First, a moment of honesty…
At the beginning of this course, I had no idea how important it was to set mutual goals and objectives with your client before progressing with secondary and primary research. These mutual goals can help you in the end result and measure it accurately. Did you meet the expectations? Goals achieved? Are there any tweaks that need to be made to the campaign? Did something not work whatsoever? Do you have numbers to back it up?
As a fresh PR student who is venturing into this world with a blindfold, I think it’s important to keep telling myself there is always room to tweak, tailor and move forward. Not everything has to be 100% perfect at the first try (tell me if I’m wrong). As a student getting on the same page as my superiors have been one of my main priorities, rather it being at work or at school. Mutual understanding seems to be key at this point in my life and it’s just as important to remember when starting a relationship with a client.
After looking back a couple of months, it’s rare to find me buying something without glancing at the online review beforehand. Lipstick, shoes, electronics, clothing — check, check, check AND check. When investing time, money and a couple of trips to the mall to return if it doesn’t fit, I want an accurate evaluation. Sure this seems a bit off from evaluating a PR campaign, but in my mind, it seems fairly close…
Evaluation in Public Relations is focused on analyzing the main objectives and goals for the campaign and seeks results– based on numbers, if possible. As I’ve discovered, there are many methods of collecting data and information to support the campaign. According to a blog post by Paul Tustin (2014), social media, in fact, provides great data and resources that are relevant to your campaign evaluation:
“Social media channels also offer a vast amount of data about your target audience and whether your PR and marketing activity has been effective in raising awareness of a product or service, winning support for a campaign, or is starting to change purchasing habits.”
Along with social media data being useful, Kapril Arya (2014) highlights the importance of Google Analytics when analyzing a PR campaign. She explains, “It is an inexpensive technology which lets users evaluate what media channels were delivering outcomes and providing real value.” According to Arya (2014), it is hard to gain data from awareness or other unmeasurable goals, which stresses the importance of a goal that can be supported numbers — but with the increase of these programs to help assist practitioners with collecting data there are now more options than ever.
Along with Google Analytics, SEO is another great option for an entrepreneur who is trying to analyze the success of a PR campaign while being cost-effective. Mel Carson (2015) explains, “SEO (search engine optimization) is hugely important for any PR effort, as most inquiries about your company, product or service are likely to have been kicked off via a search engine.”
Evaluation is an important step that should never be skipped. Evaluation allows for insights you weren’t able to collect during your research– good, or bad. Using evaluation tools that provide data can enhance the success of the campaign. Overall, Tustin (2014) stresses,”Whichever is the chosen measurement criteria, it should be relevant to the campaign and the objectives agreed at the outset, rather than for the sake of it.” The goal of every campaign is to meet the objectives and main goals,along with always keeping the goals in reach and measurable.
Arya, K. (2013, March 15). How can the success of a pr campaign be quantified? Retrieved April 03, 2016, from http://blog.ketchum.com/how-can-the-metrics-for-a-pr-campaign-be-quantified/
Carson, M. (2015, July 15). 4 alternative metrics to evaluate your pr campaign’s success. Retrieved April 03, 2016, from http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/248191
Tustin, P. (2014, October 7). Six guidelines for measuring the success of a modern pr campaign. Retrieved April 03, 2016, from http://www.freshfield.com/six-guidelines-measuring-success-modern-pr-campaign/