Friday September 4, 2015
This week saw the launch of the Barcelona Principles 2.0. If you haven't come across them before the principles are all about how we measure and evaluate PR and communication.
I went along with Kevin Ruck and Paul Noble who leads the course we run on this topic for the Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC). Over to Paul to tell us a bit more about it....
"A refreshing early bird session this week at Ketchum's London HQ. The coffee and pastries were up to scratch but it was the content of the presentations and resulting discussion that really titillated my brain cells.
The event formed part of AMEC’s measurement month. In 2014, it was a mere measurement week but having multiple events per day to fit everything in was a little hectic and a month (now fixed in the calendar as September) allows somebody of my mature years to enjoy the celebrations at a more considered pace.
And there was plenty for us to consider, as two big beasts of the measurement & evaluation industry, former AMEC chair David Rockland and his successor Jeremy Thompson, took to the stage to introduce Barcelona 2.0.
Back in 2010 when social media was barely a toddler, the great and the good in the communications industry gathered in Barcelona to agree on a Declaration of Measurement Principles. For the first time, we professional communicators had an overarching framework for effective public relations (PR) and communication measurement at our disposal in the form of the Barcelona Principles.
Many might have thought that they would be little more than a flash in the pan: briefly discussed by the cognoscenti before being consigned the ‘good ideas that didn’t quite make it’ bin. However, the opposite proved to be the case. Consultancies such as Ketchum, Evaluation specialists such as Gorkana, international behemoths such as Phillips, and the UK Government’s Cabinet Office are all examples of organisations that committed to the Barcelona Principles and turned that commitment into action.
However, five years on they were ripe for review and there was a thirst to spread the message to an even wider audience. Introducing Rockland and Thompson to the audience, AMEC CEO Barry Leggetter hailed Barcelona 2.0 as 'best opportunity we've had' to spread the measurement message. And I think it’s important that it’s not just an AMEC initiative but has the support of six of the leading national and international trade bodies.
The changes can be summarised as:
- The Barcelona Principles 2.0 represent a shift from what not to do to what to do
- The refreshed Principles acknowledge a need for integration on multiple levels (across geographies, across communication disciplines, etc)
- The updated Principles put more focus on the role of qualitative methods alongside quantitative methods
Talking to PR Academy Director Kevin Ruck, he hit the nail on the head when summarising what was new about Barcelona 2.0: ‘No major changes, more an evolution in the thinking and terminology.’
This is where you can get chapter and verse on what all the fuss was about."