How to Get the Most from Your Research and Evaluation Investment

It’s that time of year: 2022 planning is about to begin, if it hasn’t already. It’s the season for reevaluating objectives, reviewing investment decisions and reflecting on the New Year.

Every autumn, the dualities of research and evaluation emerge: we rely on data and analysis providers to help evaluate our year-to-date performance and depend on their data to inform communication decisions. Simultaneously, and perhaps ironically, as we look to analytics providers to inform our performance evaluation, we evaluate them as the annual renewal approaches.

So, as we seek to quantify the degree to which PR delivered a positive ROI, we must ask whether our research provider delivered a positive return on our investment in it.

Typically, the initial decision to engage an outside measurement provider is difficult. The communicator should ask:

What is our objective for research and evaluation? What’s the balance between proving value and improving performance?
What measures communicate PR performance to our clients (internal and external)?
Do we want a lower cost, do-it-yourself (DIY) SaaS solution or a higher cost provider to do research for us?
If we prefer DIY, do we have the in-house talent and bandwidth to manage a platform? Do we need to hire a data-minded systems operator?

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