Saturday, August 20, 2005

Evaluating Relationships

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations has taken an interest in PR Evaluation for a long time and its latest policy document and makes the point that measurement and evaluation are problematic in all areas of management. The CIPR document includes evaluation contribution to management, leadership and organisational performance (to business or organisational success, to better decision-making enabling the organisation to capitalise on opportunities or to avoid mistakes, and to the creation of value) and as a practice with a contribution to make to social and economic development.

It recommends the European Case Clearing House ,case collection accessible through maintained by the Aspen Institute in the US, and the resources available at the Institute for PR. The latter being a notable source for all prtactitioners.

The critical research methodologies proposed by CIPR are about creation of value and focus on financial value or measures of activity outcomes which, as we all know, are but a metaphors for real values and thus only partially helpful in the field of relationship management. When considering the principle value of organisations, which are the intangible assets and values (not my conclusin but that of Baruch Lev at the Stern School), we have to move beyond financial measures and look at a wide range of values. Here the CIPR does not offer a great deal of help nor do the references it suggests (even IfPR but it does get closer).

This means that there is a need for wider and deeper search into the literature to help the practitioner identify relevant measures. It is not a case of counting clips but much much more. In providing a proof for the Relationship Value Model, some methodologies have become available but a wider range of tried and tested methodologies are needed.