Survey: Lack of standards the biggest problem in PR measurement

Although lack of a unified standard is the biggest measurement problem, most PR pros said that’s “impossible” achieve. And those Barcelona Principles? Most never heard of them.

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But what this should be is open for debate, and the Barcelona Principles—an international attempt to set standards—are largely unknown in the industry, a new survey reveals.

The Ragan/NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions online survey of 1,467 PR pros portrays an industry that’s serious about grappling with the problem of measurement.

“Every organization values different metrics,” says Lee McEnany Caraher, survey respondent and president of the San Francisco agency Double Forte. “It’s hard to get to an easily implemented measurement plan that doesn’t need overhauling halfway through because someone decided a new metric was important.”

Disagreement and contradictions emerged in the survey of communicators.

Of note: Two thirds of respondents cited the lack of a standard as the biggest problem with PR measurement. Yet 62 percent of pros don’t think there should be one widely accepted standard because “PR programs vary and have unique goals.”

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