When I moved to Ottawa in the late 1980s to head up the national capital office of what was then Canada’s largest public relations firm, the Internet was not yet even a gleam in Al Gore’s eye. My mandate was to build the company’s then-non-existent federal government business, and that usually meant large-scale, big-budget, multi-disciplinary communications efforts in support of major policy issues of the day. Unlike the current administration, where virtually all communications efforts are partisan propaganda masquerading as helpful information, the Conservative government at that time seemed to understand that it had to explain what it was doing if it was to secure a social license for what it was doing. And in that pre-Internet age, that meant print. Maybe some radio, possibly TV if it was a really big campaign, but mainly print.
Before I actually won any of those big contracts to develop and implement a six- or seven-figure campaign, I got my foot in the door by conducting audits, or evaluations, of past campaigns. Auditing past efforts required me to compare the outcome of the campaign to the stated objectives, determine whether the material produced had said the right things and whether it had said them to the right audiences.