When you conduct a PR activity, you have to set the parameters of evaluating your PR exercise then and there itself. This is a prerequisite to analyze public relations activities in order to assess the performance of an organization. Many PR professionals evaluate the results of PR operations against the intended business objectives of a company, but one must not forget that value addition is equally important to assess that has been gained for the brand/client through PR.
When you analyze the effectiveness of your campaigns, you must assess each operation individually. Different techniques for measuring the efficacy of PR campaigns are available.
There are certain key outcome areas to assess a PR campaign. The areas of performance include metrics such as total sales, employment, and earnings. The success of a PR plan is measured by total sales before and after the campaign. PR professionals tend to use company-specific demographics and advertising. For example, if the main objective of a school campaign is to educate more female students, you can assess the results of the effectiveness of your campaigns in the increase in enrollment of female students in the school.
A Public Relations professional can take the survey route to evaluate public relations activities. Surveys, being a time-consuming activity, helps in getting a gist of the attitude and awareness of your target audience. Your pre-campaign surveys act as a compass and give you a direction on how and which route you should take your campaign forward. Your post-campaign surveys help measure the effectiveness of the purpose being served for the campaign. The survey results should reveal if the message was received as intended.
Press analysis is achieved by calculating the number of times in both print and broadcast media that an individual and the message of the PR campaign are reported. A PR professional must also decide if the PR message has reached its target audience, which can be done by determining the target audience of the media where the message appears and knowing the total number of viewers or writers.
Virtual or Online Analysis
The virtual analysis is also a method for assessment used in PR. A website and Social Media review should be done by the PR professional before and after the campaign. Use virtual analytical tools to determine the amount of traffic to the site of the company. Social media such as Facebook and Twitter are also included in digital research. Get updates on visits and use comments, both positive and negative, to assess the organization’s attitude and perceptions. A PR professional can also use social media patterns to determine awareness level— for example, the popularity of more Facebook organizational posts compared to prior projects.
It is important to keep one thing in mind, to ensure that the execution and evaluation of a PR exercise are done in a smooth and effective manner. The groundwork, research, and initial planning stage need to be well undertaken so that the foundation base of the PR activity is built strongly and runs smoothly from the beginning till the end.