The Evolution of Evaluation

By Cobb, Robin | Marketing, April 28, 1994 | Go to article overview

The Evolution of Evaluation


Cobb, Robin, Marketing


Techniques to evaluate how well a PR campaign is working have evolved considerably since the days of measuring column inches of cuttings. Sharper instruments are now on offer, honed by PR consultancies and specialists bureaus, under pressure from clients.

But availability has not meant general adoption. Research routinely accompanies advertising but purse-strings for PR are more tightly drawn.

Nevertheless, a small industry of media evaluation specialists has emerged. Charges relate to complexity, volume and frequency. A one-off low-volume project can be under 500 [pounds]; intricate and high volume tracking across all media could exceed 100,000 [pounds] a year.

A pioneer in this sector is Paul Georgiou's Impacon, in business since 1985. His clients are foreign governments and such major corporations as BT, British Gas, Shell and Cellnet. For BT, 16 reports are produced a month, for study and action by the corporate relations and market research departments.

At competitor CARMA (Computer-Aided Research And Media Analysis) International, European managing director Sandra Macleod explains: "We track what the media is saying about our clients, their competitors, the issues in the market. We look for trends, strengths and weaknesses. PR and communications should not only be the mouthpiece of an organisation but the ears too."

Media Measurement managing director David Phillips says: "Good companies are looking not just to evaluate their PR but how they appear competitively in reach and delivery of messages, how publications and individual journalists treat them and how they can manage their communications more effectively. It can be a tremendous management and marketing tool."

Nicholas Grant, managing director of Media Track, pours scorn on systems which are simply quantitative. "That's Mickey Mouse stuff," he scoffs. "We have 15 or more criteria which our evaluators apply."

According to Dermot McKeone, managing director of a fifth specialist in the area, Infopress Communications' Impact service, a problem is that few corporate budgets have a niche for media evaluation. "Business plans should have an allocation for this, just as they do for marketing research," he suggests.

PR consultancies claim various in-house facilities for the measurement of their work and some employ the specialists on behalf of clients.

Angela Green, chairman of PR consultancy Green Moon, remarks: "We have worked with some of our clients in devising systems to isolate the effects generated by the PR programme. But often a PR budget will not run to doing full pre-and post-campaign research. If an outside evaluation organisation is involved, I would expect the client to commit to that spend."

Burson-Marsteller director Jane Ferguson comments that: "Just about every programme we do has some measurement built in. With in-depth analysis, cost can be a consideration. Some clients still just count column inches."

Major clients such as Asda and Coca-Cola call for detailed studies, sometimes in conjunction with a specialist bureau, notes Samantha Royston, managing director of Lynne Franks PR. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Evolution of Evaluation
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.