My view, which is that there are two models to be concerned with.
The first is a transactional form of relationships (a buyer/seller - agentry – model). In this model the organisation and the public take out of the relationship a value (the buyer gets benefits the seller is rewarded for providing them).
There is the second and higher level of relationship management (explicated, among others, by the Relationship Value Model) in which, the participants in the relationship get the rewards as in the buyer/seller model and also identify added mutually accepted and understood values. This is new value i.e. the creation of wealth.
Indeed, there is no other discipline that can create value ergo... PR is the process by which value and wealth are created.
This then gives us a real and true Return On Investment (ROI) which is not about transaction but about wealth created.
This is important for Public Relations both in practice and for academia because this is really where the value of public relations is to be found. By extension PR evaluation should seek answers where and to what extent value has been created both positively and negatively.
I touched on this concept in a previous post. In that case I showed that it was not too difficult to take a subjective view of changing values but this is far too vague for our purposes.
You may imagine that I prefer a robust, granular, replicable and transparent process having watched the wriggling smoke and mirrors hype which masquerades as PR evaluation from all too many vendors and which is endorsed by institutions that should know better.
But it is not easy to create such capabilities.
This is not a single 'magic bullet' but there is a need for an over-riding concept and I think that the added value provided by public relations is a good place to start.
Picture: Magic Melodia - The world of magic, of dreams, of alternative realities echoes throughout the new complexity modes of thought. - In art maybe, but this should not be the mantra for PR evaluation. The Art of Leila Kubba Kawash