Often one looks to a blog to provide constructive criticism on a particular topic, perhaps in response to a contribution that someone else has made to the discourse on that topic. But once in a while something comes along that’s as uncritiquable (is that even a word?) as a Ferrari. What’s to complain about when it’s that good. No cup holder? Well the same is true of an excellent article that the Public Relations Journal has just published, Penned by measurement mavens David Michaelson and Sandra Macleod both of Echo Research, it’s called “The Application of ‘Best Practices’ in Public Relations Measurement and Evaluation Systems.” While there’s nothing earth shatteringly new here, it is encouraging to see best practices laid out so clearly and succinctly. And while this may be old hat to some in the measurement world (at least in theory if not always in practice), it is a MUST READ for the general practitioner and practitioners-to-be.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So, sans critique, I offer up a summary of the nine best practices the authors propose below (I’d provide a link to the article were I not fearful of copywright laws):
In two main categories: 1) methods and proceedures and 2) quality and substance of findings.
Methods & Proceedures:
1. Setting clear and well-defined research objectives
2. Applying rigorous research design that meets the highest standards of research methods and ensures reliable research results
3. Providing details supporting documentation with full transparency.
Quality & Substance of Research Findings
4. Designing the research to demonstrate the effectiveness of public relations activities
5. Linking PR outputs to outcomes
6. Using findings to aid in the development of better communications programs
7. Demonstrating an impact on business outcomes
8. Being cost effective
9. Having applicability to a broad range of PR activities