Chris Smith, Greater Fort Worth PRSA President
Evaluation, often the most overlooked part of the strategic communications process, asks the big questions:
• What worked?
• What didn’t work?
• How can we improve next time?
Of course, evaluation can be applied to much more than one public relations program. How about your current job: What’s working, what isn’t? Is there room for improvement? Apply that as well to your career: What worked well for you in the past year or decade? What have you learned from that didn’t work? How can you improve your current situation?
Here’s what I know about the Worthy Awards program. It worked well the first year, it worked even better the second year, and when our committee meets soon to document opportunities for improvement, I have no doubt next year’s committee will exceed expectations once again.
Admittedly, there were hiccups along the way – as there are with planning any kind of event. Already, for example, some committee members are suggesting ways of formalizing the process, now that we have two successful years under our belts. However, we learn from these hiccups and frankly, given feedback since this program began two years ago, we’ll simply be making a good thing even better when we apply all that we’ve learned.
Finally, never ever overlook a most important part of the evaluation process, which involves thanking all of those who contributed to the success of your program.
In this case, thanks goes to all of those who participated, deeming a local public relations competition valuable and “worthy” for continuation. A heartfelt thanks goes to the Worthy Committee members, who should be acknowledged once again for their tirelessness and outstanding execution: Margaret Ritsch, APR; Holly Ellman; Jahnae Stout; Megan Murphey; Liz Heck; Megan Force; Carolyn Bobo, APR, Fellow PRSA; Joe Stout; and Rita Parson.