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Assessment & Benchmarking

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Social Standing
CURRENTS Article Highlights from the fifth annual CASE/Huron Education/mStoner social media survey of nearly 2,000 CASE members, conducted in January 2014

The Power of Print
CURRENTS Article Institutional magazines are expensive to produce and many colleges and universities are exploring producing an online-only product. This article explores how Virginia Tech faced this issue.

Proving Your Success
CURRENTS Article This article looks at how communications and marketing professionals are measuring the effectiveness of their work, their efforts to track outcomes and tie them to the institution's strategic goals, and the challenges of demonstrating and communicating return on investment in communications and marketing. It includes a discussion of how some communications professionals are beginning to apply the Barcelona Principles, a set of seven guidelines established in 2010 by a partnership of five major international public relations industry associations to establish unified benchmarks for PR measurement.

PR's Dirty Secret
CURRENTS Article As budgets get tighter and the "accountability" word gets tossed around more freely, campus PR shops are reminded that they need to find better ways to stay relevant. And so the age-old conversation of measurement bubbles up again. In this article, the author addresses the measurement conversation and argues that what PR/media pros do is indeed measurable. He posits that if campus PR pros are to be meaningful contributors to the strategic direction of their campuses and are to demonstrate how PR done right can impact the bottom line, they need to embrace a set of metrics. Big clip books and ad values are impressive in girth, he says, but don't help make the case that what PR pros do is either measurable or strategic. He offers advice and strategies for measuring what matters and includes examples from his campus.

Data to Benchmark By
CURRENTS Article A survey of more than 400 campus news departments reveals that many suffer from low staffing levels, outdated mailing-list technology, and a mismatch between budget priorities and mission statements.

The Accountability Game
CURRENTS Article Mahoney describes a model by which public relations officers can determine quantitative measures for evaluating PR activities. The model blends evaluation with strategic planning by measuring public relations activities against larger program goals. It follows four basic steps: 1) Identify your office's programs, components, and activities. 2) Categorize activities according to standard PR tasks. 3) Select a goal and measurement tools for evaluating each type of task. 4) Measure the activities and analyze the results. Accompanying charts show how Mahoney has applied this model at Australian National University.

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