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The State of the Art in PR Evaluation

Stensson, Hanna LU (2017) SKPM08 20171
Department of Strategic Communication
Abstract
As the boundaries between different communication disciplines blur, PR experts
are forced to operate in increasingly competitive business environments. They are
pressured to prove the usefulness of their activities in measurable terms.

Evaluation techniques are key to this challenge as they have the potential to win over organisational decision makers and to help steer communication programmes effectively.

By using qualitative interviews, this master thesis aims at understanding the
state of the art in PR evaluation in Sweden. State of the art, in this case, is defined as the current level of development reached through existing methods. This research wants to contribute to the debate around the role of evaluation in PR by adding... (More)
As the boundaries between different communication disciplines blur, PR experts
are forced to operate in increasingly competitive business environments. They are
pressured to prove the usefulness of their activities in measurable terms.

Evaluation techniques are key to this challenge as they have the potential to win over organisational decision makers and to help steer communication programmes effectively.

By using qualitative interviews, this master thesis aims at understanding the
state of the art in PR evaluation in Sweden. State of the art, in this case, is defined as the current level of development reached through existing methods. This research wants to contribute to the debate around the role of evaluation in PR by adding an understanding of what consultants believe influence their practices.

The study’s results suggest that PR consultants perform evaluation measures
merely to the degree the client demands, although this often involves very basic
research methods. The findings also draw attention to a gap between theoretical
best practises in PR evaluation and their actual implementation. The results moreover show possible pathways of influence responsible for this discrepancy. For instance, we see that consultants might be shaped by the state of PR (such as its poor reputation), the client’s organisational culture, and her/his own personality. Overall, the findings implicate that PR agencies create a loop of pressure among each other by using unreliable evaluation methods. These combined influences should be validated in future research. For future studies, it is important to note that the thesis has been limited to agency settings. Therefore, it would be of value to include practitioner experiences in other environments. (Less)
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author
Stensson, Hanna LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Exploring the industry’s deadlock through the experiences of Swedish PR consultants
course
SKPM08 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Public relations, Evaluation, Value, Agency settings, Consulting, Professionalisation, Practitioner perspective, Sweden
language
English
id
8926004
date added to LUP
2018-01-10 09:05:53
date last changed
2018-01-10 09:05:53
@misc{8926004,
  abstract     = {As the boundaries between different communication disciplines blur, PR experts
are forced to operate in increasingly competitive business environments. They are
pressured to prove the usefulness of their activities in measurable terms.
 
Evaluation techniques are key to this challenge as they have the potential to win over organisational decision makers and to help steer communication programmes effectively.

By using qualitative interviews, this master thesis aims at understanding the
state of the art in PR evaluation in Sweden. State of the art, in this case, is defined as the current level of development reached through existing methods. This research wants to contribute to the debate around the role of evaluation in PR by adding an understanding of what consultants believe influence their practices.

The study’s results suggest that PR consultants perform evaluation measures
merely to the degree the client demands, although this often involves very basic
research methods. The findings also draw attention to a gap between theoretical
best practises in PR evaluation and their actual implementation. The results moreover show possible pathways of influence responsible for this discrepancy. For instance, we see that consultants might be shaped by the state of PR (such as its poor reputation), the client’s organisational culture, and her/his own personality. Overall, the findings implicate that PR agencies create a loop of pressure among each other by using unreliable evaluation methods. These combined influences should be validated in future research. For future studies, it is important to note that the thesis has been limited to agency settings. Therefore, it would be of value to include practitioner experiences in other environments.},
  author       = {Stensson, Hanna},
  keyword      = {Public relations,Evaluation,Value,Agency settings,Consulting,Professionalisation,Practitioner perspective,Sweden},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The State of the Art in PR Evaluation},
  year         = {2017},
}