In-house departments in the public sector are moving toward making
more use of quantative and qualitative analysis when they conduct
research and evaluation (R&E).
Of ten in-house departments questioned in a PR Week straw poll, half
make use of advertising value equivalents (AVEs), but only as one of a
number of methodologies. Six of the departments questioned use
qualitative research such as focus groups, and seven use quantative
methods including opinion polls and surveys. Half use internet
monitoring as a standard R&E device.
However, Jo Leslie, corporate PR manager for the British Tourist
Authority, warned that there is a need for the industry to agree a
common language for R&E. ’It is hard to get rid of AVEs because they are
the easiest R&E tool to understand. If you replace them with message or
issue analysis, institutions use different terminology, so it is
difficult to compare findings with anybody else.’
The poll confirmed that in-house R&E findings are used at the highest
level of management, and none of the respondents said they allocated
resources to research and evaluation in order to justify their PR
STRAW POLL RESULTS
- Half of the in-house respondents allocate resources to research and
evaluation to assist with issues management and issues monitoring.
- Nine out of ten departments use research, evaluation and analysis at
senior management and board level.
- Half of respondents use issue analysis to determine the extent to
which particular issues have been highlighted by the media.
- Eight out of ten respondents conduct message analysis to find out if
particular messages have penetrated the media.