Monthly Archives: December 2014

EVALUATE YOUR CAMPAIGN WITH THE NEW ‘INTRO’ ON OUR WEBSITE

Visit our website and you’ll find the latest in our new series of intros, this time focusing on evaluation.

Evaluation is a really important part of a campaign because you need to know whether it was successful and whether it achieved its aims. It’s not just so you can justify your salary to your director or chief executive. If you’re in a third sector organisation you need to demonstrate the value of what you do to trustees, donors, volunteers, stakeholders and more. You also need to determine the success of your campaign for your future strategy. PR doesn’t stand alone but feeds into every part of your organisation.

Like so many aspects of public relations, evaluation has changed and there are new methods to demonstrate a campaign’s success. It used to be the size of your cuttings book that mattered. A weighty tome with hundreds of pages was, and still is, an impressive document to drop on to the Board’s desk, especially when your cover page boasted an advertising equivalent that was six times what the campaign cost to run.

But now the industry has recognised the need to analyse the content of that coverage – its tone of voice, if it contains key messages, a logo or a web link. ‘Opportunities to see’ is a key calculation as it assesses the number of times someone might come across your message. It can mean a feature in a local weekly paper has as much value as a NIB on page 12 of the Daily Express.

Digital and social media have also added new dimensions to campaign evaluation. It’s tempting to be dazzled by figures and celebrate 1,000 ‘likes’ or 400 new Twitter followers, but as our intro will show you, the real value is in impact and outcomes. Did you set out to get 400 new followers? Or did you want 400 new callers to your helpline?

These are questions you should be asking yourself at the beginning of a campaign. In order to know where you’ve ended up you need to know where you started from. And if you’ve kept an eye on things on the ‘journey’ (sorry, went a bit reality TV show there for a minute) then you’ve made changes where you’ve needed to, and achieved your goals.

We’re always interested to hear from you. If there is an intro you’d like from us then let us know.

#GivingTuesday is the antidote to Christmas spending but will it become an annual event?

It’s been quite a weekend. First there was Black Friday (maybe it should be re-named Black-Eye Friday given the bun fight on the high street) and then there was Cyber Monday. If you’d any money left then the latest addition to the seasonal calendar was #GivingTuesday.

Originating in America, #GivingTuesday is an international fundraising day dedicated to giving back. There are no instructions, no list of designated charities and no fundraising guide. It’s up to individuals to decide how they want to give.

That’s one of the reasons it’s likely to be an enduring success. As Cheryl Chapman, the director of City Philanthropy, points out in her piece for Guardian Society because the idea is your own, and it can be different each year, #GivingTuesday is a constantly changing event so participation is more likely to be repeated year on year.

Its timing is also good as December is the time for spending money and people are more inclined to donate now than in January when the bills come in and we don’t feel as flush.

The challenge for charities is to attract fundraisers towards their cause, or to prompt existing supporters to raise money. As a campaign rooted in social media the ideas need to be ones that travel, that are shared amongst friends, passed on and hopefully reach new audiences, while containing the ask that generates donations. One thing is certain in the run up to Christmas: it needs to be simple and fun – no-one wants to think too hard or have their Christmas spirit dampened!

#GivingTuesday didn’t receive even a small proportion of the column inches dedicated to the weekend’s frenzied shopping so It will be interesting to see how it develops, and to see if it’s something we’ll be doing every year from now on.