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Communication
Audits
PR 305: Dr. Kelly Winfrey
PR Plan
• http://www.lynda.com/Marketing-Public-Relationstutorials/What-you-should-know-about-PR-beforewatching-course/186110/367411-4.html
• http://www.lynda.com/Marketing-Public-Relationstutorials/Understanding-elements-PRplan/186110/367422-4.html
Creating a PR Plan
• Step 1: Analyze the Situation
• What is the issue? (generate interest, crisis manage, etc.)
• Research to understand the situation and determine what
is feasible. (trends, surveys, etc.)
• Clarity the issue with a problem statement
• One sentences stating your goals.
• Goals should be clear and measurable
• Example: “We need to recruit 100 volunteers for our annual
“Beach Clean-up Day.” “We need to increase our
magazine’s circulation by 10% next year.”
Creating a PR Plan
• Step Two: Plan the strategy
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How do you address the issue?
What role does communication play?
Who are we trying to reach?
Who can helps us reach our target audience?
What information should be included in your message?
What information should be excluded in your message?
How do we want the audience to respond?
Creating a PR Plan
• Step Three: Implement the Plan
• Create materials
• Make sure the materials are consistent and fit the overall
theme and goals
• Cut through the clutter, get people’s attention!
Creating a PR Plan
• Step Four: Evaluate the results
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What succeeded? What failed?
Did the plan adhere to the objectives?
Did the information reach the target audience?
Was the message accepted?
Did it generate action?
Were the costs worth the benefits?
Where there any unintended consequences?
Communication
Audit
• Definition: “A comprehensive report detailing the
positive and negative aspects of an organization’s
overall communication strategy… examines the
organizations structure, hierarchy, communication
programs and products, publics, and strategic
partnerships with other organizations. It also
examines, analyzes, and assesses past communication
efforts in order to determine their effectiveness.” P. 36
Communication
Audit
• Purpose:
• To improve an organizations internal or external
communication.
• Help guide future communication campaigns by
identifying what is effective how to target audiences and
meet their needs.
Communication
Audit
• Internal Communication
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Internal= within the organization
Organizations structure and culture
Job satisfaction
Impressions of organization’s communication efforts
How effective they perceive these to be
How the believe their work helps achieve organizational
objectives
Communication
Audit
• External Communication
• External= communication from the organization to an
outside audience
• How well target audiences are reached
• Effectiveness, accuracy in targeting, relevance, coordinated
• Reviews communication products and messages
• Interviews contacts with other organizations to determine
if whether the tactics have reached the audiences.
Audit Steps
• Step One: Research the Organization and it’s
Communication
• History and background- when formed, key players,
goals, change over time.
• Organizational issues- vision, mission, goals, priorities,
environment, balance of power, employee satisfaction,
org. objectives, position in community
• Situational analysis- describes current problem or issue,
org’s interpretation of the problem, scope of the problem,
and public’s interpretation of the problem, and
competitor’s position
Audit Steps
• Step One cont.
• Describe org’s products/services- what exits, what they
believe they’re accomplishing, and what actually
accomplishing
• Implementation process- what distribution methods are
used, why it uses those methods, and how it works with
resources during implementation
• Systems and strategy- does the org believe it accomplishes
its goals, why, and how it gets feedback.
Audit Steps
• Step Two: Analysis of data
• Look for relationships- cause/effect, correlations
• Identify strengths and weaknesses
• Step Three: Evaluate and Report
• Summarize findings and conclusions
• Make recommendations
• Include scope of the work- tasks performed, types of
research, etc.
Audit Parts
• Organizational Profile
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Appendix B in The PR Style Guide
History and background of the organization
Current issues, vision, mission, goals, priorities
Products and/or services
Competitors
• What might be included in a profile of ISU?
Audit Parts
• Media Presence of the Organization
• Message quality- clarity, consistency, any discrepancies
between what the org. wants to send and what it actually
sends
• Message delivery- modes used (print, tv, mail), timeliness,
distortion, reaching target audience
• Relationship quality- employees support of messages,
open communication between org. and employees
• Audience communication- audience interpretation, is
what’s intended what’s received
Audit Parts
• Audience Profile
• What does the audience know?
• What is of interest to the audience?
• Research grounded in group analysis
• Demographics, psychographics, media habits
• Looks at how people react to the world according to their
values and lifestyles
• Uses psychology to explain behavior
Use of Audits
• Compare organization profile, media presence,
audience profile, and media habits to identify
inconsistencies or problems.
• Provide recommendations to increase the effectiveness
of the organization's communication
• Need to know what the goal is
Recommendations
• Important questions to ask when making
recommendations based on the communication audit
• What impact do you want to have on your audience
• What markets and media outlets should you use to
impact your audience
• What do you want to achieve with your campaign?
• What can your campaign offer to your audience that is
currently not being offered?
Recommendations
• Important questions to ask when making
recommendations based on the communication audit
• What messages are relevant to your audience?
• What messages will your audience be open to receiving?
• How can you interest the audience in investing time to
hear your message?
• How will you motivate your audience to action?
Recommendations
• Important questions to ask when making
recommendations based on the communication audit
• What might be attractive to your audience?
• What might repel your audience?
• What communication concerns exist with the current
campaign?
• What communication do you have about the proposed
campaign?
Assignment 1
• Your Goal: Research a client and its audience to
provide a foundation for your future research-driven
public relations efforts.
• Your Task: Choose a real world client, conduct
interviews and research into their organization,
audiences and media presence. Complete the following
four sections: Organizational Profile, Organizational
Media Presence, Audience Profile and
Recommendations.
Assignment 1
• Choose your client
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Small business
Larger business (harder to get access to interviews)
Non-profit or charity
Political candidate
Club or organization on campus
Department or school on campus
Assignment 1
• Organizational Profile: provides a detailed examination of
a particular client and their modes and goals of operation.
• Who are the important individuals within the organization?
• What is the organization and what are their goals?
• What competing organizations exist and how do they compare
with your organization?
• When did the organization begin offering its services?
• Where is the organization located and what areas does it serve?
• Why does the organization feel it is capable to reach its goals?
• How has the organization claimed to successfully serve these
goals in the past?
Assignment 1
• Audience Profile: a detailed examination of the
audience or membership that is currently using the
organization’s services, including a discussion of
specific demographics and psychographics.
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Who are the people that use the client?
What does this audience believe or care about?
When does this audience use the client?
Where does this audience get its information?
Why do these people choose this client over other clients
to fulfill their needs?
• How does the audience primarily use the client?
Assignment 1
• Organizational Media Presence: an examination of the
media channels and messages the organization currently
uses in an attempt to reach their perceived audience as well
as what others are saying about the organization in the
media.
• Who is the client targeting with their current media messages?
• What communication strategies are being employed to reach
their audience?
• When are these media messages produced and released?
• Where are the messages released (using what media channels)?
• Why are these media outlets being chosen?
• How is the organization portrayed in the mass media by
external writers (not part of the organization)?
Assignment 1
• Recommendations: analyze emerging trends and
issues associated with your organization and propose
specific recommendation.
• What are the strengths of the organization?
• What are the weaknesses of the organization?
• Which communication activities are working well toward
the achievement of the organization’s goals?
• Which communication activities are not working well or
are missing from the organization’s plan to achieve the
organization’s goals?
• What new media practices and/or messages should the
client consider to reach the perceived audience
Assignment 1
• Recommendations cont.
• What are the main threats facing the organization?
• What emerging trends or issues should the organization
take into account to help the organization expand into
new markets or circumvent existing problems?
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Is there competition for audience membership?
• What opportunities exist to strengthen audience
membership or loyalty?
• What publicity methods are available to raise awareness
of the organization or its campaigns?
Assignment 1
• Hints
• Research is key and must be cited
• Include sources in an Appendix
• Use primary sources- interview, observe, client produced
material
• Use secondary sources- media stories, trade publications,
published research
• Summarize findings- don’t just answer each question
• Final length should be 2-3 pages, single spaced 11 or 12
point font (not including appendix).
Assignment 1
• Include a brief (paragraph) introduction and
conclusion
• Organization should follow the assignment’s order
• Use headers for each section
• Draft due next Tuesday for peer review. Bring 3 hard
copies to class.
• Final draft due Thursday, Sept. 24.