By Emily Guidroz, Design Director
Evaluation is arguably the most important part of any public relations campaign. After all, how will you, as a PR practitioner or your client, be able to gage what works and what does not work within a campaign? It is imperative to have this information when going forward with future campaigns. And the only way to get this valuable information is through successful evaluation practices.
Today it is easier than ever to conduct different evaluation methods. In the past, the most frequently used method of evaluation research was to send out mail cards with a survey or distribute comment cards at the end of events. With the rapid growth in social and online media, however, it is quicker and much more efficient to send out materials, such as online surveys, to receive feedback for public relations tactics.
On social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, it is extremely easy to determine how far your post has reached, how many users have liked or shared it and generally how well it is being received. These sites will tell you this information on the post itself.
Specifically for the Big Buddy program, Lagniappe Public Relations suggests using a service such as Hootsuite to properly plan and examine analytics in regards to their Facebook and Twitter pages. Hootsuite is a great source for tracking all of a company’s social media reception and interaction in one place.
There are a variety of ways in which an evaluation can be conducted. The most familiar would probably be a survey taken by those who were directly impacted or influenced by the campaign. The important piece to remember about evaluation surveys is that they are only useful if a similar survey was conducted before campaign tactics were implemented. That way, you will have a clear numerical difference through which you can accurately judge your campaign’s success or failure.
Event success is another way to conduct an evaluation. Was the event successful? Did the planners receive positive feedback from guests and those involved in the event? These can all be use to evaluate what worked and what did not work in a campaign, specifically in an event, which can be a vital part of a campaign.
Conducting surveys and gathering feedback are important forms of evaluation that are a key part of implementing a successful campaign. Following our event for Big Buddy Program, our team gathered what was successful, unsuccessful and what could be improved upon in following events. This, along with our post event survey, will turn into an important resource for those planning next year’s event, which is exactly our intent.
The mission of Big Buddy Program is to provide access to positive role models and learning experiences to children who lack these valuable resources in the Greater Baton Rouge community.
Emily Guidroz is a senior at Louisiana State University, in May she will graduate with a degree in public relations and a minor in history. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in public relations in Chicago. In her spare time, Emily is an avid reader, coffee drinker, TV viewer and is always up for a discussion of the latest episode of her favorite shows.