Measuring PR effectiveness is as complex as measuring management effectiveness. Nevertheless, it is self-evident that such measurement is necessary, as clients are interested and often required to confirm the rationality of their PR budgets.
Research into the effectiveness of PR belongs to the field of evaluation, which offers methodologies that examine program activities using the standard model of general systems analysis. That is, one examines the separate components of a PR program: input-transformation-output.
In the opinion of the Commission on PR Measurement and Evaluation of the Institute for Public Relations (United States) there is no one, simple, all-encompassing technique that can be relied on to measure and evaluate PR effectiveness. The Commission's "Guidelines for Measuring the Effectiveness of PR Programs and Activities" recommend using one or more of the following methods: * content analysis; * analysis of internet publications; * research on the effectiveness of trade show and other corporate events; * research using experimental design and quasi-experimental design and their methods in the form of surveys and polling, focus groups, role playing and so on.
The process recommended by the Commission on PR Measurement for evaluating a PR program has five parts:
1. Setting Specific Measurable PR Goals and Objectives;
2. Measuring PR Outputs (short-term results, for example, media reporting on an event);ysis
3. Measuring PR Outtakes (target group awareness after the