For each campaign for a client should have a strategy on how to measure performance metrics. They should be designed before the launch of the campaign. This allows an agency to objectively look at the success of a campaign after launching it. Also, by defining metrics at the beginning you are able to set goals defined by those metrics. There are guiding principles defined by the AMEC organization to assist PR professionals in laying out these metrics.
These promote and assist in picking the right measurement metrics. Considering all aspects of measurement now (include social sharing, engagement, direct sales, etc.).
The Barcelona Principles are a set of seven guidelines to “measure the efficacy of PR campaigns”. They were set in 2010 by PR practitioners who gathered in Barcelona. In the conference, these were the seven principles that were put forth:
- Goal Setting and Measurement are Fundamental to Communication and Public Relations
- Measuring Communication Outcomes is Recommended Versus Only Measuring Outputs
- The Effect on Organizational Performance Can and Should Be Measured Where Possible
- Measurement and Evaluation Require Both Qualitative and Quantitative Methods
- AVEs are not the Value of Communications
- Social Media Can and Should be Measured Consistently with Other Media Channels
- Measurement and Evaluation Should be Transparent, Consistent and Valid
Each of these goals was created to assist in evaluating PR campaigns. They can assist in measuring how successful your campaign was for your client, and how much your agency is improving. One of the factors of success, defined by the principles, is the outcome of the campaign rather than the pure output.
What should you measure?
So through the Barcelona Principles, what should you measure? On a broad level, these are the things that the Barcelona Principles want you to measure:
- “Was there a tangible incremental increase in sales?”
- “Did focus groups confirm a shift in behavior, rather than just purchase intention?”
- “Were there more brand advocates in this quarter compared to the previous quarter?”
Barcelona Principles want to focus on the outcomes of the PR campaign, rather than the output. An example of the output is the number of attendees or traffic that the website gets.
The outcomes that the Barcelona Principles lays out are broad. All three of them can be broken down and measured separately. You should be break down the measurements above into metrics you can observe. A couple examples are:
- Leads and conversions on your client’s website
- Interaction from influencers in the field (Did they share your post? etc.)
- Shares on social media (social proof & virality are becoming important)
- New audience created (more brand advocates & sales increase)
Having metrics allows you to tweak faster. You can measure these metrics weekly. Change and adapt your campaign weekly depending on what works. Knowing what to measure helps setup the Google Analytics dashboards as well. Once you have it setup, you can study it throughout the campaign rather than having to keep setting up different pieces of software.
Lastly, there’s a lot of great reading material on these topics.
These were great to help me get started in understanding what measurement was in PR. Others: