Theory and exhortation about planning, research and evaluation (PRE) in PR still outweighs best practice. The tools exist to enable PRE to be used as a means of demonstrating PR effectiveness. Yet research continues to demonstrate that PR is either not validated or the methodologies used are considered suspect. Behind the lack of PRE usage are weaknesses in PR training and reluctance to do the obvious, such as tap into existing sources of research. While it is important to prove the effectiveness of PR through PRE, there is a bigger prize: to demonstrate the strategic role that PR can play in organisations and to raise the standing of PR. With growing recessionary pressure and the threat of competition from other service providers such as management consultants, the PR profession should seize on PRE as a means of putting PR on to a higher plane.
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