PR evaluation is a black art, but online it’s a science!

As a group over the past few weeks we have been looking in detail at PR evaluation as a black art in the offline environment and it as a science in the online one.

I am starting this thread on my blog because we feel as a group that everyone can have their opinion on these two areas of evaluation. We would like to get a debate going and hopefully  gain some insight as to what you feel they are.

I personally feel that through doing this topic for our presentation tomorrow, that PR evaluation as a black art to me is defined as a piece of evaluation where the result’s are hard to gain a conclusion from. The term black art in relation to PR evaluation could be misinturpreted by people to mean propaganda but we have found through looking at extensive literature on the subjec that it is deffinatly not this. Instead i think it can been seen as a method of evaluation that has become more and more old fashioned in today’s fast pased and online media environment. There are many problems with it in my opinion though these will be/have been discussed in the presentation we give tomorrow. When it comes to looking at the online environment we are about to see a method of PR evaluation that is very different to the old/offline environment that many texts and journals have been written on. In this more scientific approach to  PR evaluation, we see a method that has meant the data that has been researched is much easier to collect and analyse. It is a much more logical approach and is not as creative and emotional as the term Art would have us see the old PR as being. It is a more pratical process that make’s the result more easy to understand than the unpredictable artistic result.

Though this is only my opinion about the topic and my group members have their own personal ideas about it.

Here is a diagram just to give you an idea about the topic : –




  1. laura610 said

    As you will hear our final interpretation of the quote today I decided to give you not an overall interpretation of it but the thoughts that came to my mind when I heard the quote ‘PR evaluation is usually a ‘black art’, on-line it’s a ‘science’ first:

    The quote indicates a lot for me: Without having a deeper insight into the topic you get the feeling that there are negative connotations connected to offline PR evaluation and good ones with onlie PR evaluation. If you take a closer look to the topic it’s nothing new that the offline PR evaluation has often been questioned as it is hard to prove the benefit of offline PR activities: The evaluation methods are limited, time-intensive, expensive and often incredible. That’s why offline PR evaluation can be called a ‘black art’.

    It’s the opposite with online PR evaluation: Using inexpensive technical tools you can easily raise a huge amount od measurable data – it’s all about numbers! That’s why online PR evaluation can be called a ‘science’.

    Nevertheless, I think there are obstacles in the online PR evaluation, too: What about bloggers, for example? Are they just a minority which makes it’s voice heard or do their opinions really represent the opinion of your whole targed group – offline AND online?

  2. nmspace said

    As a group of this member my conclusions by this presentation, are slightly different. When we are started to look for answers to the question my point of view was totally opposite than what it is now.
    I was, as enthusiastic person, quite sure that we are looking for the connotation propaganda into offline Public relations evaluation. I even insisted on that perspective in our group meetings.
    But after reading and long conversations with my fellow companions, we came up to the final form of our presentation and assumptions on if the old Public Relations evaluation is black art.
    Now after all, I have formed my opinion on the topic. I disagree that Public Relations Evaluation is black art and that is fainting through time. Web is huge and as you can not control it, you cannot evaluate it too.
    The forms of the conversations taking part into forums and blogosphere are informal. People sitting in front their computer saying their opinion, how you can trust this?
    Old Public Relations evaluation is needed to reassure that the measurements of the online communications are reliable.
    You cannot fool yourself by believing that only by web you can catch community’s trends and save yourself by all that ‘old evaluation’ work.
    In my opinion, online PR evaluation only in cooperation with offline evaluation, can give the practitioners an insight on what the community wants and tells about the effectiveness of their work.

  3. uchechi said

    It was a very confusing topic to research on because I have had no lecture on it and is quite difficult to form an opinion.

    My understanding of the terms used are; when PR evaluation is said to be a ‘black art’, the results of the activities evaluated are usually questioned because of the problems associated with it in the offline environment.

    In the online environment, the results are measurable, science is the ability to produce solutions in some problems domain. If PR evaluation is a science this is because it makes use of methods that are dependable to solve the problems faced in the offline environment.

    I do not think one is better than the other, I do believe when both are applied, they work interchangeable to produce desired results and outcomes.

  4. […] working field (if you’d like to get a deeper insight into it, why not read my fellow student Jennifer’s or Sam’s blog). Nevertheless, I think it is important to keep in mind that the exploration of […]

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