Measurement and evaluation should identify outputs, outcomes, and potential impact

The goal of communication is always to affect a change in attitudes or behaviour.

Therefore, it is not enough just to measure outputs such as how many articles were published as a result of your press release, or how many new followers you gained from your post. Instead, try to go further to show what kind of outcomes this publicity led to for your organization and what its long-term impact was. When you succeed in demonstrating this, you are showing the concrete value communications work brings to your organization. In short, did communication succeed in affecting attitudes and advancing organizational objectives?



Examples of identifying outcomes and impact

Through a planned communications campaign a furniture company gains increased positive coverage for a new line of sofas in interior design magazines, meeting their set goal of increased visibility for this product in key media.

To determine the outcomes and impact, they could look at:
  • Did the increased visibility in target media for the company’s product lead to improved brand awareness or image among the potential customers?
  • Did sales of the product increase?
  • The there better relationships with the reporters writing about the company’s products?

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  • The Barcelona Principles

    The Barcelona Principles were first agreed upon by PR practitioners from 33 countries who met in Barcelona, Spain in 2010 for a summit convened by the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC). The principles have since then been updated twice, in 2015 to the version 2.0 and in 2020 to the latest version of Barcelona Principles 3.0. Regular updates respond to the rapidly advancing change in the communications industry.