Trying to influence thinkings? Then take soundings.
The week's Francis report into the Mid Staffs hospitals scandal stressed the importance of communication. The report itself needed to be communicated in a way that was sympathetic to patients' families, the wider public and other stakeholders and reactions are being analysed in minute detail in all media channels, online most of all.
Evaluate to communicate is today's PR tip. Monitoring coverage is not the only way to evaluate a PR campaign - the NHS is (we hope) monitoring a change in patients' attitudes and confidence levels.
Establish your aims by asking yourself this: what do you want to achieve with PR? Is it more enquiries or more faith in your brand or enterprise? The latter? Then you'll want to influence people's thinking.
But this takes time and a lot of monitoring. Are you constantly evaluating the impact your campaign is having? Have you gained online fans and followers through social media channels? How are the Twitterati and blogosphere talking about you? What's their tone of voice this week, compared to the last? What do you need to change?
Ongoing evaluation of campaign yields better campaigns and better communications.