Evaluation of communications activity tends to centre on external reach and impact, measuring basics like awareness, and ideally outcome related metrics like shifts in opinion of target audiences as well as genuine impact on communications, policy and business objectives.
A further useful form of evaluation which we often neglect is internal, revolving around questions like:
- What should we actually be evaluating from an internal perspective?
- What constitutes best practice (and poor practice?)
- How are we performing?
The (hopefully visible) table below lists five core components of digital public affairs along with a short description of what constitutes basic, good and great for each, which I’ve used as a benchmark to assess activity.
I’ve arguably been conservative: some public affairs and communications professionals will likely think that some items in good or great should be considered basic in 2016. Perhaps, but I’d argue that given the cultures inherent in most public affairs functions – technical/legalistic and government-relations centric, and operated by policy wonks rather than marketing-communications professionals – I think it’s realistic. Happy to hear thoughts, as ever.