MKT 6A3 – Public Relations
Deadline: Friday 4th December by 2359h via Blackboard
Format: Individual report
The aim of this assignment is to test the conceptual knowledge developed throughout the module. The assignment consists of two parts; a portfolio and a report. The portfolio needs to consist of an analysis of media coverage of the student’s chosen company. Analysing media coverage is the most traditional method to measure the results of public relations activities, as clippings can indicate the audience’s potential exposure to the message. This assignment tests students’ practical skills at evaluation, using their theoretical knowledge to offer credible comment on a hot industry topic.
This assignment is comprised of two parts (although submitted as one assignment):
A) Practical – Portfolio
You will complete a media analysis exercise based on 10 editorial clippings about one company of your own choice. These 10 clippings need to be from a selection of media e.g. press cuttings / websites / broadcast clips / social networks. Advertisements must not be used.
This media analysis, for each clipping i.e. 10 in total, should be presented in bullet points (as it will not contribute to your word count) and should include:
1. Placement: Where in the publication or broadcast it was found: on the front page of the paper or inside; as the lead story on the evening news or an item stuck between sports and weather etc. Also include prominence: e.g. did it have a photo for extra impact?
2. Audience reach: Circulation of the newspaper, size of the television or radio audience or amount of online page impressions
3. Context: News story, feature, investigative piece, editorial, column, a letter to the editor or social media response
4. Content: Inclusion of key messages. It is not enough to simply count the number of times a company, product or issue is mentioned. Look for key messages, such as product attributes (low price, reliability, environmentally safe, physically safe, easy to use, etc) or company attributes (environmental responsibility, good labour relations, good community citizen and so on). Messages can be contained in the news story or in quotes provided by customers, stock analysts or other observers/ stakeholders
5. Tone: Positive, negative or neutral
6. Stakeholders: Whose viewpoint is included in the article e.g. a key influencer through twitter or a blog / a corporate investor through a financial news story / a customer through a Facebook comment. At least three or four different viewpoints should be identified within the complete portfolio i.e. not for each individual clipping.
Choose a company that has been in the headlines post January 2014. You may find that you are able to have a more thorough analysis of a company that has experienced some form of negative press/crisis. This would enable you to recommend suggestions for improvement.
Do not rush with choosing the company. Pay attention to what is new, interesting and making headlines. Some sectors and within them certain companies always get more coverage than others (Starbucks, Apple, BA, Tiffany’s, Barclays, BP and so on). Alternatively, some companies offer so much scope in media terms that students have decided to follow one issue that a particular company is facing e.g. BP and the Gulf of Mexico crisis, Primark and ethical trading, Starbucks and UK tax evasion etc
Companies that have been used previously include Harrods, The Body Shop, Adidas, Monster, Burberry, Nike and Starbucks.
B) Report – Analysis of clippings
The aim of the report is to discuss the importance of evaluating campaigns and evaluate the success of the chosen campaign via the clippings in the portfolio. Using theory, students should showcase their understanding of key PR concepts including planning, communication models and evaluation within a 1,500 word report (+/- 5%). Credible comment should be provided on the importance of campaign evaluation. The report should be structured as follows:
Executive summary: Usually one or two paragraphs which summarises the report aims, literature review, overview of the results of the evaluation and conclusion (not included in word count)
Background: This introduces your reader to the company, its sector and where appropriate, a particular topic for analysis (two paragraphs maximum). Also included should be a brief overview of any key issues that are affecting the sector e.g. financial crisis in banking, tourism and the environment, etc. (not included in word count)
Literature review: An overview of key theories surrounding PR campaign models, media analysis and evaluation
Analysis of clippings: Analysing the prominence and success of the clippings. This section should particularly focus on if anything should be changed in the future to change negative messages into positives, or how to target audiences more effectively. Students should refer to specific clippings during their analysis (i.e. Clipping 1 shows that…)
Conclusion: Highlight the content of the report and what has been learnt from evaluating the campaign. Is there anything that could be done differently next time to ensure more positive/wide spread media coverage?
References: Using Harvard Referencing System
Appendices: Part A – Portfolio
Assignment 2 Feedback Form
Module Code: MKT 6A3 Module Title: Public Relations
Assignment: Campaign evaluation
Criteria and Weighting % Comments
Assignment Parameters (10%)
• Portfolio: Minimum of 10 clippings evidenced and presented appropriately to medium
• Report follows the formal report layout and is within 10% +/- of stated word count
• Evidence of a varied selection of media stories, mediums and clippings to support the selected topic
• Understanding of the characteristics of each selected clipping through an analysis of placement, impressions, audience reach, tone, length
• 40%: Through academic reference clearly evidences understanding of key PR concepts connected with:
o planning and monitoring
o targeting and message setting
o corporate reputation including perceptive interpretation on messages found
o stakeholders and PR publics theory
• 20%: Provides detailed and critical commentary on the issue of evaluation making reference to current industry viewpoints
• 20%: Analysis of clippings
• 20%: Conclusion
Percentage Mark: NB All marks are provisional until confirmed