By: Dominique Becnel
Evaluation is the second to last step in the ROPES process and a key tool in measuring the success of an organization, communication plan, event or campaign. Here at Elevate, we have monitored the success of our campaign throughout the semester. As account executive, it has been my responsibility to monitor the effectiveness of Elevate’s efforts each week and compare these efforts with client expectations. The most important part of this evaluation process has been measuring how well our team has set goals and achieved objectives specified by our client, Capital Area Special Olympics of Louisiana (CASOL).
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) states that public relations professionals who believe in the power of evaluation methods are able to:
- Validate the results of their efforts.
- Link the results to business outcomes that further the achievement of organizational goals.
- Credibly merchandise the impact of those results to those who fund public relations programs.
- Set smarter objectives, develop better strategies and employ more compelling and engaging tactics.
- Make midcourse program adjustments and corrections.
- Adapt their measurement approaches over time in light of changing objectives, new competitors and emerging best practices.
Some evaluation methods used by PR professionals include the following: surveys and polls, content analyses, communication audits, focus groups, field observations, case studies and triangulation.
In the article, “Evaluation Techniques Used in PR,” Karen Johnson explains that surveys are used to gauge the public’s attitudes about and awareness of a company or organization. In the article, Johnson stresses the importance of surveying the public before your public relations program begins to have a baseline measurement. It is also important to conduct a post-program survey to see how attitudes have changed and awareness has increased or decreased. Following this advice, our group created an initial survey through Qualtrics, evaluated the data and created infographics to make it easier for our client and audience to understand our results. This process is explained in Elevate’s blog Visual Communication in PR Research: Capital Area Special Olympics of Louisiana Infographic.
To evaluate the success of our campaign, we created an evaluation research instrument to distribute at Raise the Roof on November 15, 2015. This event benefitted the following local nonprofit organizations: CASOL, Youth Oasis and Big Buddy. This exit survey was passed out at the event. Elevate chose specific questions from the initial survey and modified them to measure the change in results from initial perceptions of CASOL.
Throughout the semester, we have also evaluated each other as co-workers and teammates. For each step of the campaign process, we have provided feedback on each other’s performance. When working with a group, it is critical to understand how your efforts and attitude are perceived by the other members. Feedback from the group gives each of us the chance to modify our behavior if other members feel like they are carrying too much of the work load.
In eHow’s article, How to Write a Performance Evaluation for a Co-worker, the author advises to always begin an evaluation of a coworker with a positive trait, introduce any issues or problems you have had working with the person and close on a positive note. If you state a problem, suggest a solution. In addition, criticism should be constructive! It is important to remember that an evaluation of a coworker reflects back on the person evaluating as well. While it is important to vocalize group issues, complaining too much about other group members can come off as petty.
In conclusion, it is important to realize the value of evaluation in campaigns and when working on a team. Measuring success helps agencies determine where they need to alter their methods and change their tactics.
EHow Contributor. (n.d.). How to Write a Performance Evaluation for a Co-worker. Retrieved October 28, 2015, from http://www.ehow.com/how_5651007_write-performance-evaluation-another-employee.html.
Gomes, M. (December 7, 2013). Measurement and Evaluation of Media Coverage [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/gomesrelations/measurement-and-evaluation-of-media-coverage-india-public-relations.
Johnson, K. (n.d.). Evaluation Techniques Used in PR. Retrieved October 28, 2015, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/evaluation-techniques-used-pr-61478.html.
Measurement Resources. (n.d.). Retrieved October 28, 2015, from http://www.prsa.org/intelligence/businesscase/measurementresources/#.Vi2.