Why and how the Barcelona Principles revisions are hurting PR

Mere wordsmithing doesn’t address the essential puzzle of how to measure the efficacy of campaigns, the author asserts.

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Not long ago, Fred Cook, CEO of Golin, floored me on our monthly author Q&A by saying that if it were possible to measure PR, someone would have figured it out by now.

Of course, I believe differently (and run my agency differently and advise all of you differently), but I can’t really blame him. There isn’t an ironclad way to measure the effectiveness of our programs, and metrics are all over the board.

As well, the official “definition” of public relations is about as clear as mud:

Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.

I used to fight Arthur Yann (God rest his soul) on this issue nearly daily. To his point, it is better than the original definition from 1982, but it still tells no one what the heck we do, yet it’s the guiding light for the industry.

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