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Why B2B PR must understand what the other hand is doing

Tom Jones
Tom Jones

Five years ago the PR industry faced up to the fact it needed to be more accountable, demonstrating effective measurement and evaluation, and therefore return on investment.

The Barcelona Principles were launched in 2010, setting out 7 tenets that the industry was encouraged to work to.  Perhaps the most notable was the acceptance that Advertising Value Equivalents (AVE) are not the value of PR, and measure only the cost of media space.

In September 2015, the PR sector, led by AMEC (International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication) updated the principles to Barcelona 2.0, which seeks to strengthen the original programme.

One principle I am particularly pleased about is number three, which has developed the original notion that “The Effect on Business Results Can and Should Be Measured Where Possible” to “The Effect on Organizational Performance Can and Should Be Measured Where Possible”.

The point here is that effective communications can impact more than just business results; indeed, they can impact the overall performance of an organisation.  This requires B2B PR professionals to understand integrated marketing models and ensure the PR element is not siloed – nor is its measures.

For example, when running our integrated marketing campaigns, we monitor the results of email marketing activities on a daily basis. If a particular decision maker cannot be reached via that medium, we can then adjust other marketing activity accordingly and engage via social media or generate B2B PR coverage in titles consumed by a specific vertical or role discipline.

In this regard, the fundamental basis of the first Barcelona Principles can be realised i.e. setting realistic, achievable goals.

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