Measurement and Evaluation

An Introduction to Research, Measurement and Evaluation

PR measurement and evaluation is not just theory - it is an essential component of good practice that every organisation should expect as part of public relations and communications management provision.

Video credit: Catherine Arrow, PR Knowledge Hub

Every organisation - commercial, not-for-profit, public sector or charity - has outcomes that need to be achieved and every organisation has relationships to build, which is where public relations contributes to organisational success.

Public relations is concerned with building and sustaining the relationships we need in order to maintain our 'license to operate' and the evaluation of that task incorporates far more than mainstream media measurement or a simple 'counting house' approach.

Organisations expect evaluation that acts as a guide to good strategy and execution. That means looking at the whole picture.

There is no 'one size fits all' template. While the process of measurement and evaluation itself is agreed as important worldwide, there is no template for measurement and evaluation. Each organisation has its own outcomes, its own expectations of value and a unique set of opportunities and restrictions. By following the process, concentrating on outcomes and measurable objectives, a research, measurement and evaluation process can be created that provides insight, clarity and focus for public relations and communications programmes.

What are Objectives?

Creating the loop

The Point of Outputs

Barcelona Principles 2.0

Reporting to leadership:

1.Robust measurement and evaluation informs strategy, provides direction and ultimately improves effectiveness

2.Resourcing measurement and evaluation will save money in the long term as programmes will have a clear focus

3.You wouldn't leave your financial reporting to chance - why leave your communications reporting?

4.Establishing an evaluation process frequently helps determine business outcomes as well as PR and communication outcomes

5.Evaluation provides insight into the organisation's effectiveness, relationships and reputation

Your practice:

1.Measurement and evaluation proves the value of your work

2.Measurement and evaluation helps you make the most of scarce or limited resources

3.Measurement and evaluation tells you what works - and what doesn't

4.Continuous evaluation allows for accurate navigation and allows the team to keep all activity on course

5.Research, measurement and evaluation tells you where you are going, how you'll get there and when you've arrived.


'The number 1 reason why PR gets no respect - stupid metrics' - Katie Delahaye Paine, aka The Measurement Queen (@queenofmetrics)

PRIA Measurement and Evaluation Framework

Robust and valid research, SMART communication objectives, evidence-based strategy and ongoing measurement and evaluation are fundamental to the public relations industry moving forward in maturity and credibility.

The PRIA Measurement and Evaluation Framework published in 2017 contains four elements: Model, Implementation Matrix, set of Guidelines, as well as integrating into the International Association of Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) Online Tool. 

The Framework discusses 17 guidelines, including: 

  • Setting SMART communication objectives that support organisational objectives
  • Establishing baseline data
  • Undertaking or commissioning formative, process and summative/evaluative research
  • Utilising measurement tools and techniques to track, monitor, assess, analyse and refine communication activities
  • Considering the context of communication including the impacts of the campaign on and by stakeholders, publics and society
  • Applying evaluation against objectives progressively throughout and at the conclusion of a campaign.

The PRIA Model for Measurement and Evaluation of Public Relations provides a diagrammatic overview of how the concepts can be applied, from programme development and day-to-day public relations practice to analysis and reporting.

As a consequence, the Framework also highlights the need for practitioners to make the business case for investment in research, measurement and evaluation of communication, and to embed this into public relations budgets.

Read more


View presentation by PRConf14 speaker Michael Ziviani, CEO at Precise Value on:
'Showing the business value of PR - How to approach media evaluation to achieve the latest International best practice'.

Measurement and Evaluation Webinars

Measurement Matters - 24 August 2017

Presenter: Catherine Arrow, FPRINZ, PR Knowledge Hub Ltd

Measurement Matters slides

Relevant PRINZ Courses

Strategy and Evaluation for PR and Communication

Effective public relations and communication strategy supports your organisational outcomes, is feasible and can be resourced. As organisations grow in size, communication often becomes a mix of tactics, with channels full of information that hinders rather than helps. Without a clear strategy, your time and resources are wasted and the value of your work will be missed. 

In this session, you will learn how to develop a clear strategy, tied to business outcomes that delivers results. You will be encouraged to develop your own strategy for a campaign or programme as the session progresses.

View PRINZ calendar for dates and locations or email us to find out more.