When they were originally adopted in 2010 by delegates from more than 30 countries at an annual event the International Association of Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) organized in Barcelona, the seven Barcelona Principles were intended to wind their way through the public relations discipline and ground it in analytics and data. It was hoped that the principles' "overarching framework" would guide PR pros toward being more business-results-minded in their practices and in their reporting.
The Barcelona Principles have taken root with some PR practitioners and some organizations. Kirstie Foster, director of corporate brand communications for General Mills, recently completed an overhaul of the measurement program for her company’s brands, including Cheerios, Yoplait and Pillsbury, and the Barcelona Principles were integrated into this overhaul. (Foster will be discussing her new measurement program on Nov. 18 at PR News' Measurement Conference in Chicago.)
Foster would appear to be in the clear minority. Of the 154 PR pros who responded to a PR News survey this month, only 34% said they know what the Barcelona Principles are. More telling, when we asked the same question ("Do you know what the Barcelona Principles are?") in an April 2014 survey, 32% said yes—representing a 2% growth in awareness over the last year and a half.
A 2.0 version of the Barcelona Principles was launched in September of this year. In the Sept. 21, 2015, issue of PR News' premium newsletter, David Rockland, partner and CEO, Ketchum Global Research & Analytics, and one of the guiding forces behind the principles, wrote that "if you have ever complained that PR doesn’t get a seat at the table, application of the Barcelona Principles helps the PR and communication function earn the respect it deserves."
It looks like the principles themselves could use some effective, measurable PR.
Learn about the Barcelona Principles and get case studies of PR measurement at work in the real world at PR News' Measurement Conference Nov. 18 in Chicago.
Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI