Editorial: The COI leads the way in evaluation

New Labour’s claims to greater accountability appear to have had a beneficial effect on its government information service. The COI has now taken the forward-thinking step of drawing up a roster of media evaluation companies.

New Labour’s claims to greater accountability appear to have had a

beneficial effect on its government information service. The COI has now

taken the forward-thinking step of drawing up a roster of media

evaluation companies.



Admittedly, it has always taken evaluation seriously. The tax

self-assessment campaign was closely monitored by CARMA and the Highways

Agency is developing its own in-house method of evaluating

campaigns.



But the roster lends a new weight to the whole concept of planning and

measurement, and underlines the fact that all communication spend,

particularly in this sensitive public domain, needs to be

accountable.



The COI cannot guarantee its proportional spend on R&E will always hit

the Proof target of ten per cent, but it is recommending that its

clients spend between three and 12 per cent of overall budget depending

on the size of a project.



Perhaps more importantly, the COI is also attempting to teach its

’clients’ how to properly use these tools and how to set measurable

objectives. The first of an ongoing series of seminars was held on

Wednesday which brought together government departments and agencies and

PR and evaluation professionals.



This could provide a valuable template for consultancies, which often

complain that client companies are unwilling to commit budget to a

system they do not understand. Also crucially, it provides the

opportunity to communicate the true potential of properly planned PR

activity.



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