Evaluation in Public Relations

Obviously, evaluation is a very important step in the public relations process.  Evaluating a campaign essentially deems whether or not it was successful or not.  PRnews.com states that, “A professional analysis of the PR campaign also helps spot weaknesses in its planning and execution and cut expenses while improving efficiency,” (PR News)  For example, a business spends five thousand dollars to send out fliers promoting a new product.  Without a solid analysis, the business will have no idea whether or not the flier campaign was successful.  Evaluating a campaign essentially involves analyzing statistics and observing other tangible results.  However, this is not always so simple.  Forrest W. Anderson claims that, “We’d like to be able to say we spent $X on PR and it generated $Y in sales. This is usually difficult to do, because sales are the result of a number of non-PR factors, such as product design and pricing, distribution and other marketing factors such as advertising and the sales force,” (Anderson 1).

There are plenty of different ways to measure campaigns effectiveness.  One idea is to analyze the web presence a business has before and after the campaign.  This can be done simply and for free by using Google trends.  Google trends lets the user type in keywords and see the search popularity within a specified time window.  This allows a business to see if there is any potential correlation between a publicity campaign and the public’s awareness of said business.  Another way one can see the effects of a PR campaign is to do a baseline study, which compares how the public felt about a specific company before, during and after an advertising campaign.

Campaign evaluation plays an important role in every PR campaign.  Without effective analysis, a public relations campaign lacks the vital knowledge it takes to repeat a successful campaign, or end an unpopular campaign.

Anderson, F. (n.d.). How to evaluate public relations. Retrieved from http://www.forrestwanderson.com/documents/HowtoEvaluatePublicRelations_000.pdf 

PR campaign analysis. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.prnews.ru/eng/pr_campaign.asp

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