Are you struggling to measuring internal communications? Or are you one of those beleaguered members of the 16% of corporate communicators that aren’t measuring at all?
If the idea of trying to pull together data from your organizations intranet, ESN, email platform fills you with dread then rest assured you are not alone. For the majority of internal communicators, regardless of team size, industry, company size and technology whizz-kid-edness (okay that’s not a real word but you get what I’m saying) measuring all your communications channels effectively feels is akin to asking someone to measure a piece of string.
But it can be done.
Here are my top three tips for measuring internal communications:
- Get access to your data
This is might seem like an obvious first step to some and a mammoth task to others. As a communications professional you have the right to your data, ensure you can measure all of your channels e.g. intranet, email, ESN, video. Whether it is out of the box analytical tools or a specialized piece of software, ensure the communications and measurement tools you use are fit for purpose. If not, it’s time to move to something that works for you, you will find there are suppliers in the market that are willing to go the extra mile and perform the security checks, data integration and reporting delivery you need. Work with those suppliers and ditch the other seemingly cheaper or widely used alternatives. It will save you time and effort in the long-term.
If you don’t own your intranet metrics, then you need to ensure that you have access to the person that does. Whether that’s building a personal relationship with IT or intranet manager or setting up an automated report, timely access to your data is imperative.
- Set KPIs and track them
If you are not sure which key performance indicators you need to set out, start with your communications goals for the year or next two years and right your SMART (specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, timely) goals. Once these are in place you can set what metrics you can use in order to track these changes over time. These will become the employee communication KPIs. For more information read this blog post I wrote for Melcrum. Ensure that these KPIs make sense and aren’t going to drive the behavior you discourage e.g. don’t you just hate clickbait headlines like This Phrase Will Make You Seem More Polite and then doesn’t actually tell you the phrase or words – but someone somewhere probably had a click based KPI and not a time on page KPI!
Once you have your KPIs in place, the next step is to track them. This should be done weekly, monthly and quarterly. A review should take place every quarter to see how you are tracking against your overall goals.
- Compare similar metrics
Measuring individual communications channels can seem like comparing apples with oranges. But it is possible to draw conclusions and get a holistic view of your communications channels and audience engagement.
Through grouping planned communications initiatives and activity into campaigns it is possible to measure their impact more effectively. For example a typical health and safety campaign will involve multiple emails, intranet pages, possibly video, and (fingers crossed) social comments and survey feedback.
- By using open rates and click rates from your internal email channel you can see the levels of interest around the subject and learn if you need to change your messaging.
- Using unique page views, time on page, and page views you can measure the campaign pages on your intranet channel and see what is resonating with employees.
- Video view counts, play rates and engagement rates will tell you if your video channel is effective in engaging audiences. If viewers are sticking around to hear the important piece of information or if the video needs to be adjusted. It can also tell you whether or not the page/campaign was enhanced by the addition of the video.
- Likes and comments can indicate understanding and acceptance of your message.
- Pulse surveys can provide you with further insight on your audience’s view of the campaign and it’s effectiveness.
Armed with this information you can create an engaging report for senior leaders and your team on the overall effectiveness of your campaign.
The above is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more opportunity with measurement and once you get into it, I promise you it can become addictive. You can use the numbers to paint pictures and tell stories, inform decisions and change minds.
For more best practice information on overcoming the barriers to effective measurement and tips on breaking down data silos, join Emma Hanley and guest Mossy O’Mahony, for a free 20 minute webinar.
Hear more from Newsweaver during their “Tech Talk” at the 3rd Annual Strategic Internal Communications conference in Boston