The more defined measurement of Public Relation value linked with the business results will help generate better campaigns and plan ahead more accurately. For this aim 200 delegates from 33 countries have gathered in the Association of Measurement and Evaluation of Communication's second summit on measurement. All the delegates from worldwide countries have finally agreed on the global measurement standards for public relations. In the summit an international goal was achieved for the Public Relations industry and it was a landmark for this sector.
David Rockland, head of research for Ketchum, led the session. Mr. Rockland has a high vision and hope for the success of the declaration as he says that with the industry's commitment, is a powerful moment in the history of public relations, because public relations had been undervalued before this due to which it was still in immature state,. The summit will increase the credibility of Public relations to significant extent (Barbe, 1996).
The common perception in the summit was that with the specific measurement standards of PR and defined values which are linked with the business results will assist clients in planning and managing their campaigns in the most efficient manner. It will also foster internal communication capabilities and strength which can turn around the business profitability. However, Barcelona Principles are not end in its means and they can be customized to cater the growing needs of the industry but in the current scenario they serve the purpose of PR at its optimum levels. The seven principles of Barcelona Declaration of Measurement are summarized as:
1. Significance of Goal Setting and Measurement are elementary to any Public Relations program.
2. Media measurement requires quantitative and qualitative measurement. Quantitative measurements alone are not sufficient.
3. AVEs are not the value of PR.
4. Measurement of the social media is critical.
5. More priority is given to the measurement of outcomes than on outputs.
6. Transparency and Replicability are Paramount to Sound Measurement
7. Where ever feasible the effect on business results can and should be measures.
PRINCIPLES OVERVIEW AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE
The principles of Barcelona Declaration of Measurement start with goal setting. For many public relations program setting up of goal is elementary concern. It's critical to have well defined and quantitative goal that addresses the issues of what, where, when and how of the marketing program. The measurement ideally needs to be done with the holistic approach that covers conventional marketing, social marketing, and creating awareness in the stakeholders, changing the attitudes and behavior and lastly evaluating its effect on the business results. When I say that principles of the Barcelona Declaration of Measurement is concerned with the evaluation of outcomes then what exactly is meant by it is that such outcomes are alteration in the awareness, attitude and behavior regarding the purchase pattern, company's brand equity, corporate reputation and integrity of its stake holders, employee commitment, public service, public policy and administration, investment decisions and social service and NGO governance and its entity building.
For measuring the effects of outcome, quantitative methods are always preferred however qualitative methods are also used to support the quantitative measures. The standard quantitative measures adopted are benchmark and tracking surveys. For surveys, the best procedure is including sample design, question wording and order and most importantly statistical analysis to show the transparency of the measurement effects and its results. The principle tells us the progression towards the best measurement technique. According to it outputs are fine, outcomes are better and business results are best, this hierarchy will take the company to its most reliable mode of measuring PR. This doesn't mean that outputs or outcomes are inferior or bad. However, PR moulds its productivity from the business results like revenues from sales when any marketing plan is put into action. There are various techniques adopted to measure such business results and its effects.
The Barcelona Declaration condemns the use of advertising Value equivalents (AVEs) to use it as a measure of public relations. The reason why AVE has not been considered as the measure of PR in this principle is that it is merely the measure of cost of advertisement like the media space which is usually done by simply taking the advertisement rates and then multiplying it with the standard multiplier of 2.5. It ignores the aspect of value which is created through this advertisement that contributes to the growth of public relations and in actual terms this value is the measure of public relations. Therefore the principle rejects both the concept of AVEs and the multiplier associated with it for the measurement of the public relations. There are various metrics available that can be used to make comparison among various advertising rates applied to the clients. These will clearly depicts the negotiated rates, actual quality of the placement and actual amount of coverage on the theme or on the client.
Social media is part and parcel of PR measurement arena; it is a control mechanism rather than a device or instrument, however there is no such thing as single metric. For successful operations organizations are in constant need of distinct and definite goals, for such purposes the end results from social media analysis should be considered and the analysis should be supported by web and search analytics, data of customer relationship management and other survey methodologies. Similar to the conventional media appraising quality and quantity is very critical; this should consider conversation and communities as its focal point rather than just an exposure.
Barcelona principle throws light on the common perception and discredits the mostly sought thinking that social media cannot be measured; rather it is an exoteric mode of communication. Just like you measure traditional media, you can measure social media. The idea is each participating country adopts the principles in the customized manner according to their market scenario. The progress of this report is evaluated by the number of votes received from Global Alliance and ICCO members depicting its acceptability globally. However, the principle should have been translated in other languages as well beside English and Spanish as the participants were from 33 different countries. Countries can adopt principles of Barcelona declaration in their unique and specific approach and all of them want to have strategy that gives them competitive edge. Although I feel whatever the strategy adopted or approach utilized for the measurement of outputs, outcomes or business effects, the principles provide a broader guidelines for the measurement of the PR and its effect on the stake holders and business overall. Barcelona principles are not the destination; in fact it's the roadmap towards the new beginning where innovation measures can be adopted to standardize the monitoring, measuring and evaluation the process of public relations globally (Barca, 2010).
ISSUES IN BARCELONA DECLARATION OF MEASUREMENT PRINCIPLES
Total Value of Public Relations Being Analyzed:
Public relation is a term that covers a wide stream of aspects in divergent disciplines like media management, online relations, crisis communications, public affairs, executive counseling, brand building, events, reputation management, employee communications and financial communications. Because of its intrinsic nature it's hard to calculate the value public relations generate to the organization. Keeping a side other aspects of public relations, I think it is more concerned with the media management and measuring media value. The measurement can go advance with the calculation of value and return on investment of public relations (Debate, 2010).
For measuring the public relations value the PR Value Cube is a top to bottom conceptual structure for the measurement of value of public relations and its effect on the organization overall value. The contributing factors of the PR are drawn down on the cube on (Y-axis) with the name of marketing, brand and reputation. Majority of the public relation measurement in the today's era falls under the category of marketing. It is concerned with the sales and campaigns and programs associated with marketing. This is the quantitative measurement of the public relations as it can be supported by the volume of sales generated from a specific marketing program. Creating brand equity is also the value measurement of public relations. These are more towards the subjective or qualitative measurement of value. Pragmatic public relations and societal or social marketing campaigns play a major role in creating brand awareness rather than focusing on revenues through higher sales. Besides marketing and creating brand awareness, many of the organizations have adopted the approach of reputation or word of mouth what we call in business language, for measuring public relations value. In this approach more of the basic instinct or gut feeling is more applied then the analytical techniques.
Among these aspects the value can be created through Engagement, Influence and action which is drawn on the (X-axis) of the cube. Engagement judges to what extent the PR approaches, programs and events have established the influence in the target market. Analyze the target market influence by the engagement through their reaction, interaction and networking and forwarding discussion…