Part of our marketing team has returned this week from a truly wonderful professional experience, and a national premiere. PR Measurement was the first ever conference in Romania organized solely on the subject of measuring the impact public relations has on business. Held in Bucharest, the conference aimed to bring together some of the industry’s top influencers, but also to raise awareness about the Barcelona Principles and their role in demonstrating PR’s worth. This year, the Barcelona Principles are celebrating their fifth birthday.
Katie Paine, known as the Queen of Metrics, was a pleasure to watch as she delivered a very insightful presentation on paying attention to the metrics that truly matter. Quick story: Katie is one of founding members of the IPR’s Measurement Commission – whom together with AMEC (the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication) hosted the summit where the Barcelona Principles were decided upon.
Apart from her, a wide panel of speakers discussed various aspects of measurement in PR. For example, Ionut Stanimir (Head of Communication for the Romania Commercial Bank) talked about measuring reputation, Anca Oreviceanu (Head of Communication for the Dacia Renault Group) presented the challenges of measuring internal communications and Catalina Mergeani (Head of Communication for NN Romania) discussed measuring rebranding campaigns. Other professionals discussed segmentation and tools with which you can measure the online and offline impact of PR. The Barcelona Principles also talk about the importance of measuring social media, so we’ve had the honour of listening to one of Europe’s top Social Media influences, Professor Ana Adi (Head of the Department of Corporate Communications at Quadriga University of Applied Sciences Berlin)
You might wonder at this point, what do the Barcelona Principles and PR measurement have to do with web forms? Everything!
First and foremost, a web form builder enables you to collect data. That data can be used to measure something. For example, a poll can be used to find out the choice between two brand names as well as countless other options. Second, measuring a form’s performance can help you improve it in order to optimize conversion rates. A/B testing will help you immensely in this department. Both these examples are related to the forms themselves. But you can also measure Facebook conversion tracking to your web forms.
Public relations has long struggled with measurement issues, but this is caused by a lack of interest in the matter on behalf of professionals, not because of a lack of tools. There are plenty of tools out there – free and paid – that can measure website/social media performances as well as offline communications. No one says it’s easy, but the possibility is out there and it’s every professional’s responsibility to measure his contribution. And following the Barcelona Principles is a great first step towards mastering PR measurement.