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An Introduction to PR Audits (Part 2)

An Introduction to PR Audits (Part 2)
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A public relations audit is a complete assessment of a business’s capacity to transmit, receive, and exchange information with various audiences within the organization as well as significant constituencies outside the organization, such as consumers and investors. An audit can be undertaken to assess the efficacy of an organization’s external or internal communication. A communication audit identifies the strengths and weaknesses between management and employees, customers, and other groups such as investors, the news media, and regulators and legislative bodies, with the goal of improving future communications by developing a strategic plan, making a series of recommendations, and determining where gaps must be bridged.

So, let’s have a quick recap of the last article.


“Potential Communications Audit Methods

Potential Communications Audit Methods

Whether the audit is done internally or externally, a consistent set of processes may be used to obtain the data needed to make process assessments.


Interviews, which are arguably the most common audit technique, assist the person doing the audit in gaining a better knowledge of communications-related work processes. Through interviews, respondents may provide a rich qualitative impression of how processes are carried out and how the organization manages communications. Interviews with the organization’s external stakeholders or target audiences can also be conducted.


The second most prevalent audit approach is surveys or questionnaires. They may be given to all employees in a short period of time and enable for answer uniformity and comparison.

Critical Incident Analysis

Staff is asked to identify particular effective and ineffective communication experiences in an interview or questionnaire. The goal is to collect instances of memorable encounters from employees in order to “see” how communications practices are executed within situational situations.

Network Analysis

In recent years, network analysis has grown in prominence as a tool for investigating information flow, or the routes and linkages through which information is shared. It inquires as to with whom persons communicate and for what reason. It exposes an organization’s communication structure, which may differ dramatically from its organizational structure.  It also indicates where bottlenecks are happening as well as potential paths that are yet unexplored.”

Now, back with the list…

Participant Observation

The individual conducting the audit participate in organizational activities involving communications in order to see how and when practices are performed.

Document Review

Communications documents (e.g., publications, campaign materials, news releases, etc.) are assessed to evaluate material generation and targeting as a communications technique.

Focus Groups

In a moderated conversation, groups of five to fifteen individuals reply to open-ended questions concerning communication methods and organizational capabilities. Their primary advantage is the group interaction that occurs as players respond to and build on one another’s comments.

PR Audit Process

PR Audit Process

  • Planning
  • Audit
  • Analysis
  • Reporting


  1. Planning

All stakeholders and decision-makers in your company’s communications strategy are identified during the planning stage of your communications audit, and a plan for communicating with workers, customers, and media throughout the audit is written.

  1. Identify audit areas: internal, external, brand, web site, and so on.


  1. Methods of research: personal interviews, focus groups, internet or phone polls, media coverage analysis


  1. Newsletters, advertising, brochures, collateral, business cards, letterhead, and press releases are examples of previous communications.


  1. Audit


Surveys, interviews, focus groups, network analysis, content analysis, technology evaluation, critical event analysis, and document analysis are all used to acquire information about your present communication strategy.


  1. Examine previous communications


  1. Inquire with your stakeholders


  1. Inquire about your staff/volunteers/board.


  1. Examine the media coverage


  1. Perform a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)


  1. Analysis


Review findings, score and evaluate feedback, develop an objective viewpoint of your organization.


  1. Reporting


To maximize your organization’s communications strategy, a formal document is prepared and presented, along with professional advice.



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