Monday, April 24, 2006

More on PR Evaluating

The most fundamental - and least costly media measurement - is to evaluate the impact of PR outputs - measuring the effectiveness of the work done.

Measurement of PR essentially falls into three categories:

* Outputs - measuring the effectiveness of the work done. Who did we reach? Did it convey the right messages? Was it done cost efficiently?
* Outcomes - measuring changes resulting from our communication. Did we create greater awareness? Did we change attitudes? Did our target audience change their behaviour?
* Business results - how did the PR help the organisation achieve its business objectives?

Measurement is currently a hot topic in the industry where there is a whole industry of individuals and firms selling measurement tools - and most of them relate to measurement of outputs.

Typically this measurement will cover:

* media reach - number of media, number of readers?
* message delivery - did the story deliver the pre-determined messages,
* what was the tone?

The advantage of this is that helps tell the organisation using PR whether the communication of their messages is reaching the desired target audiences. The disadvantage is that it is only measuring the organisation’s communication and taking no account of competitors.

The second level of media measurement is the equivalent of the traditional advertising ‘share of voice’ approach.

This tracks the organisation and its competitors. It provides the advantage of knowing how much media coverage and of what type it obtained relative to its competitors. It is more costly, and time consuming, than the first level, but not markedly so.

In a very competitive marketing environment, it’s essential for organisations serious about their PR. Combined with the first level it provides most organisations with a good evaluation tool.

Bottom line: investing in some form of evaluation diametrics makes sense! One source I've found interesting at a reasonable price is Survey Monkey.


Mark Buzan is the owner of Action Strategies, a public affairs & marketing communications consultancy. You can subscribe now to his monthly lobbying tips newsletter by visiting www.action-strategies.ca and dropping down the “newsletter” menu.

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