Are you able to draw home the point to the end consumer? Was your communication able to get you a place in the plethora of already existent products and services? This is where communication evaluation becomes extremely important.
Simply put, Communication Evaluation helps in determining whether it was able to meet the set objectives or not. When you evaluate the communication plan and strategy to evaluate its effectiveness, first identify what needs to be evaluated in the entire communication strategy. You can either look at it in totality or select the components that are crucial to its success. You can also choose a tactic that might have been introduced for the first time and evaluate it. Communication evaluation can be both internal and external or just one of them, based on exactly what is the main aim for it.
The most important aspect of communication evaluation is to understand when to evaluate your communication and what to evaluate about your communication.
You can keep in mind the following to assess the merits of a communication strategy:
- Was the communication minimalist? It means, was it short and to the point to achieve its goals?
- Was it easy to monitor and share?
- Did it meet the requirements of the funders, local media and target audience?
- The area where the biggest communication investments have been made.
Communication Evaluation helps in adjusting the communication goals and communication strategy. To get the maximum benefit out of the communication evaluation, it is crucial to keep the evaluation focused.
So how do you evaluate the effectiveness of a given communication and improve upon it?
It can be done in the following ways:
- Either in a formal or informal manner, ask your target audience, stakeholders, funders and potential funders for their reactions and suggestions.
- Track any completed communication and its results.
- Look for any solicited/unsolicited feedback from any of the stakeholders
- Track if there are any potentially new customers or stakeholders influenced by your communication, if they were not a part of the planning earlier.
Evaluation must be as vigorous as possible. The broader the scope of the evaluation, the more time and financial resources will be required. If there are constraints, then keep the evaluation targeted and focused.
Based on the findings after the evaluation is done, the lessons learnt have to be applied to improve and better the communication strategy.