Evaluating Public Communication : Exploring New Models, Standards, and Best Practice book cover
1st Edition

Evaluating Public Communication
Exploring New Models, Standards, and Best Practice

ISBN 9781138228580
Published September 5, 2017 by Routledge
412 Pages

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Book Description

Evaluating Public Communication addresses the widely reported lack of rigorous outcome and impact-oriented evaluation in advertising; public relations; corporate, government, political and organizational communication and specialist fields, such as health communication. This transdisciplinary analysis integrates research literature from each of these fields of practice, as well as interviews, content analysis and ethnography, to identify the latest models and approaches.

Chapters feature:

• a review of 30 frameworks and models that inform processes for evaluation in communication, including the latest recommendations of industry bodies, evaluation councils and research institutes in several countries;

• recommendations for standards based on contemporary social science research and industry initiatives, such as the IPR Task Force on Standards and the Coalition for Public Relations Research Standards;

• an assessment of metrics that can inform evaluation, including digital and social media metrics, 10 informal research methods and over 30 formal research methods for evaluating public communication;

• evaluation of public communication campaigns and projects in 12 contemporary case studies.

Evaluating Public Communication provides clear guidance on theory and practice for students, researchers and professionals in PR, advertising and all fields of communication.

Table of Contents

Section 1: The Foundations of Evaluation 1. Why We Need To Critically Examine Communication 2. Program Evaluation – Key Principles, Concepts, and Theories 3. Evaluation Models in Communication 4. Research Approaches and Methodologies for Evaluation Section 2: The Practice of Evaluation 5. Metrics and Beyond 6. Research Methods to Evaluate Public Communication 7. Reporting and Using Evaluation Section 3: Case Studies in Evaluation 8. Learning from Best (And Worst) Practice – International Case Studies

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Jim Macnamara is Professor of Public Communication at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Previously CEO of a leading research company specializing in evaluation of communication, he is the author of 16 books on media and communication, including, most recently, Organizational Listening: The Missing Essential in Public Communication (2016).


This is the most comprehensive book on evaluation that has been written to date. It covers all the bases, from the latest research to evaluation frameworks and a comprehensive list of the methods and metrics that can be used – all brought to life with a series of excellent case studies. As usual, Jim Macnamara is thorough and thoughtful in his approach, and he reinforces the point that evaluation requires a rounded view and judgements to be made. There is no silver bullet, human communication is far too complicated for that.

Professor Anne Gregory, University of Huddersfield, UK