Week 4: Evaluation Research

Week 4: Evaluation Research

“Evaluation Research Introduction…PR Metrics Part 1 – Output, Outtake, Outcome…PR Metrics Part 2 – Outtake and Outcome in Relation to the 3 Levels of Objectives…Evaluation Myths and Tips…”


  • Evaluation Research Introduction
  • PR Metrics Part 1 - Output, Outtake, Outcome
  • PR Metrics Part 2 - Outtake and Outcome in Relation to the 3 Levels of Objectives
  • Evaluation Myths and Tips

Evaluation Research Introduction

  • Welcome to the fourth module on evaluation research.
  • This module will focus on measurement and evaluation in PR. First, this video will provide you a brief overview of what we mean by evaluation.
  • Evaluation is conducted during all segments of a public relations campaign.
  • Part of formative research can include evaluation research that looks at what has worked or hasn’t worked in the past.
  • Implementation evaluation occurs during the process phase of the campaign.
  • For this module, we will focus on summative evaluation.
  • Summative evaluation focuses on programs that are already completed.
  • Summative evaluation allows you to demonstrate effectiveness of your program.
  • Outcome also refers to as summative evaluation set to establish whether you have met your goals and objectives.
  • Outcome evaluation assesses both short term outcomes, such as immediate changes in knowledge, attitudes and behavior, and long term impact of the communication efforts.
  • You can conduct impact evaluation, which seeks to answer whether the program made any difference on the intended audience or the community It includes short-term outcomes.
  • The key elements of evaluation research are one, it allows you to look both ways, meaning you can assess what happened before, as in the past, which aids to establish your benchmark and baseline.
  • Three, evaluation research is both short term, as in process evaluation, and long term, as in summative evaluation.
  • Remember, evaluation can be planned at any of the problematic stages of research.
  • Keep in mind each evaluation research should be designed to assess the current program efforts.
  • Now that you can identify what evaluation research consists of, next we will focus on the elements of public relations program and measurement.

PR Metrics Part 1 – Output, Outtake, Outcome

  • Motivational objectives, which is focused on attitudes and perceptions of your audience, and also behavioral objectives.
  • Output and outtake can be measured during the implementation staging as part of your monitoring efforts or at the end.
  • Whereas outcome can only be measured as summative at the end of your program.
  • Outputs are the physical communication products, generated by your program or activity.
  • Often, you can conduct media monitoring for output measures.
  • Output tends to be short term immediate results of your No PR activity.
  • I’ll take measures audience comprehension, of your message, recall and retention about the information you put out as well as reception and acceptance of your message.
  • This can be measured as readership, website hits, retention and so on.
  • Outtakes are cognitive measures and are often measured in terms of behavioral impact.
  • Direct attitude changes are hard to measure in relation to the campaign effect, and such behavioral is seen as a deflection of our attitude.
  • Outcome measure changes in awareness, knowledge, attitude and behavior as a result of your program.
  • Your output, outtake and outcome measures may look something like this.
  • Your output, we’ll look at the number of tweets you have put out to promote the message.
  • Your outtake then would measure the retention, acceptance, and comprehension of your message.
  • You may do that by measuring the percent of people that have seen the message, re-tweeted the message, believe in the message and understand the message.
  • For outcome, you would then measure the actual number of membership.
  • As I just explained, output evaluation measures, communication products, and their distribution.
  • It is measured through physical communication products generated by the program.
  • Output measure will count the number of news releases written, brochures printed.
  • You will then use measures as in counting the media mentions, media placements, number of times a press release was coded, and so on.
  • Next, you want to measure the cost of the message to produce and present.
  • You divide 150 by the number of times the message has been seen or produced.
  • This is measured in terms of cost per thousand CPM or mille.

PR Metrics Part 2 – Outtake and Outcome in Relation to the 3 Levels of Objectives

  • It is measured by outtake that looks at retention, comprehension, and acceptance of the message.
  • Specifically, you can measure message exposure, message content, readability measures, and message recall.
  • If you recall, output measures the physical communication products that was produced and distributed.
  • You measure message exposure that looks at the number of key publics exposed to the message.
  • For message recall, you may conduct interviews, focus groups, or surveys to measure what can be recalled about the message.
  • These outtake measures help you assess the retention, comprehension, recall, and attention.
  • Because output measures physical communication products or process, it may be difficult to connect the attitude change outtake in outcome will give you a better measurement of this change.
  • Specifically, the outtake measure could be the number of positive response or positive attitude changes.
  • While the outcome measure could be the post campaign audience evaluation, a benchmark baseline provides a basis for comparison so that you can measure the before and after attitudes to see whether changes occurred due to your communication efforts.
  • There are three behavior-focused outcome measures, audience participation, direct observation, and relative media effectiveness.
  • Meaning is the behavior or the intended action different, depending on the media the intended audience was exposed to? Think of your PR metrics measurement that evaluates your PR efforts based on your objectives to be on a yardstick, the first level being the basic where you measure the output, the second level being intermediate where you measure impact you made through your communication efforts.
  • The final level, the advanced level, measures the outcome of your efforts in terms of change, whether in attitude or behavior.

Evaluation Myths and Tips

  • First let’s discuss some of the common evaluation myths in PR. One, research is not essential for planning.
  • Often evaluation is seen as something that is done at the end of a campaign.
  • For evaluation to be truly effective, it has to go right through from start to finish.
  • The secret to truly effective evaluation in PR research is to evaluate each part of a particular campaign incrementally rather than the whole campaign at once.
  • Specifically in terms of employee time spent in evaluation, and analytics software used to evaluate and measure campaigns.
  • Establishing good objectives from the start will help you ensure that you have the key components at the campaign design stage built in for a more robust and effective evaluation.
  • We have now come to the end of our module on evaluation metrics and PR. Please try the practice test to see whether you have comprehended, retained, and can recall the message, my information level evaluation.

Return to Summaries.

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