Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
Public Relations Journal
This study advances a framework of concepts based on the Barcelona Principles (AMEC, 2010) to assess the extent public relations practitioners, in award-winning campaigns, place greater emphasis on outcomes than outputs in evaluations of their campaigns, as the Barcelona Principles advocate. The study employs content analysis of the evaluation sections of campaigns recognized for excellence by the Public Relations Society of America Silver Anvil awards from 2010, when the Barcelona Principles were adopted, to 2014. The findings show mixed results. Many cases do measure outcomes, yet the most predominant evaluation described is outputs, which are nearly universally present in campaigns. Awards in certain categories of PR practices are more likely to measure outputs only, with no measurable outcomes. Advertising Value Equivalencies (AVEs), though measured only in a small percent of cases, are still making their way into some evaluation sections. The findings, and recommendations based on the results, provide direction for professional and pedagogical approaches to PR measurement and evaluation.