286 | 30, pp. 283-307 | doxa.comunicación

January-June of 2020

Dimensions in the evaluation of creativity in integrated communication campaigns. A contribution for assessment...

ISSN: 1696-019X / e-ISSN: 2386-3978

Occasionally, teaching methodologies or projects are carried out that involve the professional sector in the academic development of creative campaigns, as in the case of the inter-disciplinary initiative known as, “Entrepreneurs and Creative People”, developed at CEU San Pablo University, which gives a perspective to the integration of disciplinary knowledge and the involvement of the industry in student training through contact with clients and professionals in the process, as well as the evaluation of communication campaigns developed by students (Bartolomé, Viñarás, and Llorente, 2012; Bartolomé, Llorente, and Marugán, 2018).

In both contexts, subjectivity is present in the assessment, but the implications of the absence of systemisation are very different. In the professional sector, subjectivity and intuition are reinforced by experience. However, in the teaching context, students lack experience, so it is necessary to translate a qualitative evaluation into a numerical mark that represents the assessment and is understood by the students. The absence of references regarding the dimensions that define the creative quality of an integrated communication campaign increases the difficulty of making professorial evaluations comprehensible and educational. It may be the case that the person in charge of the teaching somehow recognises his or her own professional routines and is able to transmit these routines and explain them in the classroom (Gil, 2012), thus applying their own intuitive systemisation. However, this would not guarantee consistent criteria among faculties, or even among subjects, precisely because of this subjectivity. For their part, students need resources for the purpose of training their critical judgement and refining their own filter regarding their creations to a certain extent, as well as detecting and understanding the weaknesses or strengths of their proposals in order to correct errors or enhance opportunities. The characteristics of the groups –generally numerous and heterogeneous due to the students having diverse expectations and skills regarding creativity (Gil, 2012)– increase the need for the teams to be able to guide their work in order to make progress, carry out first-level filtering, and exchange feedback with a certain amount of autonomy. For this to be possible, students need to acquire a minimum set of skills in the subject matter that could be transformed into a minimum mastery of the dimensions that determine creative quality.

Most studies on the needs of the academic sector point to a gap between the training of students and the actual needs of the profession. As stated by Corredor and Farfán (2010:111), “formal education in Advertising and PR does not meet the standards of the professional sector”. In line with what is proposed by most research on the needs of the sector, these authors consider that a change is necessary in the education of students in order to bolster their adaptation to industry requirements (Cook, 2002; Altarriba and Rom, 2008; Corredor and Farfán, 2010). However, the current state of the communications industry makes it even more difficult to classify the dimensions by which we must evaluate and train students.

Despite the fact that creativity is the core of advertising, the scarcity of scientific research on creativity evaluation is striking, perhaps because of the difficulty involved in defining the term creativity, or the very nature of the creative process itself, the diversity of creative products, or even the complexity of the environment surrounding creativity in advertising (Klebba and Tierney, 2012). Even smaller in size and scope is research involving PR creativity, which only focuses on the growing influence this area is acquiring in the sector, and on a related note, the changes needed regarding the creative process and the need for transformation of some professional profiles (The Holmes Report, 2013; Estanyol and Roca, 2014). The analysis provided by Estanyol and Roca (2014) demonstrates that despite creativity in PR becoming increasingly valued