Sep 4th 2015

The ‘No Sh*t Sherlock’ Barcelona Principles 2.0

I’m probably going to upset a number of my colleagues in the industry but that never bothered me before so I’m going to say it anyway. Why the bloody hell are so many seemingly intelligent people spending so much time fannying around with the grandly titled Barcelona Principles that look at how the industry should be measuring and evaluating PR campaigns? Just released is the 2.0 version and isn’t that a wonderfully 1990s naming convention?

The original version was remarkably patronising to the very audience it was trying to address and I don’t see any improvement in the latest. Here’s my alternative language for the seven principles just in case they aren’t obvious enough to the average three year old:

  1. Goal Setting and Measurement are Fundamental to Communication and Public Relations
    Guess what? You actually need to know where you’re going if you want to get there
  2. Measuring Communication Outcomes is Recommended Versus Only Measuring Outputs
    You can make as many cakes as you like but if you leave the sugar out they are going to taste bloody awful
  3. The Effect on Organizational Performance Can and Should Be Measured Where Possible
    If you keep banging your head on the wall and all you get is a sore head, you might want to ask why
  4. Measurement and Evaluation Require Both Qualitative and Quantitative Methods
    See 2 above
  5. AVEs are not the Value of Communication
    See 2 above (you see, there aren’t even seven of the them)
  6. Social Media Can and Should be Measured Consistently with Other Media Channels
    Those 100,000 Twitter followers you have are all robots
  7. Measurement and Evaluation Should be Transparent, Consistent and Valid
    You don’t mind if I pat you on the head and treat you like an idiot do you?

The Barcelona Principles – No sh*t Sherlock!

Can we please move on to more intelligent discussions. The fact is that every C-level executive worth his or her salt knows all this stuff and it may come as a surprise to many, but they knew it 25 years ago and they knew it 100 years ago.

End of rant


Ian Hood
Ian Hood CEO