Every time before the new year, everyone is busy exploring the latest trends. Including, public relations (PR) practitioners. Nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is when they forget to evaluate the communication performance of the previous year.
As a communication professional, President Director of Kiroyan Partners Verlyana V. Hitipeuw, who was met by PR INDONESIA in Jakarta, Wednesday (15/1/2020), appealed to PR not to get caught up in the euphoria of the trend. “But, to know the growing trend it must be,” she said.
According to the woman who is intimately called Veve, before PR decides to follow the trend, it’s good to step back a little to do an evaluation. “Evaluation helps us to make the right move,” said the holder of master’s degrees from the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences and the University of Bonn, Germany.
From this evaluation, PR can diagnose the effectiveness of communication activities that have been carried out, whether successful, less successful, or even failing. And, to ensure that our strategy is still relevant, needs to be developed, or even replaced.
So, don’t rush to decide to follow the trend. Trends are not always synonymous with doing new things. “After being evaluated, the result may turn out that we only need to improve the communication activities that have been carried out so far,” she added.
To evaluate communication performance, Veve invited PR to take another look at the evaluation framework issued by the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC). Based on the AMEC method, the first step that must be taken when conducting an evaluation is to look back at the purpose of communication. Generally consists of three: increasing the level of awareness, acceptance (acceptance), and changes in attitude (action). Second, make sure the communication objectives are in line with the company’s strategic goals. “This is important. This is because the communication function does not work in a vacuum. She is an enabler for companies to achieve their strategic goals,” said the woman who is also a lecturer for the reputation management course.
Therefore, added Veve, do not be immediately satisfied and think that our communication performance is successful only by seeing the amount (quantitative). For example, consider a success just because you have done a lot of events or a lot of media coverage. The question is, back to the communication objective earlier. Do you really reach the awareness level by doing many events? Do the many articles published by the media help the company achieve its strategic goals?
It could be that because they are too busy holding events and building closeness with the media, PR has forgotten about other stakeholders. For example, relations with the government, or even with internal circles. “Remember, the contribution of PR helps the company’s objectives can be seen from two things. First, a good reputation. Second, stakeholder support,” she said while encouraging PR to carry out stakeholder mapping before starting stakeholder engagement.
No less important, do your research. “Don’t look at research from a complicated point of view. It is not necessary to always involve large numbers of respondents. Just do it first as needed,” she said. Research can be done through qualitative methods/asking directly to stakeholders, quantitative, or even desktop research (googling). The results of this research will enrich the strategies, plans and tactics that will be used by PR to achieve its objectives. Only then will we see whether this growing trend is relevant to support public relations in achieving communication and company objectives, or not. “So, our communication activities are research-based and objective-driven,” she said.
In the end, by conducting evaluations, PR can focus more on work. Because, the approach used is the sniper approach. We don’t need to spend a lot of “bullets”, effort, and great effort, but it’s effective. And most importantly, on target.
This article has been published in PR Indonesia magazine 58th Edition, issued on January 2020, page 15.
Download the clipping here.