Evaluating Public Relations Campaigns


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This presentation on evaluating public relations campaigns is an excerpt from a presentation conducted by Shrita Sterlin of Penn Strategies. Shrita conducted this presentation at a forum held by the Center for Nonprofit Success on November 3, 2011 in Washington, DC. The presentation explores best practices for creating data-driven public relations campaigns in nonprofit organizations; provides tips for quantifying social change efforts; and demonstrates ways to measure the process and results of public relations campaigns.

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Evaluating Public Relations Campaigns

  1. 1. Evaluating Public Relations CampaignsCenter for Nonprofit Success Leadership Series November 3, 2011 Presented by: Shrita D. Sterlin www.pennstrategies.com
  2. 2. Why Evaluate PR?• Measure results against stated objectives• Determine observable impact• Document resources and efforts• Improve future campaigns and programs
  3. 3. Sample Evaluation Checklist• Did the organization achieve its objectives?• Was PR campaign/program within budget?• Did PR campaign/program reach desired audience(s)?• Did audience(s) understand message(s)?
  4. 4. Sample PR Evaluation Process Define Issue or Incorporate Write Report Opportunity Feedback Establish Present Gather Data Objectives Findings Outline Prepare Case Assess Data Approach Study
  5. 5. Setting Campaign Objectives• First and last step of PR evaluation• Set SMART Objectives (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-oriented, Time- specific)• Incorporate assessments at regular intervals• Begin with the end in mind
  6. 6. Sample Campaign Objectives• Communications objective – Increase awareness of ABC Nonprofit’s program in local communities• Marketing objective – Increase overall individual donations by 10% by the end of the fiscal year
  7. 7. Evaluation ApproachInputs Outputs Relationships Activities Outcomes
  8. 8. Evaluation Approach Inputs Activities Outputs Outcomes & RelationshipsStaff/volunteers Events, writing PSAs air Audience, sees, readstime and hears ads and PR, marketing, Collateral ispromotionsResources, advertising and created andequipment, related functions disseminated Audience learns morespace about campaign • SMM • Email Marketing Audience adopts • Social Media favorable attitude • Press Releases • PSA Audience supports, • Collateral volunteers or donates
  9. 9. Sources of Data
  10. 10. Gathering Data• Internal data: Info from inside organization• External data: Info from outside organization• Qualitative: Gain insights, not generalizable• Quantitative: Hard data, generalizable
  11. 11. Gathering Data INTERNAL EXTERNAL• Accounting records • Benchmark studies• Donor records • Focus groups• Timesheet records • Event attendance records • Surveys – Online surveys – Email surveys – Mail surveys (e.g., donor materials)
  12. 12. Gathering Data INTERNAL EXTERNAL• Surveys • Social media mentions• Staff/Board Interviews • Interviews – Telephone, in person, • Media impressions onsite, computer-assisted • Mail panel • Website analytics • Digital analysis
  13. 13. Gathering DataData Tools Basic Moderate Advanced Time EffortRecord tracking • LInterviews • HSurveys and questionnaires • • • MFocus groups • MSocial media traffic monitoring • LWebsite analytics • LMail panel • HBenchmark Studies • MDigital analysis • M LEGEND: Time Effort High (H), Medium (M), Low (L)
  14. 14. Evaluating Data• Actions: inputs and outputs• Results: outcomes and impact• Which is most important?
  15. 15. Evaluating DataActions Actions VERSUSResults Results
  16. 16. Evaluating Data• Both are important• If you do not measure actions, it can be difficult to duplicate your impact.
  17. 17. Evaluating Data AdvancedMeasuring change in attitude, action or opinion (e.g., increased/decreased donations) Intermediate Measuring recall, awareness and favorability or reception BasicMeasuring widgets: audiences, media impressions, media interviews, website traffic, number of press releases, Facebook fans or Twitter followers
  18. 18. Evaluating Message Exposure• Media Impressions• Internet Traffic• SMS, Email & Social Media Messages• Audience Attendance
  19. 19. Evaluating Audience AAA• Examine level of exposure. Are there changes? Actions Attitudes Awareness
  20. 20. Preparing the Report INPUTS ACTIVITIES OUTPUTS OUTCOMES RELATIONSHIPSWas the plan How were the Did audiences Did audiencesresearch-based? target audiences receive messages? understand messages? engaged?Did the campaign What were the Was campaignstructure hurt or Were the tactics, tangible results successful?hinder progress? communications (number of vehicles, supporters, What are the lessonsWere audiences, subscribers, fans, and opportunities?stakeholders and collateral and traffic andtarget audiences timing aligned? impressions)? Describe changes inengaged? audience reactions, behaviors and opinions toward organization?
  21. 21. Penn Strategieswww.pennstrategies.com