A Post-Modern Tale on Evaluation

September 21, 2006 at 6:05 pm 1 comment

A tale of an organisation concerned with “perception”: Due to some negative press, the organisation was convinced that this was causing a drop in their reputation and affecting their relationship with key government and political stakeholders. Consequently the organisation was pushing to re-orientate their communication activities to lobbying and campaigning activities aimed at government and political circles.

But before going ahead, the organisation did have some input from others (no, not me – but a “good friend”) who suggested evaluating the perception of the organisation amongst stakeholders. A methodology was drawn up and a survey conducted of the major stakeholders. Lo and behold, the organisation was shocked upon seeing the findings. The results showed that government officials and politicians actually had a very good perception of the organisation. But that other important target groups, notably key partners and staff had a negative perception of the organisation. So now the organisation is re-re-orientating activities towards staff and partners.

This simple but true tale illustrates two points that I consider important for image and evaluation:

1) Your view of how your organisation is perceived is probably false. Your stakeholders do not necessarily have access nor are influenced by the same media as you are.

2) The only way to determine how stakeholders perceive your organisations is by asking them. Don’t base your ideas on “feelings” or what the media are reporting. Go to the source.

And like all tales, it has a moral: Our intuition can often be wrong. We base our decisions on biased information formed by our own “world view”. An objective evaluation can be a solution and can alter, sometimes radically, what we thought of as the “truth”.


Entry filed under: Communication evaluation, PR evaluation.

New Methodologies in Evaluation The “Before” Aspect of evaluation

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Alex  |  April 23, 2007 at 12:13 am

    Thank You


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