Chapter 8: Evaluation

This chapter looks at the purpose of evaluation, objectives, current status of measurement, measurement of production, and measurement of exposure.

Objectives: A Prerequisite for Evaluation
These are some of the tips the book gives for measuring objectives:
First, public relations personnel and management should agree on the criteria that will be used to evaluate success in attaining objectives.
Second, don’t wait until the end of the P.R. program to determine how it will be evaluated.
If an objective is informational, measurement techniques must show how successfully information was communicated to target audiences.
Motivational objectives are more difficult to accomplish.

The book also outlines the most widely sued methods for evaluating public relations efforts. The include Measurement of Production: simply counting how many news releases, feature stories, photos, letters are produced in a give amount of time; Measurement of Message Exposure: this is most widely form used and is the compilation of print and broadcast mention;Measurement of Audience Awareness: questions posed to target audience;Measure of Audience Attitudes: can be done with different studies;Measurement of Audience Action:this is the ultimate objective because it elicits change; Measurement of Supplemental Activies.

This leads into the last section I will be discussing, the four other forms of measurement that can be used in public relations activity. The first is Communication Audits. This is simply an assessment of an organization’s entire communication program. The next is Pilot tests and split messages. The pilot test is testing the message in certain parts of the country before going nationwide. Split messages are where two or three different appeals may be prepared and sent to different audiences. Then there is meeting and event attendance because you can tell the success of the meeting due to the number attending. Finally there is newsletter readership. This can help discover reader perceptions, the degree to which stories are balanced, and the kinds of stories that have high reader interest.

This info comes from Public Relations:Strategies and Tactics


March 27, 2009. Reading Notes.

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