Measuring Effectiveness of a Campaign

Chapter 6 of THINK Public Relations laid out the four essential steps of effective public relations: Research, Planning, Communication and Measurement

In this blog I will lay out the basics on how a PR practitioner can measure the effectiveness of a campaign via the importance of measurement — derived from the book THINK Public Relations, chapter 7.  So here it goes…lets begin with defining measurement.

Measurement — the evaluation of results against agreed upon objectives established during planning. 

So, in this step we are basically gauging our level of success based on our goals/objectives that we made when we started the campaign. 

At first it may seem impossible to measure the success of pr, but that’s why you have to know where to start.  There are 3 levels of measurement in which to guage the effectiveness of your PR campaign.  The basic level of measurement deals with just that…the basics.  If you want to get technical use intermediate or for the most advanced measurements, is the measurement of behaviors, attitudes and opinions. This just gives you a starting point so you wont be overwhelmed because obviously we know that guaging success based on hunderds, thousands, or possibly millions of audience members can be quite difficult. 

3 levels of measurement: 

  • BASIC measurement:

Targeted Audiences, Impressions, Media Placements 

  • INTERMEDIATE measurement:

Retention, Comprehension, Awareness, Reception

  • ADVANCED measurement:

Behavior Change, Attitude Change, Opinion Change

According to THINK Public Relations, some commonly known forms of public relations measurement objectives are as follows:

1. Message Exposure. The level of exposure the message has in going out through various forms of mass media.

2. Accurate Dissemination of the Message.  The basic information, often filtered by the media gatekeepers, remains intact as it is transmitted through various forms of media.

Wilbur Schramm’s communication model showing the idea of continuous feedback and showing the public relations process of research, planning, communication, and measurement as cyclical. 

3.  Acceptance of the Message.  Audience accepts the message as reality and retains message.

4.  Attitude Change. Audience accepts the message and has an attitude change and makes a verbal or mental resolution to do something in response to message. 

5.  Change in Overt Behavior.  Audience changes behavior in response to message and buys the product and uses it.


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