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Measurement of Public Relations Value: PRSA publishes "Understanding The Barcelona Principles"

April 18, 2011

 

Placing measurement at the forefront of PR practice is an evergreen topic. Every year, a trade magazine proclaims that this is the year of measurement. And every year there are conferences and summits that lay out a great agenda for measurement going forward. Yet, as professionals, we still find ourselves putting measurement on the to-do list.

In fact, if you look at how many agencies pitch new business to prospective clients, the priorities are usually in this order: credentials, strategy, tactics, budget and then maybe measurement of results. Usually, as time is running out, someone tells the measurement person that he or she will have to make the pitch fast and create slides on the spot.

However, 2010 saw what may be the beginning of a change. First, in June, the measurement industry gathered in Barcelona and voted seven principles into existence. For once, the profession had reached a consensus on what works and what doesn't. While the principles don't solve every problem, they do specifically refute using advertising value equivalents (AVEs) and false multipliers - common practices that equate the value of public relations with the cost of advertising and that support the notion that earned media is always at least twice as valuable as paid media. Neither is true. 

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About PRSA

Chartered in 1947, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the world's largest and foremost organization of public relations professionals. PRSA provides professional development, sets standards of excellence and upholds principles of ethics for its members and, more broadly, the multi-billion dollar global public relations profession. We also advocate for greater understanding and adoption of public relations services, and act as one of the industry's leading voices on the important business and professional issues of our time.