Having spent last weekend judging a few categories in the IoIC awards, the topic of measurement is buzzing around my head. It formed a big part of the judging criteria, and rightly so. It’s also a conversation I have regularly clients – how to not just measure the basics but the real value we add.
So, I thought I’d share a few simple ways you can start measuring the impact internal comms is having on your business right away.
Be clear on what success looks like
It sounds obvious, but it’s so often forgotten. People will point to impressive sounding stats as evidence of success, yet if you didn’t define it in the first place, how can you be sure?
Tangibly set out up front what success looks like and how you’ll measure it. It’s not enough to vaguely say you want to increase engagement. By how much? What does that look like in practice in the context of this project? How will you measure that?
It’s not just the output that will gain you respect and understanding from key stakeholders, but a demonstration of strategic thinking from beginning to end.
Don’t fear failure
It can be tempting to not set out what success looks like up front, as we worry about falling short of it and being held to account. But not defining what good looks like and being clear on how you will measure that, makes it difficult to put across a strong case on how you’ve had an impact.
Sometimes things don’t work, but cliched as it sounds, failure is the best way to learn. Having an open and honest relationship with your stakeholders can help you set realistic expectations. All comms plans should set out what its objectives are, how it will be measured, but also what other factors may impact success.
Work with other departments
Other teams in the business will have metrics of their own, and many of them may be able to help you measure the success of your communications. For example, if you’re asking employees to talk to clients about a new product or offering, your marketing, sales or customer care colleagues should be able to help you measure how effective your comms were in getting employees to have those conversations.
And shared data isn’t the only benefit. More collaboration across teams can only lead to a more joined up and consistent approach generally, creating a better experience for employees.
Use tools available on the market
It’s always worth doing your research to see what else is out there. Check out case studies from fellow comms professionals – you’ll find an abundance of them following conferences full of handy tips. And professional bodies like IoIC and CIPR Inside share extremely useful data and insight with members on a range of topics including measurement.
I recently became aware of a new tool by SnapComms that helps internal communicators to measure their return on investment (ROI) using an ROI calculator. By answering a few questions, it can help you understand where some of your hidden costs are (endless meetings, for example) and show you where savings could be made.
Find out more about the tool and try it out on SnapComms’ website.
And Rachel Miller did a brilliant interview with Susan Bowden of SnapComms where you can read more detail about the tool.
Effective measurement can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. The internal comms world is a supportive network of talented individuals able to share insight and experience. And as we all begin applying a consistent approach to measurement, the less it will seem like a holy grail, and more just the way we do things in our industry.