Is campaign evaluation sexy?

Campaign evaluation isn't sexy and never will be. But it's become as essential to our long-term well-being as me remembering the wife's birthday. And guess what? Evaluation isn't that hard.

Max Wright: evaluation
Max Wright: evaluation

Many PR professionals beg to differ and two decades of debate support that. But try discussing the issue with someone in advertising, digital or direct marketing.  Compare what PR is capable of versus what they can do. They’ll be shocked by how little you can prove.  They’ll find it odd that you cling to the AVE model when the ‘A’ industry is grappling with changing consumer behaviour and plummeting media values.

You’ll want to argue that it’s different in PR.  You’ll want to say that most clients are happy with coverage and that they don’t have the budget to take it any further.  You’ll want to say that it’s hard work to prove how coverage communicates to audiences and how that, in turn, translates into behaviour change.  But deep down, you know you could do better.  Well the good news is that there are weapons at your disposal to do just that.
Try looking into the new low-cost diagnostic market research methodologies to explore whether you can successfully assess what’s been communicated to your audience. Investigate the discreet media testing techniques used in other disciplines to see if they can be transferred into your campaign planning.  Be really adventurous and invite a data expert into your office. There’s plenty of clever new data modelling going on and they may also have a view on the new (free) digital tools that seem to appear on a weekly basis.
You might not find all the answers but you’ll inevitably sharpen your thinking so that your evaluation improves and you can build a better case.  Sound sexy?  Maybe - just a little bit.

Max Wright heads up Kindred’s planning and evaluation team.

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