One of the reasons why I wrote the Inbound PR book was to help PR professionals open their eyes to the need for modern measurement and tangible proof of PR results. Inbound Marketing is terrific at showing the monetary value of marketing efforts so there's a lot that PR could learn.
Measurement has always been a problem in PR. For years, PR pros have used fluffy metrics (and some continue doing so). Those metrics are not what C-level people care about, they're not what will get you budget.
There's also been a lot of effort put in from the PR industry itself to solve this problem.
One such example are the Barcelona Principles. They were first introduced by AMEC in 2010 and recently got their third refresh.
Let's take a look at them:
Barcelona Principles 3.0 [Infographic]
It's important to take a look at the difference between the latest 3.0 version from 2020 and the previous 2010 and 2015 versions because the adjustments reflect how much the business world has changed over the last decade.
Previous Two Versions of the Barcelona Principles
You won't spot a ton of changes with the 2.0 version but a few are important:
- The first principle is now a prerequisite which places the key importance on measurement from the very beginning and I truly hope PR pros start thinking with the end goal in mind first before planning any tactics.
- The third principle now includes stakeholders which is also a great improvement because it's those stakeholders that will benefit from your efforts or determine their success so you have to consider them very mindfully from the very beginning.
- The sixth principles has now expanded beyond social media because there are so many more channels out there that PR pros need to utilise.
Here's where you can find more practical tips on applying each of the principals.
As much as I like and agree with the Barcelona Principles, they are just that - principles. Of course, these are important as what needs to change is the mindset of PR people towards how they approach and measure their work, however, they also need an easy method on how to actually plan, measure and use numbers to prove results.
The principles are more of a checklist for you to ensure that you're complying with the global best practices that the principles outline.
I've written a lot about how to actually measure results in my Inbound PR book and provide a ton of examples so grab it if you want to learn more: