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Unsure about measuring value? Get over it! It’s where the money’s going to be. Just ask a Smashing Pumpkin

Tim VaughanTim Vaughan·
measuring value

Picture Credit: @Bmorrisonphoto

For far too many internal communication professionals the concept of measurement is a bit like physical activity for the deplorably lazy: they know they should do it, they know that it’s good for them, but they find it difficult so don’t do it nearly as often as they should. It’s time to start measuring value in your communications.

And that’s despite knowing that measuring the effectiveness of what they do, the outcomes rather than the outputs of their communications, is essential not only to proving their professional worth, but adding value to their company or organization’s bottom line.

Maybe they should start listening to a rock star. Not any old rock star, mind you, but the co-founder of the Smashing Pumpkins and drummer extraordinaire, Jimmy Chamberlin, who also happens to be a shrewd investor and business advisor, particularly in the tech world.

As he prepared to speak at the Dublin Tech Summit this week he was asked on Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTE, a very simple question by the station’s Science & Technology correspondent, Will Goodbody: where do you see opportunities for growth in the tech and digital space?+

The rock star/investor/business advisor’s response was as interesting as it was unequivocal, a straight-up: “In measurement and quantification, in establishing real numbers that really mean something.”

The Smashing Pumpkin, former CEO of LiveOne Inc. and now CEO of Blue J Strategies went on to say: “The speculative plays of yesterday are gone and now everything is becoming measurable, as it should. I think anybody who is in the business of quantifying value is pointing the flashlight in the right direction.”

Asked where he saw opportunities in technology, he said: “The quantification of value is going to determine who wins and who loses…I think that’s where the money is in the next five, 10 years”.

Ok, confession time: for someone who works for a company that has developed ground-breaking software to easily measure complex internal communications challenges across multiple channels, this was, erm… smashing stuff.  Music to my ears, you could say, if you weren’t totally embarrassed by awful puns.

But enough of that.  Jimmy Chamberlin’s insights might just give a little more focus to the 95%  of internal communicators who consider measurement of their communications “extremely important” yet over 50% of whom admit it’s the activity they “spend least time on each week”.  Perhaps because two out of three said they find communications “difficult to measure”.  These statistics are from Newsweaver’s 2016 Global Survey of over 700 internal communications professionals.

But whatever about being difficult, it’s patently obvious that measure they must. It’s simply not going to be an option anymore, unless the option is to choose the fastest route to failure.

For the 50%+ who spend the least of their time on measurement, they should consider typing the following question in an appropriately large typeface, print it out and keep it close:

How can internal communicators show their worth and prove the effectiveness of their work if they are not regularly measuring the outcomes of what they do, providing management with the data they and the business requires?

Rather than simply concentrating on answering that question, here at Newsweaver we asked ourselves another one: “aside from our pioneering technology, what can we do to make it easier for internal communicators to measure what they do and prove their value to senior leaders?”.

The result is a three-part highly accessible step-by-step guide which simplifies a subject that too many IC professionals evidently find difficult. We wanted to take the mystery and apprehension out of measurement in the most user-friendly way possible and we got the best in the world to do it. Angela Sinickas is synonymous with measurement of organizational communication and here she has written the ultimate guide to internal communication effectiveness, which should be equally as informative for anybody working in HR with responsibility for employee communications.

Part 1 is a walk through what she calls “The Easy Stuff”, the best place to start your measurement journey using easy-to-use techniques.

Parts 2 and 3 delve deeper into the communications measurement journey and will be published over the coming months.

Definitely worth reading, especially since it’s where the money is and where it’s going to be.


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