Getting more specific with your PR measurement

If the Barcelona Principles need an update—and the industry can get more precise about which metrics matter—where should we start? Don’t throw your vanity metrics away just yet.

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PR pros can’t seem to agree what the best metrics are for gauging and proving their value.

Despite almost 10 years with the Barcelona Principles, some PR practitioners still rely on ad value equivalency (AVE) to show their effectiveness. Others say you should measure impressions and unique visitors—but some argue that those metrics are just a starting point.

If the Barcelona Principles say we should be measuring outputs and outcomes instead of inputs, what are those outputs? What data are most valuable?

Barcelona Principles chief architect David Rockland, in a recent interview with PR Daily, said it’s time to get more specific:

Rockland also urges getting more precise about key metrics. He identifies the three buckets the principles identify: outputs, outcomes and organizational business results, but he concedes the principles could be more specific.

“When talking about outputs, I often mention to clients things like voice, reach and engagement,” he says. “How loud were we? Did they engage?” He agrees that a new draft of the principles might nail down certain metrics in more exact terms.

So, let’s get specific.

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