Due to the importance of this function it is no longer acceptable for companies not to evaluate the effectiveness of its public relations efforts. The purpose of this paper is to discuss and analyze evaluation of public relations in the corporate world.
The public relations of a company are divided into five primary functions. The five functions of public relations are: press relations, product publicity, lobbying, counseling, and corporate communication (Kotler). Public companies spend millions of dollars each year on public relations. A manager is supposed to evaluate the performance of the company and optimize the utilization of the resources of a firm. When a manager is faced with an investment decision for a new project the professional evaluates the viability of the project utilizing qualitative and quantitative techniques such as return on investment, payback period, and net present value. After the project is selected the manager monitors the performance of the project throughout its lifetime. If this is done for production project it seems absurd that the marketing profession is not placing any importance in evaluating a business function that represents a significant expense and utilization of company resources. According to McNamara (2006) the three primary reasons companies are not performing evaluation of public relations are lack of budget, lack of time, and lack of managerial demand.
In the marketing profession there is a debate on what should be generally accepted ways to evaluate the effectiveness of public relations towards the results of a company. This debate seems a bit unfair because public relation is not an exact science. I don’t believe that public relation needs to have a framework such as other business disciplines have established. The accounting profession depends on the generally accepted accounting principles for accounting information to be consistent and