NECS Consultancy

NECS Consultancy is a group project for CMNS2290 -PR Issues and Strategies- a course under the University of Newcastle.

Group 3 consists of Nivitra Devi, Shasikala d/o Kalai Silvan, Calcy Tay and Eva Berlin Fransiskus.

Measuring Successful Relationships: Approaches to Research Methods

Friday, September 24, 2010

Week 5 Reading

By Richard Stanton, Chapter 12 of Media Relations

The reason I chose to blog about this reading is because I believe that without evaluating the success of a campaign and finding out if the intended goal or aim has been achieved, there is no point in implementing a campaign. Therefore, I wanted to learn more about how a campaign can be evaluated with the different methods and what are the benefits of evaluating a campaign.

Firstly, evaluation is the measurement of the campaign’s effectiveness, achievement and efficiency of goals. It is the fourth stage of the strategic development of a media relations campaign and the benefits of evaluating a campaign includes that it improves the probability of achieving the campaign’s success.

Evaluation should be conducted in three phrases:

1) Formative

2) Process

3) Summative

In addition, there are three widely used methods to evaluate media relations. These are referred to as Three M Evaluation: Metrics, Message Exposure and Media Impressions.

However, there is also the need for media relations specialist to evaluate campaigns against other stakeholder expectations, attitudes and behaviours. Such methods to evaluate would be systematic tracking, requests and 1800 numbers, internet hits, focus groups, telephone surveys, models in disrepute, advertising equivalencies and production.

For example, many companies and organizations are using Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, blogs and websites to reach out to their target audience. The organization Family Life Society, which my group as been assigned to, uses a website to communicate with its audience and they can use internet hits to evaluate how effective and efficient their website is. Examples to evaluate internet hits would be by calculating the number of visits to their website per month or the number of clicks on a tab per month.

Interestingly, qualitative and quantitative research methods can also be used as evaluation tools. Moreover, content analysis is an important evaluation in media relations as it allows the organizations to test and validate their relationships with their stakeholders.

By reading this chapter, I have certainly gained knowledge on the various methods to evaluate a campaign. This is a good and interesting chapter one must read to understand the whole process of evaluation and its importance in the strategic development of a media relations campaign.


Valinka said...

This is a nice chapter you chose, it seems continuing the previous post (by Nivi). You're right, to be able to measure the success of a PR campaign is crucial.

However, you didn't explain further in this post, what are formative, process, and summative evaluation? As well as the three Ms. It will be very helpful if you explain and give us some examples.

You explained about the media evaluation through internet. But how about through the traditional ones? Is it through the qualitative and quantitative research methods?

Shasikala said...

Heya Eva,
Thanks for your comment. I would have explained the different methods to evaluate in details, but it would have certainly exceeded the word limit. So, I will just explain it here.

Formative evaluation is done at the start of the campaign, it refers to the research done of the cost of an event before the event actually occurs. This type of research is important as to keep the campaign within the client’s budget. Next, process evaluation is done during the campaign and it is the measurement of objectives that are reached throughout the life of a campaign. Lastly, summative evaluation is done after the campaign and it measures the success of a campaign against goals.

Furthermore, metrics evaluation is done to find out and interpret specific characteristics about groups of reporters, journalists and other media workers. Next, message exposure involves clippings and mentions and it evaluates media acceptance of the organization’s message. Lastly, media impression is the measurement of the number of people who might read or watch material in newspaper or television.

Moreover, the internet evaluation is a type of evaluation used and it can be a qualitative or quantitative analysis depending on what the organization analyses. For example, if the organization chooses to analyze on the count of hits per day for its website, then its a quantitative analysis. However, if the organization chooses to analyze the comments posted by its audience on its website, then it’s a content analysis, which is a type of qualitative analysis. Also, qualitative and quantitative are not evaluation methods; they are types of research that leads to evaluation. I hope this solves your confusion and I have answered your questions.

Valinka said...

Hahaha.. it sure does. Thank you!

Nivitra said...

Hey Shasi,

A very well analysed post and summary of the chapter! It is important that companies measure the success of their campaigns through evaluation in order to know if their campaign actually worked. I like the fact that you used our assigned organisation as an example for the post.

However, you mentioned that companies can measure the effectiveness of their communication methods through the number of clicks or visit to their website. But we need to take into consideration that some people may accidentally enter the website out of curiosity and not even read through the website also. Thus, i personally feel that this is not an effective method to measure the success.

However, your other methods that you mentioned are very helpful and useful in measuring the effectiveness. Also, i feel that you could have elaborated more on the 3 phases. Just a thought.

Well done on the post. Overall, a straight to the point kind of post and i like it.

-Nivitra Devi

Shasikala said...

Heya Nivi,
Thanks for your comment. Like I said I would have elaborated more on the 3 phrases, but because of the word limit I was not able to do so. However, you can see the above post where I replied to Eva and read it, I explained a bit about the 3 phrases and gave some examples too.

Also, I disagree with you that the organization counting the number of clicks is not effective, this is so as even if people actually visited the website out of curiosity, it still means that someone must have told them about the website or they found out about it somewhere and this adds to the how effective the organization is in reaching out to its audience. So, eventually, even if they may not read the website but came across it, they will still know that such an organization exists. Thus, somehow the organization is able to reach out to the website’s visitors about its message and this method to evaluative is hence, effective. Hope you understand what I was trying to say.

Nivitra said...

Hey Shasi,

I agree with you about knowing about the organisation if that is how the organisation decides to evaluate the method. But if it is meant to evaluate about how much people know about the website through clicking it, then it's not considered effective? Hope you understand what i meant.

And i agree with you about the word limit too! haha!

Calcy said...

Thanks Shasi for this post on various methods to evaluate campaigns to determine its effectiveness!

Such evaluations allow companies to measure the impact of reach of the campaign to the masses. They also serve as lessons for organizing future campaigns, to learn from past mistakes and improve on the next.

However, as all the evaluation methods have their inherent limitations and effectiveness, perhaps their disadvantages and alternative measurements that are available can be indicated. This being so, an analysis on an example can illustrate the purpose of having more than one method of evaluating a campaign’s effectiveness, to perhaps evaluate different aspects of the campaign.

Great effort on this post!

Shasikala said...

Heya Nivi,
I understand what you are trying to say, I guess each organization has different goals and objectives and their message reaches out to the audience in various ways. So, different organizations may employ different methods depending on which they find is effective for them. ☺

Shasikala said...

Heya Calcy,
Thanks for your comment. I agree with you that the limitations and effectiveness of a method to evaluate is important so that the campaign can be evaluated properly. Most organizations usually use more than one method to evaluate their campaign, but this also depends on what they want to evaluate. For example, if the organization wants to evaluate how their message has reach across to their audience through the media, it can be evaluated through press clippings and news releases, which is one of the 3 Ms called message exposure. However, if the organization wants to evaluate if their employees are satisfied working for the campaign, they can conduct interviews and focus groups with the employees and this is a type of qualitative evaluating method. All in all, each evaluating method will have its benefits and disadvantages, but they assist the organization in learning from mistakes and improving.

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