Published on Sunday 3rd April 2016
Evaluating a Public Relations Campaign
Figure One: Evaluating a public relations campaign, Source: Google Images
The evaluation and review process of any public relations campaign is both a critical and vital aspect to consider in ensuring that all campaign goals and objectives have been achieved (Wilcox et al., 2013, p. 127-128).
For evaluation to be effective and meaningful it has to commence at the development stage of the campaign, continue throughout the life of the campaign, and continue at the end of the campaign (Business Matters, 2013). PR organisations should view the evaluating process as a continual procedure of constantly reviewing all elements of the campaign to establish and measure the success of the campaign (CQUniversity, 2016).
Musgrave (1976) suggests how an individual evaluates a PR campaign can vary in complexity and can deliver varying results depending on how the individual approaches the evaluating process. The most sophisticated organisations will evaluate their PR campaign through the utilisation of research studies (Musgrave, 1976). According to Wilcox et al., (2013, p. 127-128) the evaluating process enables organisations to make appropriate adjustments in the every-changing public relations sector.
Several models are utilised to effectively measure a PR campaign’s expenditure, timelines, and its results over the campaign’s duration. Organisations should develop a budget plan at the beginning of the campaign but constantly review and make adjustments when required (CQUniversity, 2016). By viewing a campaign’s budget plan will enable PR practitioners to accurately measure a campaign’s expenditure levels (CQUniversity, 2016).
A Gantt chart is a good model utilised in the planning and scheduling process of a project to present various tasks over an extended period of time (CQUniversity, 2016). A Gantt chart should be developed at the beginning of the campaign (CQUniversity, 2016). This will enable organisations to visually measure a campaign’s timeline as it clearly represents where each tasks are positioned (CQUniversity, 2016). Most PR practitioners will refine the proposed strategies and tactics accordingly to allow for the campaign plan to be successfully executed (CQUniversity, 2016).
Most PR practitioners use surveys and interviews before the commencement of the campaign to develop campaign strategies and tactics (CQUniversity, 2016). Surveys and interviews are also utilised after the campaign to analyse and measure the campaigns results (CQUniversity, 2016). Utilising surveys and interviews enables the PR practitioner to receive valuable feedback from the target pubic about the success of the campaign (CQUniversity, 2016). Receiving and reviewing campaign feedback allows practitioners to successfully plan for future campaigns (CQUniversity, 2016).
Business Matters. (2013, November 3). Five principles of good PR campaign evaluation. Retrieved from Business Matters: http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/advice/five-principles-good-pr-campaign-evaluation/
CQUniversity Australia. (2016). COMM11110 –Introduction to Public Relations: Study Guide. Rockhampton, Qld. https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/course/view.php?id=3389
Dennis W, Glen C, Bryan R, Jae-Hwa S, (2013), Think Public Relations.
Musgrave, P 1976, ‘Eleven steps for planning and evaluating your public relations campaign’, Management Review, vol. 65, no. 8, p. 42.