An interesting blog post pointed out that one of the Barcelona Principles of PR Measurement stated that measuring outcomes is preferred to measuring media results. In other words, claims of success based upon measuring media mentions and numbers of clips should come second to actual outcomes of a PR campaign. At the end of the day, only outcomes matter.

This is an important point. Who cares how many media mentions you get if nobody pays any attention or acts upon your messaging? Your PR campaign only works if it achieves its specific purpose. Are you trying to launch a brand? Sway opinion? Attract viewers? Sell more products? No matter what your campaign objectives are, you should have a measurable outcome that you can use to gauge effectiveness.

One of the measuring sticks proposed by the author of the blog is using sales force feedback. This would work in a product sales or brand launching campaign, as you can measure sales against events and PR campaigns. As the author points out, even though itís unlikely that PR will get the credit for increased sales (as advertising will take the credit), it plays a critical role in creating the environment an ad message is released to.

Public Relations can have several effects upon a company, not all of which can be measured. The Barcelona Principles are a step in the right direction. Ultimately, the final measurement of any PR companyís campaign rests with the client. Only when the client is happy with the results can you consider a PR campaign a success.