A call for reconfiguring evaluation models, pedagogy, and practice: Beyond reporting media-centric outputs and fake impact scores

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Public Relations Review, 2023, 49, (2), pp. 1-8
Issue Date:
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Evaluation is an essential part of strategic communication practices including public relations and corporate, government, and organizational communication. Evaluation can potentially demonstrate effectiveness and value, facilitate learning to improve practice, and provide insights to inform future strategy. In the age of digitalization of media and information, there are more readily available data to enable evaluation than ever before. However, despite half a century of theorizing and discussing measurement and evaluation (M&E), literature reports “stasis” and a “deadlock” well into the 21st century In some cases, invalid practices such as advertising value equivalents (AVEs) continue to be used. Furthermore, when M&E collectively is part of communication practice, evidence shows that reports continue to focus on outputs and algorithm-generated fake impact scores, rather than genuine outcomes and impact. Despite the body of literature on M&E, it is clear that more needs to be said – and done. This discussion calls for reconfiguring common evaluation models to overcome false logics and for a reconfiguring and broadening of pedagogy and practice to break the deadlock and realize the benefits of evaluation.
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