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sharing knowledge/ beliefs/ learnings/ queries on issues around PR measurement

AMEC recently announced the Barcelona Principles 2.0, exactly 5 years after the path-breaking launch of the Barcelona Principles in 2010. Why are these principles path-breaking? In order to understand the importance of the Barcelona Principles, I will briefly mention the evolution of PR measurement.

Measurement in the PR world traditionally involved a dossier with clippings pasted on various pages to be given to clients at the end of the month. Agencies would also provide some calculations in the dossier, mentioning a figure in millions of rupees/dollars, suggesting to the client the great ROI they were able to achieve that month. Unfortunately, this was being showcased as the value of PR. Agencies were using their own methods and metrics, based mostly around AVEs, for their PR measurement.

Against this background, the Barcelona Principles, in 2010, came as a refreshing change. These principles did not try to define the process / methods for measurement but provided rules that were supposed to be followed while developing measurement programmes for clients.

Barcelona Principles 2.0

When the Barcelona Principles were debated and adopted, only the corporates and media measurement companies were involved. However, this time there was wider involvement, with representations from non-profit organizations, academics and even government offices. Six industry bodies (AMEC, PRSA, PRCA, IPR, ICCO and The Global Alliance) worked on the revised Barcelona Principles.

The new principles have been built upon the original Barcelona Principles. However, they are more reflective of the industry and the way communication professionals work today, with focus on integrated communication. Measuring just earned media is no longer enough, as audience perception is affected by paid, shared and owned media too. Therefore, it is essential that all forms of media be taken into consideration while devising a measurement and evaluation programme. While the original Barcelona Principles told professionals what ‘not to do’, the revised Barcelona Principles go a step further by telling what ‘should be done’.

What’s same?
•    There are still seven principles conveying seven primary concepts. They have not changed but evolved to be more reflective of the industry.
•    Goals / Objectives First
•    Outputs, Outcomes and Organizational Results
•    Quality and Quantity
•    No AVEs and no multipliers
•    Transparency

Let’s look at each of the revised Barcelona Principles and the suggested changes:

Principle 1: Goal setting and measurement are fundamental to communication and public relations
The revised Principle 1 focuses more on goal-setting and measurement by declaring them fundamental to communication and public relations. Before the start of any campaign, goals need to be defined, and measurement and evaluation should be against these pre-defined goals. 
While defining goals, one should be able to answer the following questions:
•    Whom are you trying to change?
•    What are you trying to change?
•    When do you intend the change to happen?
•    How much or what kind of change is good?

Principle 2: Measuring communication outcomes is recommended versus only measuring outputs
This revised principle reinforces that outcome measurement is equally important, and just measuring output may not be enough. Media output may not tell you whether you were able to bring the desired changes in the target audience. Therefore, outcome analysis becomes equally important to answer these questions.

Principle 3: The effect on organizational performance can and should be measured where possible
In 2010, the PR community was more focussed on how it is affecting business results, such as the effect of PR on the sales of a new product. However, it is being realized now that PR is not just about driving sales but has a wider scope involving advocacy and change in perception. In case of non-profit organizations, the goal is never to drive sales but generate awareness about a particular issue and solicit advocates.

Principle 4: Measurement and evaluation require both qualitative and quantitative methods
The revised principle puts more emphasis on qualitative methods for measurement and evaluation. It suggests that media measurement, whether through traditional or online channels, should include qualitative parameters, such as the impressions of the stakeholders or target audience, tone, credibility and relevant message delivery, third-party analysis and prominence, etc. Another important aspect, which has now been clarified, is that measurement means measuring results and progress, and not success.

Principle 5: AVEs are not the value of communication
AVEs are the wrong measure of PR. They are just cost of media space/time and can never be the true value of communication, be it earned, paid, shared or owned media.

Principle 6: Social media can and should be measured consistently with other media channels
In 2010, social media was still growing and the Barcelona Principle 6 advised that it needs to be looked at and measured. The revised principle re-emphasises this fact and adds that social media should be measured consistently with other media channels. The rules of quantity and quality used for measuring traditional media should be used for measuring social media too. At the same time, focus should be on measuring the ‘engagement’ and ‘conversations’ and not just ‘coverage’ or vanity metrics, such as ‘likes’.

Principle 7: Measurement and evaluation should be transparent, consistent and valid
Transparency stays. However, the word ‘replicability’ has been removed, as there was a strong opinion that qualitative analysis may not be replicable across scenarios. As a measurement agency, we need to create metrics and evaluation that clients can understand and relate to. For example, what do we mean when we say that the client has got a score of 15? How did we calculate this score? Why is it 15 and not 16 or 14?

I hope I have managed to clearly state the purpose of the revised principles and the benefits that would accrue from applying them. I also wish you luck in using the Barcelona Principles 2.0 in your measurement programme.

Reference: Speech of David Rockland, Chairman of Barcelona Principles 2.0 Working Group, at the launch of Barcelona Principles 2.0

If AVE is not right, what is? Hear the secrets of the smartest kids in the measurement class!
Join us for a webinar on
Sep 11, 2015 at
10:30 AM IST, 01:00 PM HKT, 03:00 PM AEDT

If AVE/PR value is now banished to secretly smoking out the back with the fake online fans and paid blogger posts, what does a new smart measurement approach look like.

In this informative webinar, you will hear the best and latest, touching on both social and traditional media.


Michael Ziviani
CEO & Founder
Precise Value

Khali Sakkas
Insights Manager
Isentia, Australia

Marion McDonald
Managing Director
Ogilvy Public Relations

Aseem Sood
Impact Research, India
See Twitter LeaderBOARD to follow #AMECMM conversations

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar

*Originally appeared in PRMoment India - http://www.prmoment.in/1945/its-time-we-replace-aves-with-roos.aspx


Recently, I attended ‘PR is Changing’ conference organized by PRmoment India on the latest developments in the industry and the use of PR measures by companies to review their goals. It was really good to learn about innovative PR ideas and their successful implementation. But I was quite disappointed to see that one particular method is still being used for analysing the success of PR campaigns. I am referring to AVEs (Advertising Value Equivalents), which people refrain from discussing but use nonetheless. The standard reasons cited in favour of AVEs can be any/few of the following: If not AVEs, then what? How do I justify to my board our success? How do I measure the ROI of my campaigns?

I won’t get into a debate on why AVEs should not be used as a measure of PR success, as enough material is available online, and discussions at almost all industry events dissuade the usage of AVEs. I also believe that everybody in the PR industry understands that AVEs are not the right measure of PR efforts.

Therefore, we need to understand why AVEs, despite their drawbacks, are still used as a measure of ROI and for showcasing the success of campaigns. I am listing below some reasons that I could find out from my interactions with clients and those shared at various industry fora:

•    My board only understands numbers.
•    I understand AVEs are not the right measure of the success of PR. Yet, what options do I have if I do not use AVEs?
•    AVEs help me measure how well my PR agency is delivering. This gives me a quick ROI on how much I paid versus the value for the payment made.

I feel these are valid points, and it would not be wise to continue cursing AVEs without providing answers to the above issues.

I would also like to highlight a point made by one of the PR industry stalwarts during the same conference. He asked why PR professionals keep talking about measurement. He said, “We ourselves are degrading our profession by talking about measurement. Does a lawyer or a doctor ever talk about measurement of performance?” With due respect, I would really not agree with this observation, as a doctor or lawyer is also judged on the basis of his/her success rate. It is the measure of success that determines a doctor or lawyer’s increasing/decreasing clientele. To the person’s credit, he later clarified, and rightly so, that measurement is important in the PR industry, but it has to be driven by the clients’ objectives. A standard one-size-fits-all solution cannot work. This was like music to my ears and I interpreted this to mean that standard AVEs cannot be answer to the above questions.

This brings us back to the same question: if not AVEs, then what? The answer to this question is ROO or Return on Objectives. The very first Barcelona Principle also advocates the importance of goal setting in measurement.

How to use ROO
Before launching/starting a campaign, certain objectives are set down. If it is a product launch, the objective at the beginning of the campaign could be to drive awareness about the product, with the ultimate objective being to increase sales. Similarly, if you are handling a crisis, the objectives could range from less media attention at the beginning to increased favourable coverage towards the end. One of the objectives could even be to look at the trend of key influencers’ perceptions over a period, which is an important objective in several crisis situations. Once the objectives are clear, the campaign can be run efficiently and measurement becomes more effective.

Measurement is not expensive
I would also like to break the myth that measurement is expensive. It will be expensive if you do not know what you are trying to measure. It is just like filling your plate with everything on the menu at a buffet, as you are not sure about what to eat. However, if you decide in advance what you would like to eat, you will avoid wastage. Similarly, if you define your objectives well in advance, the measurement programme can be effectively planned around those objectives and it can also be cost-effective. You may not even need an external measurement agency in several cases. For example, if your end objective is to increase awareness of a new product, it can be achieved by just looking at the number of articles published, coupled with Target Media Penetration. Another important measure is Reach, which gives an idea about the potential number of readers/viewers that you were able to reach via the campaign. This can be easily done in-house or by your PR agency without getting into the nitty-gritty of a detailed measurement programme. However, sentiment, influencers’ perceptions, key messages-analysis and other qualitative measures can be better evaluated by an external measurement agency to ensure objectivity and transparency. Still, all of this has to be driven solely by your campaign objectives.

So, what do I say to my board that understands only numbers? I firmly believe that we need to make a start by organising our board presentations around ROOs and not AVEs. I am sure the board will understand if we can clearly articulate our objectives and share our success stories around those objectives. Yes, board members are more adept at and comfortable analysing numbers. However, the numbers do not necessarily need to be about AVEs but success metrics and ratios around the objectives. A measure like ImpactIndexTM (developed by Impact Research & Measurement) can be handy, as it assigns a score on a scale of -100 to 100 to your media coverage. It can be used effectively to measure your performance over time, as well as in competitive benchmarking.

At the same time, we need to continue educating people, who matter, about AVEs. Unless this is done, we will keep using AVEs, while also denouncing them at various industry platforms.

Impact is happy to partner with PRCAI to organise a special event on Measurement. We invite all our readers to attend this event. The Mumbai event is a part of a series which will see similar events in Delhi and Bangalore. More details of the event will be available soon.

Guide to Writing Award Winning Entries
How to showcase the value of your communication campaigns

AMEC APAC Chapter organised a webinar on Feb 12, 2015 on “How to Write a Killer Award Entry”.

We invited prior AMEC Award winners and judges to their experience using their award winning case studies. We can assure you that the learnings will help write entries for other awards as well.

The panel consisted of:

  1. Michael Ziviani, Co-Chair of the Chapter and CEO of Precise Value;
  2. Marion McDonald, Chair of the AMEC Awards and Managing Director, Strategy & Planning, Asia Pacific Region for Ogilvy PR
  3. Khali Challis, Head of Insights, Australia, iSentia.

You can replay the webinar below – recording and PowerPoint deck.


We are very happy to share with you that our CEO, Aseem Sood has been named the Co-Chair for Asia Pacific arm of AMEC.

We wish Aseem all the best for this new role and also hope that the Indian PR Industry benefits for this development.

Official Press Release below:


Indian Named Co-Chair of Asia-Pacific Arm of International Communications Association

November 18, 2014

The Indian PR and Communications industry stands to benefit from international best practices in communications measurement with this week’s appointment of New Delhi based CEO, Aseem Sood, as Co-Chair of the Asia Pacific Chapter of AMEC, a global trade body specializing in communications measurement.

The move comes at a critical time in the maturation of the Indian Public Relations Industry with PR professionals taking ownership of larger business issues and also demanding a seat in the boardroom.

As a Co-Chair, Aseem Sood, CEO of Impact Research & Measurement, New Delhi, will share the Asian Pacific leadership responsibilities with Michael Ziviani, CEO of Precise Value, Sydney, Australia.

The appointment means that Indian communication professionals, PR Executives and Senior Strategists working in other below-the-line disciplines will have access to:

· International standards for Social and Traditional media evaluation;

· Leading evaluation thinking from practitioners from around the world;

· A collaborative community of like-minded professionals;

· An extensive array of professional training courses; and

· Various topical forums and webinars.

AMECorg.com came to prominence in 2010 through the release of the Barcelona Principles[1] that eschewed the use of Advertising Value Equivalency as a metric.

AMEC’s Chairman, David Rockland, made the announcement saying: “We are delighted to have in Aseem and Michael[2] two leaders with an international reputation for communications research. More companies are clearly set to acknowledge the importance of measurement and analytics to demonstrate their investment in communications is working.”

Aseem and Ziviani take over from Marion McDonald, Myanmar Integration Director

TODAY Ogilvy & Mather, Yangon and Managing Director, Strategy & Measurement, Asia Pacific Region, Ogilvy Public Relations. They take up their volunteer positions with immediate effect and will work with other Chapter Members to develop plans for 2015.

Added Aseem, “PR measurement and research has never been more important. More and more Indian companies are increasing their resource allocation on PR activities. Not only are they demanding a good return on their investment, but are also expecting better insights to shape and support the core business. With AMEC, we plan to bring the international best practices to India.”

– ENDS –


For further information contact:

Aseem Sood


AMEC Asia Pacific Chapter




Barry Leggetter



Mobile: +44 7748 677504 or 44 1268 412414



AMEC, the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication www.amecorg.com, is the global trade body and professional institute for agencies and practitioners who provide media evaluation and communication research. AMEC currently has members in 41 countries worldwide and also collaborates with industry bodies, such as the PRIA and PRC in Australia.

The AMEC logo is regarded as an international mark of excellence in the provision of media evaluation and communication research services to clients.

AMEC’s work focuses on providing a forum for information, knowledge sharing and best practice. AMEC provides a number of key business benefits to its members, who are bound by a Code of Practice to maintain the highest standards of professionalism.

Aseem Sood is the Chief Executive Officer at Impact Research & Measurement, (www.impactmeasurement.co.in) a company that offers communications measurement solutions to clients in India. He believes that companies offering news analysis services can help PR professionals demonstrate the importance/ attention that communication, as a function, deserves in the corporate boardroom.

Aseem holds a PG Degree in Business Administration from International Management Institute and a Bachelors Degree in Business Studies from University of Delhi. Aseem loves to evaluate and apply technology solutions to solve business problems.


The 2014 AMEC Awards showcased the best of industry achievements across 15 categories. Asia Pacific members proved once again that they perform at the highest level with awards going to organisations and agencies across China, Hong Kong, Taipei, India, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates across the following award categories:

  • · Best use of a Research Measurement and Evaluation Programme

    · Best Use of Communication Management: Business-to-Consumer

    · Best Use of Communication Management: International – Multi-Market Activity

    · Best Use of Communication Management: Public Sector

    · Best Use of Measurement for a Single Event

    · Best Use of Social Media Measurement

    · Innovation Award

    · Keep It Simple

    · Most Innovative Use of Measurement in a Digital Campaign

    · Best AMEC Newcomer of the Year


[1] http://amecorg.com/2012/06/barcelona-declaration-of-measurement-principles/

[2] Michael Ziviani, CEO of Precise Value, Sydney, Australia

askAMEC tweet chat

Posted by: Administrator in Untagged  on

We cordially invite you to be a part of this event and request you to add #askAMEC tag to your questions


You are invited to
#askAMEC tweet chat 

Sign in on Twitter at #askAMEC on Sep 19 from 3pm -
4pm India time,
where an expert AMEC panel will answer
your questions around measurement.

  • Ask anything around measuring Social Media or
    Traditional Channels.
  • Bring in your client situation/ challenge 


@richardbagnall, CEO Prime Research, UK (Social Media Measurement)

@barryleggetter, CEO, AMEC (Trends and International developments)

@aseemsood, CEO @IRMPL (moderator)

Organised by @IRMPL and @amecorg as a part of global #AMECatWork  Measurement Week

As one of the silver sponsors of #PRAXIS2014 we welcome all delegates to PRAxis 2014 at Agra. We have a 10 member team visting #PRAXIS2014 Agra. Please feel free to reach anyone of us if you would like to discuss media measurement, news analysis, technology, gadgets, books or photography :)

Our team members at #PRAXIS2014:

Aseem is a technology enthusiast. He believes that companies offering news analysis services can help PR professionals demonstrate the importance/ attention that communication, as a function, deserves in the corporate boardroom. Aseem is currently the CEO, @IRMPL. He is also a Director, AMEC and Vice President, FIBEP. You can chat with him on technology, gadgets, measurement trends and photography.

Asma hails from J&K and plays the Client Relations Manager role for Impact's clients in Mumbai and Delhi. She also loves calligraphy and sketching.

Durgesh is in media measurement business for over a decade and has worked with leading international media measurement firms. He has been with Impact since inception and leads monitoring and measurement operations. An active member of several professional bodies including AIMA, DMA and NMA, Durgesh loves reading fiction (avid fan of John Grisham) and watching American TV shows.

Kanika leads our 'Measurement Solutions Group' and all new business development efforts, both India and Internationally. Since her early days in college, Kanika has been extremely intrigued with art of Communications. She has also worked as an 'RJ' (English presenter) with All India Radio for several years.

Kanika Gautam has recently joined our 'Measurement Solutions Group' and handles new business initiatives in Delhi. Enthusiastic, full of energy and a die hard "Friends" fan, Kanika is passionate about writing, singing and photography

Papiya is a member of Measurement Solutions Group at Impact, Delhi. A cheerful girl, she believes "life is better when you're laughing". She loves meeting people and tickle their funny bones. An animal enthusiast, she loves to take care of them. Papiya is also passionate about writing and photography

Piyush  is a '6 feet 4', 'Enfield riding' Engineer who loves his machines. He brings his unique penchant  for logic and strategy, to strengthen our Measurement Solutions activities in Delhi and Bangalore. With him, beware ... and be prepared before discussing politics, history or warfare!

Rimpy is in the Client Relation team at Impact and carries more than 3 years of experience into Client servicing . She enjoys travelling and meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds. She Believes in living life with a positive attitude

Sharat is the CTO at Impact and leads all software design and product innovation efforts. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant, but as he was bitten by the “technology bug” quite early in his career. He is extremely passionate about harnessing the power of technology to simplify business processes and enhance product delivery. When not helping deliver technology solutions, he can be found in the jungles of India chasing his passion for wildlife photography. He is also the architect behind the #PRAXIS2014 twitter leader board - bit.ly/1CYGU0G

This article was written by Piyush Gupta from Impact's measurement solutions group and got featured in PRmoment on 28th August

We seek numbers because it helps us bring about absoluteness. It helps us quantify the parameters and thus helps with our comparisons. But what do we really answer with the numbers?

Problem we face with numbers is the exact same thing that we try to achieve from them… Absolute-ness.  Numbers are too absolute and that’s what brings in its own set of challenges especially when dealing with the human behaviour or perception. 

Just like a GDP number tells you nothing about the health of the economy or the quality of life in a country, similarly an AVE figure or the potential reach/circulation figures doesn’t really tell us the brand’s actual value in the public domain. Great!

Click here to read more

A member of AMEC FIBEP