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Conducting a Communication Audit

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A communication audit might seem like an outdated tool, but any public relations practitioner who does not know how to conduct one is missing a key part of the evaluation component of PR planning.

(Part of a series of slides on PR panning by Prof. Parsons)

Publicado en: Empresariales
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Conducting a Communication Audit

  1. 1. The Communication Audit A public relations research tool
  2. 2. The Communication Audit A definition  …an evaluation of the entire communication activity of an organization to determine whether or not every primary and secondary public is receiving appropriate and intended messages…
  3. 3. Why do a communication audit? For all the reasons that we do PR research & specifically..  To establish communication / public relations goals  To evaluate long-term programs  To identify strengths & weaknesses  To indicate areas for further consideration
  4. 4. The Scope of an Audit You determine the extent of the audit  An audit can examine the entire communication function of an organization or be confined to auditing the effectiveness of communication with one public. – For example, you might audit only internal communication
  5. 5. How to Do the Audit Analysis of communication outputs  Analyze all communication outputs – Newsletters, web sites, Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, internal memos, presentations, videos, brochures, annual reports, media releases etc. – Examine the format, tone, style, message, public targeted, quality, distribution, and/or update schedule (method, frequency)
  6. 6. How to Do the Audit Feedback from publics  Informal interviews with front-line employees  Formal interviews with middle and upper management  Informal interviews with representatives of external publics – Community/opinion leaders, media gatekeepers, industry professionals  Informal online feedback from various publics through various channels – Twitter chats or polls – Facebook polls etc.
  7. 7. Organizing Your Data Data organization is critical Use a Data Table See data table model in A Manager’s Guide to PR Projects: A Practical Approach
  8. 8. Preparing the Audit Report Data presentation & analysis  Section 1 – Explanation of the organization’s mission & background  Section 2 – Scope of the audit, rationale & methodology  Section 3 – Description of the publics
  9. 9. Preparing the Audit Report …continued  Section 4 – Analysis of each communication tool – Quality? Appropriateness for public? Meet a specific communication need? “fit” with the organization? Accurate & consistent in message?  Section 5 – Analysis of interviews  Section 6 – Balance sheet of communication strengths & weaknesses; recommendations
  10. 10. A completed audit provides a starting point for planning …the balance sheet of strengths and weaknesses provides a strategic way to determine the problems and opportunities.