Employee Comms

What is the future of Internal Communication measurement?


 — November 26th, 2016

What is the future of Internal Communication measurement?

Over the last three years there has been a lot of research and talk around measurement. Not just in Newsweaver surveys conducted in partnership with Melcrum and Ragan; but also at the internal communication events I’ve attended, and the online social spaces where us IC types congregate.

The Internal Communication function is now considered a mature function. As a result, we join HR, Finance and Marketing in having to prove our results and business value.

Where is measurement of internal communication now?

We all get that measurement lets you understand the impact of what you’re doing – and how you are doing. And that once you measure it, you can manage it and improve it. But,where are we now?

I see a function in the midst of getting their hands on metrics in general. Currently there’s a lot of ad hoc and piecemeal measurement happening, with communicators hobbling together as much insight as can be mustered about each channel from a combination of Outlook read receipts for email, Webtrends for social, Google Analytics for intranet measurements, and intranet plug-ins and/or IT-generated traffic logs. Most of those metrics are very basic: page views, opens, clicks and comments. That’s a start, but not enough.

From our surveys it appears it’s a Catch-22.

We’re all realizing metrics are an absolute necessity. The problem is, a huge swath (in most surveys it’s over 50%) of communicators are unable to access the metrics for their campaigns. This function often doesn’t control their budget, and because they don’t have measurement they can’t prove the need to get additional resources.

In addition, a good proportion don’t even know better tools and technologies are available to give them real-time metrics. Another major factor, unfortunately, is they don’t feel they have the time to invest in getting insight and measurement - saying they barely have time to ‘just push the message out, and get to the next item’.

The next phase of the IC journey is for communicators to understand the value of each of their channels, what channel effectiveness looks like, and get access to the metrics that give that insight. (P.S. We’ve got a great <link>IC Audit guide covering these topics)

What does the future of communications measurement look like?

The future won’t be page views.

The future won’t be stacks of metrics piled in front of each of channel.

The future won’t be channel silos (hint: it’ll be a collated view across the organization.)

Currently, your stakeholders ask you:

  • How did Campaign X perform across all your channels?
  • How are all of your campaigns doing? Can we get a report?
  • What areas of the company are the most and least engaged?

You say …

“I have some stuff from the intranet - a few page views, and a few comments. I also have a percentage of opens on emails. How does that sound?”

Using measurement, your future is this:

The CEO has an urgent message to put out there. You, as a communications professional with a global view across your channels and audiences, runs this campaign. You say to your senior leaders “Here are the employees you asked me to share the message with, here are the people who have seen it, and on what channels. Let’s talk about targeting the audience who have not yet seen this critical message.”

Your future conversations will look like this:

<To your CEO>

  • How would you like to see total engagement results?

<You present>

  • Here is the reach of our campaign across each channel, and as a whole
  • Here is a view of all channel engagement by location, channel, department, audience, device, business unit
  • Here are the most engaged and least engaged audiences in our organization
  • Here is a view of overall engagement by pay grade
  • Here is insight into our most and least effective leadership communications
  • Here’s a graph showing engagement by channel
  • Here is how this specific message performed across the organization
  • Here is how specific campaigns performed against each other

Put those sunglasses on! A bright future ahead

As Newsweaver customer Jody Wilkins, Concur Technology recently told me “One of my senior leaders said to me ‘Without the data you provided, we would have gone in a completely different direction.’"

Jody’s comment highlights the real value of measurement – and the importance of internal communicators using measurement, and sharing that insight with bottom-line driven stakeholders.

You can now demonstrate the value of IC to the rest of the organization.

You give them real data and insight. You gain influence in the organization.

If you still count Outlook read receipts as a metric – you’re not measuring. Let me show you what real insight and measurement looks like – and how to prove ROI to your organization in this on demand webinar.


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