picep2Evaluation is the fourth step in PR, it is the measurement of results against established objectives set during the planning process. Professor James Bissland formerly of Bowling Green State University defines it as “the systematic assement of a program and it reults.” You must have a clearly stated objectives in order to meausure their success. There are three levels of measurement that can be used to evaluate.
The most basic level, #1, is measuring target audiences, impressions, and media placements. The number of media placements are watched, Burrelles/Luce firm, for example, can tell someeone in 10-15 minutes when are where they are being talked about by monitoring 10s of thousands of each media outlet, like blogs, newspapers, magazine, TV and cable stations, and etc. In addition, they are able to evaluate how many people may have been exposed to the message, which is called media impressions, the potential audience reached by a message in different media outlets. On the Web, the number of people reached via WWW. site or home page is called a hit or a visit.Traditionally message exposure traching was measured by bulk but, new advance in computer software make it possible to track media exposure in a more sophisticated ways. Specialty mesurement firms do extensive analysis for a varity of clients for many different objective.

Level #2 is the intermediate level where retention, comprehension, awareness, and reception are all measured. This is where they evaluate if the groups recieving the message actually recieved the message whether they were paying attention, if the message was understood, and if they have retained the message in any shape or form. The day-after recall, is one way of measuring these questions. Participants are asked to view a specific TV program or read a new story; the next day, they are then interviewed to learn which message they remember.

The third level is advanced and measures behavior change, attitude change, and opinion change. Baseline study, is a technique to determine such changes. It measures audiences’ attitudes and opinions befor, during, and after a PR campaign, which is also called bechmark studies, gives a graphical measured percentage difference.

 

Source:

Wilcox, D.L. & Cameron, G.T. (2009). Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics (9th Edition). Boston: Allyn & Bacon

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