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Evaluation of campaigns Dr. L.R. Pol Tabula Rasa / Erasmus University Rotterdam.

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Presentation on theme: "Evaluation of campaigns Dr. L.R. Pol Tabula Rasa / Erasmus University Rotterdam."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evaluation of campaigns Dr. L.R. Pol Tabula Rasa / Erasmus University Rotterdam

2 Tabula Rasa? Consultancy for evidence based and research driven advice … … in communication strategy and influence

3 Agenda a Background Influencing Behaviour Evaluation Practice

4 Background a Influencing Behaviour Evaluation Practice a Background Influencing Behaviour Evaluation Practice Kinds of campaigns Governm. Practice

5 What kind of campaigns? Isolated mass media campaigns: –Ads, RTV-spots, etc

6 What kind of campaigns? (2) Integrated campaigns: intervention programs which include for example: –Interpersonal communication: information, counselling –Teaching material –Tailor-made counselling via internet –Communication with intermediaries such as teachers, parents, physicians –Ads, RTV-spots, outdoor, website –Free publicity

7 Governmental campaign practice in Holland Increasing number of integrated campaigns (governmental campaigns) Why: effects of isolated mass media spots and ads on behaviour are quite small Thats why ads and spots are more and more part of an intervention program

8 Governmental campaign practice in Holland (2) Isolated campaigns: 1 or 2 % change in behaviour (meta-analysis Derzon and Lipsey 2002) Nevertheless: can be very worthwhile in the case of (for instance) public health Especially when cost effectiveness is OK Besides: new insights in behavioural change can lead to increasing effects

9 Influencing Behaviour Background Influencing Behaviour Evaluation Practice Planned behaviour Influencing Automatic Behaviour Good Practice

10 Crucial question in the case of influencing Which kind of behaviour is involved? –Planned behaviour –Automatic behaviour

11 Planned behaviour Theory of Planned Behaviour (Ajzen) (Beliefs ) Attitude Social norm intention behaviour Self-efficacy

12 Automatic behaviour However: at least 95% of our behaviour is not planned behaviour, but … … automatic behaviour We do it just because we always do it, not because we are considering it

13 Automatic behaviour (2) Knowledge and attitudes are not relevant determinants of automatic behaviour Arguments arent even noticed! Habits are the key determinants of automatic behaviour But … automatic behaviour is changeable! Only not via arguments, but via social influence, heuristics, primes A lot of recent research on the topic

14 Influencing automatic behaviour Quite some campaigns still try to influence automatic behaviour by influencing attitudes Thats useless and a waist of time and money What needs to be done, is either break through routines … … or instead use the fact that behaviour is automatic In both words play an important role. And other stimuli: images, sounds or perfumes They influence us very often, while we dont even notice we were influenced

15 Influencing automatic behaviour: some techniques Priming Use (or: abuse) heuristics (rules of the thumb) Make use of the inclination to consistency Using the inclination to reciprocity Using authority The liking principle: similarity, flattery Social validation –The right example

16 Voorbeeld: Probleemfocus

17 Influencing automatic behaviour: alternative techniques Alternative: break through routines: –Social network method –Using a negative approach –But not fear appeals!


19 What depends good practice in governmental communication on? Analyses of the behaviour is a condition for success: automatic or planned? Empirical social scientific research offers crucial assistance for analyses and interventions In case of influencing behaviour: trusting in hunches and creativity is dangerous: often counterproductive

20 Theres no harm in just following hunches ? A sloppy approach can result in the opposite of what you want to reach: –The wrong images or words (aggression) –Activation of undesirable exemplary behaviour (alcohol abuse) –Activation of undesirable processes (voting)



23 Evaluation Background Influencing Behaviour Evaluation Practice What do you want to know Issues and Best practice What do you need to know

24 Why evaluate? At least three good reasons: –Find out if you didnt cause a counterproductive effect –Learning effect: improve the campaign under construction during the process and use insights in new campaigns –Account for the use of government money

25 Evaluation: what do you want to know? What do you want to know? –Was the campaign effective? What is effective? –What the target group knows? –What the target group thinks (attitude)? –What the target group does (behaviour)?

26 Evaluation: what do you need to know? When objective is to change knowledge or attitudes: –Direction of the change: positive or negative –Size of the change –Why did the attitudes change: Change of the beliefs that constitute the attitude and relative weight of the beliefs

27 Evaluation: what do you need to know? (2) Planned behaviour: –Effect size of the total change in behaviour –Which determinants caused the change: Change in the attitude towards the behaviour? Change in vulnerability to what others think? Change in the personal belief in the possibility of performing the desired behaviour

28 Evaluation: what do you need to know? (3) Automatic behaviour: –Change in the critical habits –Effect size of the change

29 Subjects of evaluation Effects –Effect size –Why did the effect occur (effects on determinants of behaviour and attitudes) Process –Was the target group really confronted with the materials? If not: why not? –Did the target group understand the message –How did they evaluate the likeability of the message –Did they use the information? Did they do that in the intended way? –The same questions for the intermediaries (physicians, teachers, etc.) Cost effectiveness

30 Evaluation practice Everyday practice: great diversity: –No need to know the real effects –Not want to know the effects –Deficiencies in the evaluation because of: Lack of theoretical knowledge: asking questions about attitudes and intentions in the case of automatic behaviour; confusing intentions and the real behaviour

31 Evaluation practice (2) Lack of necessary methodological knowledge Lack of time and money for a genuine evaluation Naïveté towards research bureaus And happily also good practice

32 Best practice Gather the parameters you want to evaluate from adequate theory: –for instance planned behaviour and current insights into automatic behaviour Pre-test the campaign materials (in a sound way) and adjust them if and where necessary Evaluate the campaign materials in randomized and controlled experiments (lab experiments)

33 Best practice (2) Evaluate the effect and the process in a field experiment

34 Serious problems in evaluation No time and / money for: –Lab experiments: therefore no sound insight in the question if the campaign materials really cause the aimed effects (on behaviour, attitudes, knowledge) –Field experiments: therefore no possibility for generalization and also no learning effect

35 Id suggest the next solution Dont evaluate every individual campaign according to the standard of the best practice if theres no money to do it as it should be done Evaluate extensively one specimen of a special kind of campaigns Evaluate individual campaigns much less extensive: –Effect size –Process evaluation

36 More serious problems in evaluation Methodological problems: –Control groups in the case of field experiments not always possible In Holland never possible in the case of mass media campaigns –As a consequence no possibility for reliable attribution of observed effects on behaviour etc. to campaign –Alternative: interrupted time series design

37 Serious problems in evaluation (3) –Pre and post tests of materials often clumsy Artificial: whats your opinion about this ad? Results in test bias –Materials should be shown in natural surrounding –Respondent shouldnt know about which specific item he is supposed to give his opinion Use of focus groups: group processes obstruct a clear sight on what individuals think

38 Summarizing Good evaluation presupposes good knowledge of the theory of influencing behaviour: –Otherwise there will be no learning effect Theres a gap between evaluation of campaigns as it should be done and how its often done. If time and money is the cause: –Dont evaluate every single campaign extensively –Instead evaluate campaigns that are typical of a kind of campaigns

39 Questions? Ask me now Mail me: Call me: (+31) 70 3600 949 / (+31) 65323 1764 Visit me: –Tabula Rasa –Anna Paulownastraat 107 –2518 Den Haag –Holland

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