If communicators wanted to work with numbers, we would have become accountants. However, to succeed in todays business climate, we word people need to become more comfortable in a numbers world. Often that means we need to measure the results of our efforts in ways that mean something to our management.
The ultimate measure of customer communication is sales. The trick is to find ways of tracking your communications against sales in a way that eliminates the effect of other factors.
Perceptions generally need to be quantified by a survey methodology administered to your key audiences. Behaviors are better measured by tracking outcomes.
A typical communication measurement process starts with some objective assessments of what you are communicating. Objective analysis tools include inventories, content analysis and reading grade level tests.
All too often, when we talk about communication supporting a company’s goals, we focus on telling people what the goals are. Communicating for goal achievement rather than only about goal achievement requires a different approach to both communications planning and measurement.
Before you try to obtain resources for “audience-invasive” evaluation techniques like focus groups and surveys, try some of the following no-cost, no-permission-needed measurements.
Human resources managers should use supervisors as communicators only on the specific subjects that employees really want to hear about from their supervisors. The right use of supervisors will vary from company to company.
Jeff Farrington interviews Angela Sinickas about her successful communications audit at the Chicago Tribune and her transition to consulting.