The Barcelona Principles: Leaders Speak

23 Jun

Well, the Second European Summit on Measurement held last week in Barcelona has come and gone, but its impact may be felt for some time to come.  The Summit was organized by the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) and the Institute for Public Relations.  The most notable outcome of the Summit was the creation of the ‘Barcelona Declaration of Research Principles’.  The Principles were debated and voted upon by about 200 delegates representing 33 countries and five global PR and measurement organizations (AMEC, IPR, PRSA, ICCO, The Global Alliance).  David Rockland, Ph.D. chaired the debate.

Here are the ‘Barcelona Declaration of Research Principles’:

1. Goal setting and measurement are fundamental aspects of any PR programs.
2. Media measurement requires quantity and quality – cuttings in themselves are not enough.
3. Advertising Value Equivalents (AVEs) do not measure the value of PR and do not inform future activity.
4. Social media can and should be measured.
5. Measuring outcomes is preferred to measuring media results.
6. Business results can and should be measured where possible.
7. Transparency and Replicability are paramount to sound measurement.

I asked three of the leaders of the conference to comment on four questions regarding the Summit and what it may mean for the future of measurement.  The leaders are:

Barry Leggetter, FPRCA, FCIRR is Executive Director of AMEC  (

Pauline Draper-Watts, is Chairperson of the Institute for Public Relations, Commission for Public Relations Measurement and Evaluation  (

David Rockland, PhD, is Partner/CEO, Ketchum Pleon Change and Managing Director, Global Research (

Here are their thoughts on the Summit:

Q1. For those not able to attend the Summit, how would you briefly describe what they missed?

BL: A milestone moment when delegates from 33 countries agreed to take program measurement more seriously, starting with the abandonment of AVE’s

DR: Missed a great opportunity to network with colleagues from 33 countries, hear some engaging speakers, and be part of a moment in time where the industry first adopted a set of measurement principles.

Q2. From your perspective, what are the two or three most significant outcomes of the Second European Summit on Measurement?


  • For AMEC to be successful in getting five global organisations on the same platform for the first time and talk from the same page about the need for the PR and media intelligence industry to act – not just talk – about improved methods of program measurement.
  • That the Summit achieved its own break-through status in receiving speaker support from senior level clients from global organisations such as FedEx Corporation, Yahoo, Royal Philips Electronics, Nissan, Telefónica, Banco Santander and others.

PD-W: The percentages (voting) in favor for each of the Barcelona Principles following the discussion

DR: To me a significant outcome was a gathering of the industry in a manner where ideas were shared, friendships and partnership extended, and we agreed as an industry to look ahead to how we can do what we do better and professionalize the practice of public relations.

Q3. How do you hope agencies, companies and organizations operationalize the seven principles?

BL: I introduced quality management processes when a Director of Porter Novelli in the UK in the 90’s – the first agency in the world to make this commitment. It became part of our agency’s way of working. I hope agencies, companies and organisations will similarly make the same commitment to the Barcelona Principles and introduce more stretching methods of program measurement on all programs.

PD-W: Integrating them into the culture and corporate language within the organization so that they are lived out in practice.

DR: My hope would be that first the principles are widely talked about and become SOP for what we do. Second, that the term AVE disappears along with the incredibly counter-productive debate around this subject that has distracted the industry from its own development. And third, that each organization adapts the Principles into their own words and practices; when we see them translated into the languages of the 33 countries represented at the Summit, we’ll know it worked.

Q4. Please complete this sentence: A year from now, we will know the Second European Summit on Measurement was successful …….

BL: …if when I judge my next PR Awards schemes PR consultancies and company in-house PR teams are putting more effort into the Program Measurement heading on the award entry as they are now doing to demonstrating creativity!

PD-W: … the Barcelona principles (modified to reflect the comments made at the Summit and submitted afterwards) are not only adopted but also put into practice throughout the industry.

DR: …if we don’t hear PR practitioners continue to complain we don’t have a “seat at the table” because we lack the metrics and measurement approaches other disciplines have.

Keeping it real…and transparent

  • I am a member of the Institute for Public Relations, Commission on Public Relations Measurement & Evaluation
  • My agency, Fleishman Hillard, is a member of AMEC
  • Ketchum is a sister Omnicom agency

9 Responses to “The Barcelona Principles: Leaders Speak”

  1. Philip Sheldrake June 23, 2010 at 4:16 pm #


    A very interesting post, thank you.

    You might like the post from the CIPR’s President, Jay O’Connor, which features an audio interview I conducted with Barry Leggetter and Katie Delahaye Paine immediately after the summit closed. The post shares the emphasis of your 4th question… we now know the output from Barcelona, but what’s going to be the outcome? Time will tell.

    Best regards.

  2. metricsman June 24, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    Thanks for your comment and link, Philip. I had already heard the interview, good job by the way, but I’m sure others will appreciate it.

  3. Jasmine September 13, 2010 at 3:11 am #

    The international Association of Measurement and Evaluation Companies (AMEC) kicked off its 2nd European Summit on Measurement in Barcelona today. The best principle is Business results and outcomes should be measured whenever possible.przeprowadzki warszawa We’d love to tell you that these magnificent seven Barcelona principles will rock your measurement world. But it’s not that easy. As in so many measurement things, it depends on what you’re doing for measurement.

  4. Alegi September 3, 2014 at 12:48 pm #

    With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright violation? My website has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my permission. Do you know any techniques to help stop content from being ripped off? I’d truly appreciate it.


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