverage (tone, message delivery, medium relevance)
  • Aim to measure results and progress, not necessarily success
AVEs are not the Value of Communications
  • Don’t use AVEs
  • Don’t use multipliers
  • Use the following to make a comparison between earned vs. paid (only if you must!): negotiated ad rates for the client, quality of coverage, physical space or time of the coverage related to the portion that’s relevant.
Social Media Can and Should be Measured Consistently with Other Media Channels
  • Define clear goals and outcomes
  • Include measurement methods such as: media content analysis, web and search analytics, sales and CRM data and survey data
  • Evaluate quality and quantity
  • Focus on engagement not just vanity metrics such as followers and likes
Measurement and Evaluation Should be Transparent, Consistent and Valid
  • Ensure integrity, honestly, openness and ethical practices
  • Use valid methods, quantitative metrics are reliable and replicable, qualitative metrics are trustworthy
  • Consider other relevant stands like methodologies, data sources and questions (for research)
  • Recognize biases where they exist

Source: Launch of Barcelona Principles 2.0 Presentation, AMEC

Measurement is a fundamental part of communications today and it can be quite daunting if you don’t know where to start. The Barcelona Principles provide a great starting point and can really help you make sense of what information is important to your business and how best to showcase it.

To learn more about AMEC and the new principles, visit the AMEC website.

Cognito Analytics, Communications, Data Driven, Measurement,
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