Measuring Success: A Model for Evaluating 
the Success of Military Media Relations 

statement of problem 
literature review 
rationale & 
research question 


Statement of problem: 

Currently, there is no service-wide method of measuring the effectiveness of media relations.  Although many field-level units "clip" newspaper stories published in local media, few are able to measure the success of their programs overall.  In contrast, other military units are able to measure quantitatively the success of their efforts.  For example, base housing offices firmly monitor, chart, and publish their housing occupancy rate, and the time it takes for them to rotate families in and out of individual housing units.  These quantitative numbers allow the organization to provide a definite answer to the question "what have you done for me lately?" 

A key difficulty in measuring the success of PA operations is the lack of a recognized, generalized method of analysis.  Although content analysis can be used to gauge some level of coverage and impact, a more comprehensive quantitative method should be utilized to increase the accuracy of the measurement. 

Another concern commonly expressed by military PAs is the perceived lack of time for measuring success, due to constant reaction to crises.  It is clear then, that an effective model of measurement must not only accurately reflect the success of the PA program, it should also be expedient.  A database capable of sorting, calculating, and organizing would appear to be beneficial in most instances. 

Recognizing that services and individual organizations have a variety of goals in their PA programs, a measure of success that is flexible enough to be modified by individual organizations is needed.  Individual organizations can and should be able to input their specific goals at the service level, the major command level, and the individual organization level.