Evaluation of Australian government social marketing communications

  • George Bell

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This study examines the need for a new model to evaluate government marketing communication in Australia. This issue has sparked great interest inside and outside government over the last two decades. There is a considerable body of research on evaluating marketing communication campaigns with reference to commercial marketing. However there is a paucity of research in the literature on the evaluation of government marketing campaigns. This thesis contributes to filling that gap by examining government communication campaign evaluation in Australia. This thesis potentially extends the body of knowledge on communication evaluation. Another potential contribution of the research is to improve the practice of evaluation of government marketing communication campaigns. This study uses a range of qualitative research methods, including action research, document analysis, elite actor interviews and case study analysis, to validate a new model against the available evidence from marketing communication campaigns in the government sector in Australia from 1999 to 2009. In examining actual practice the researcher used the 1994 Department of Finance and Administration (DOFA) Program Evaluation model as the guiding template. Three new generic structural factors: Accountability, Benefits and Impacts/ROJ are added to the DOFA model. These flow from the latest literature on program evaluation. The researcher also adds three new situation or process factors that specifically are useful in planning communication campaign evaluation: campaign type, a risk matrix and a focus on timeframe decisions. This approach has not been used previously and is potentially a substantial contribution to the literature on communication evaluation models. This proposed model is generic, as it applies to all marketing communication programs. It is also normative as it incorporates key elements acknowledged as important for 21st century systems of governance; social risk and greater transparency to foster and promote continuous improvement in government communication. The model for government evaluation should be useful for government marketing practitioners and researchers in marketing communication theory. The researcher believes the new model could be applied to evaluate large and small scale Australian Government marketing communication campaigns. The study also provides a new set of protocols based on the new model which will help campaign managers plan evaluation of marketing communication campaigns of varied size and complexity.
    Date of Award2011
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorAli Quazi (Supervisor) & Peter Clayton (Supervisor)

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