While AVE ruled for many years, particularly among those that were predominantly targeting the trade media, it was not a measurement that worked particularly well for those practitioners who worked within the consumer and mainstream media environment. Thus, in Barcelona, Spain in 2010 PR people from 33 countries attended a summit convened by the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) to address the problem and produce an ‘industry standard’ solution. The ‘Barcelona Principles’ that emerged from this summit identified the need for outcome, instead of output, based measurement of PR campaigns, called for the exclusion of ad value equivalency metrics, and recognized the communications value of social media.
The Barcelona Principles have been updated on a couple of occasions since their creation and, while they certainly offer a best practice framework, there is no doubt that the resource required to produce these results is far in excess of the simple work of capturing AVE and, in truth, apart from the multi-billion dollar deep tech brands very few companies were willing to make the investment needed to create these reports. Their rationale was that they would rather invest in creating media coverage than reporting on it… and it’s difficult to argue with a client with a limited budget in that regard.
So, where does that leave us today? In truth, we are in something of a ‘no-mans land’ in the deep tech sector. AVE has been sent to the corner in disgrace while the in-depth reporting of the Barcelona Principles is deemed as ‘too fussy’ and relies on the client having a more joined-up approach. It was with this problem in mind that Publitek set out to create something that filled the yawning gap between these two approaches.