TOP TIP: Calculating ROI

Calculating a return on investment (ROI) for something as intangible as internal communication has long been considered nearly impossible. But the trick to calculating ROI is to focus on small elements of our communications that are directly targeted at changing some measurable behavior.

Measuring public relationships

Dr. James Grunig defines relationship measurement in terms of process (number and type of communication activities conducted to strengthen relationships) and outcomes (the type and quality of relationship desired). These are fairly low-value levels of communication to measure—the activities we pursue and the audience perception changes that result. We need to go further and connect relationships to changed behaviors in our stakeholder groups and place a financial value on those behavior changes.

It’s New, It’s Hot, It’s Relationship Management–Not!

One of the buzzwords in communication today is that relationship measurement is the ultimate metric. This article disputes that concept since for executives, financial results are the ultimate metric. Until an improved relationship changes people’s behavior in a way that helps the bottom line, most executives won’t care.