If you work in communication, public relations, or social media, you know the lines are blurring between where one area of expertise begins and another ends. But one truth remains in all fields: measurement matters.

Source: PRNewsOnline.com
The International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication recognized these shifts in the communication industry and adjusted the Barcelona Principles, standards that have long been considered the resource for public relations measurement. The 2.0 version encompasses the broader definition of communication to keep pace with the changing needs of professionals in the field and their clients. So, did the changes in the Barcelona Principles hit the mark or did they fall short?  

What they got right.

The Barcelona Principles are considered the gold standard in communication measurement and are widely adopted throughout the industry—and for good reason. They are one of the only resources that demonstrate why measurement is critical in communication and help align our measurement practices with those in marketing, advertising and sales. They are the strongest in their expectations that:

  • Measurement is fundamental to communication
  • Results must be qualitative and quantitative
  • Data needs to be transparent, consistent and valid


What they missed.

We turn to the Barcelona Principles for insights into what we need to measure but are still left empty-handed with how to measure effectively and consistently. Many professionals are still asking: What are the best measurement tools? What algorithms do we need to know? How can we provide solid, valid data without it consuming our entire budgets and days worth of time? There are no perfect answers to these questions, but there are a few ways to make sure your measurement practices are up to the minute:

  • Regularly evaluate measurement tools – there are many resources available and the landscape is changing quickly. A recent audit led Beehive to partner with monitoring solutions new-comer IQ Media to ensure measurement data is valid and current.
  • Measure both the communication effort and the business outcomes. We track campaign measures like reach and location, then partner with our clients to find correlations to their business goals, like customer growth, brand awareness or employee engagement.
  • Stay curious. Measurement continues to be a hot topic in the industry and is fueling innovation almost daily. Keep learning from industry leaders through conferences, networking and content.

The Barcelona Principles are setting the bar high for expectations on communication measurement but we will all be part of the process to deliver it right.

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