AN ANALYSIS OF MEASUREMENT TOOLS USED IN EVALUATING PUBLIC RELATIONS CAMPAIGNS BY PUBLIC RELATIONS CONSULTANCIES IN KENYA

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ABSTRACT
The general objective of this study was to analyse the measurement tools used in evaluating PR campaigns by consultancies in Kenya. The study was guided by three specific objectives: to establish the tools used to evaluate PR campaigns by PR consultancies in Kenya; establish why some tools are preferred in evaluating PR campaigns by PR consultancies in Kenya and investigate the effect of evaluation tools on PR practice among PR consultancies in Kenya. The study adopted a descriptive research design. It used both qualitative and quantitative approaches to research. It was conducted in Nairobi County. The target population of the study are PR practitioners among the 64 Public Relations Society of Kenya registered firms which have a minimum of five employees which gives the target population as 320 respondents. The study used Fisher’s sample size model to establish the sample size to 174 respondents. The researcher used convenience sampling to administer the questionnaire. A pilot test was conducted to establish the reliability of the instrument and Cronbach’s alpha in SPSS was used to establish the reliability of the likert scale items in the instrument. The researcher analysed 97 questionnaires. The data was analysed using descriptive statistics which included percentages, frequencies, means and standard deviation. The qualitative data was anlysed according to themes which were derived from the research objectives. The findings show that evaluation is practised in PR consultancies and perceived to be important by PR practitioners. The researcher found that the most popular PR measurement tools were media coverage and media content analysis. Client satisfaction was the most cited motivator for selecting PR measurement tools. This was followed by the availability of PR measurement tools’ availability. Majority of respondents agreed that use of PR measurement tools had an effect on PR practice. The findings revealed that there was an overeliance on events to create a buzz for products and brands in PR practice in Kenya. The study therefore concluded that PR practitioners and PR consultancies in Kenya were mostly using media content analysis and advertising value equivalent which the literature shows have been seen as ineffective measures of a PR campaigns; that clients’ satisfaction and requirements influenced use of PR measurement tools among PR practitioners and that overeliance on select PR measurement tools by PR consultancies in Kenya have affected the PR practice through reduction of PR budgets and a general inability of PR practitioners to be accountable for their PR campaigns and activities to their clients. The study recommends that there is need for training, education and awareness on PR measurement among top management in organisations and PR consultancy clients to understand and comprehend the significance of PR measurement. This training and awareness can be created by bodies representing the interests of Kenya’s PR industry such as Public Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK) and the Association of Public Relations and Communication Management Firms (APReCom).This training will enable top management to demand more effective means of measuring PR campaigns. That PRSK or APReCom should come up with a framework that proposes PR measurement standards in the sector.

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