Think of measurement like an ongoing drive in a football game. Each first down represents the successful completion of strategies or tactics you choose to measure. If your measureable goals aren’t reached, that’s an opportunity to call time out, review the game plan, and make changes for the next measurable series. (click for fumble) Remember, the only way you lose ground – or turn over the ball – is to stop measuring.
At the end of the day, what’s the biggest reason to measure?(click for score) Because it’s the only way to keep score.
On tactical projects, it may be harder to show direct “line of sight” to corporate objectives. On larger, more strategic projects, this is a must.
On scope, it’s surprising the number of times a communicator and his/her boss aren’t on the same page with measurement projects. On commitments, this is a clarifying discussion of what leadership will do and what you will do. On resources, this avoids the trap of needing to find these things on the fly, or without buy-in. On stakeholders, it’s often wise to let those audiences know what you’re seeking to learn – and why.
Keeping buy-in is every bit as important as getting it in the first place. By delivering on these items, you demonstrate commitment and strong project management skills. This process also helps you keep leadership’s commitments in view, which is an important part of success.
Think of this in terms of other business lines. In accounting, financial records can be maintained in-house, but are typically audited by a qualified outside resource. In IT, technical solutions are often created by employees, but usability studies are often sent outside. In retail, you can design and stock your stores, but “secret shoppers” are often hired to validate how effective your customer and sales strategies really are.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. But it does illustrate tools that can be designed and applied by organizational communicators with little risk of skewed results.
Need click builds for these three items.
On ability, while most communicators can develop skills in communication measurement, not everyone wants to take time to do so. On willingness, even if one has the skills, not everyone is willing to seek out regular feedback on their work. On courage, measurement opens up the possibility of underperformance – but also the courage find areas for improvement!
Communications Measurement presentation
Communications Measurement<br />Do It Yourself or Hire It Out?<br />
Measurement: What We’ll Cover . . . <br /><ul><li>Measurement: What Is It?
Final Thoughts and Questions </li></li></ul><li>Measurement:A View From Above<br />So the boss comes into my office one day to ask about our communications program . . . <br />“Tell me what it means,<br /> not what it says.”<br />
Measurement: What Is It?<br />Simply put, measurement spotlights what works well – or not well.<br /><ul><li>It can cover a single tactic, or an entire communications program.
It can be tied to a range of targets, including behaviors, finances or audience outcomes.
It can show the value of the organization’s investment in communications.</li></li></ul><li>Measurement: What Is It?<br />Knowledge<br />(What you don’t know can hurt you)<br />Validation<br />(Evidence communications are delivering results)<br />Alignment<br />(At the highest level, showing “line of sight” between communication programs and organizational objectives) <br />
Measurement: Why Do It?<br />“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”<br />– Robert McCloskie<br />
Measurement: Why Do It?<br />“Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things.”<br />– Dan Quayle<br />
Measurement: Why Do It?<br />“If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.”<br />– Woodrow Wilson<br />
Measurement: Why Do It?<br />“The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it.”<br />– Edward R. Murrow<br />
Measurement: Why Do It?<br />“The greatest problem in communication is the illusion it has been accomplished.”<br />– George Bernard Shaw<br />
Where Measures Can Be Applied<br />Example:<br />Marketing Communications<br />Measure:<br />Organizational trust (strategic)<br />Sample tools: <br />Use research to inform and drive communications plan with measurable objectives. <br />Conduct audience research to establish benchmarks and identifygaps.<br />Outcome:<br />
Where Measures Can Be Applied<br />Example:<br />Internal Communications<br />Measure:<br />Effectiveness of sales force communications (tactical)<br />Sample tools: <br />Audit effectiveness and gaps in messaging and media.<br />Use audit findings to redesign sales communications tools. Create regular feedback loops to measure success.<br />Outcome:<br />
Getting Leadership Buy-In<br />Do Your Homework!<br /><ul><li>Determine how the project adds value to communications.
Show where the project adds value to corporate (or departmental) objectives.</li></li></ul><li>Getting Leadership Buy-In<br />Tell Them About It!<br /><ul><li>Discuss/agree on scope, objectives.
Report results.</li></li></ul><li>Keeping Leadership Buy-In<br />Put Data To Use!<br /><ul><li>Don’t dawdle!
Use information to build/guide communications plans.
Measure progress against benchmarks.</li></li></ul><li>Measurement:Inside or Outside?<br />General Rule of Thumb:<br />The closer you are to the project or the target audience, the less likely it is you will be able to gather objective data.<br />
Measurement:Do-It-Yourself<br />Good candidates for DIY projects include:<br /><ul><li>Print or e-mail surveys
In-person or phone interviews with outside stakeholders (customers, investors, prospects)</li></li></ul><li>Measurement:Reality Check<br />Q: Do external communications professionals think measurement is important?<br />A: According to a 2009 Benchpoint/AMEC global survey, 88% of PR pros believe measurement is vital to good practice.<br />But . . . Outputs such as clips and target media placements are still the main measure, rather than outcomes like shifting audience opinion, market awareness or reputation. <br />
Measurement:Reality Check<br />Q:While internal communications pros also think measurement is important, what percentage of companies do it?<br />A:According to a 2009 TowersWatson survey, about 57% of companies in the sample had some internal communication measurement in place.<br />But . . . A separate 2008 study on internal communication measurement showed that only 3% of pros think it is being done well, with 20% saying the measures don’t add tangible value. <br />
Measurement:Reality Check<br />Q:What are the major barriers to communications measurement?<br />A:According to the Benchpoint global survey, cost, expertise, and value-added are by far the top issues.<br />But . . . The number of organizations reporting some use of communication measurement tools rose from 69% in 2004 to 77% last year. <br />
Measurement:Follow the “ABCs” <br />A<br />Always know the end goal. <br />Be sure to get buy-in and support.<br />Convert data into action.<br />B<br />C<br />
Measurement:Final Thoughts<br />Ability<br />to do it<br />Willingness<br />to do it<br />Courage<br />to do it<br />