Measure your results to get the attention of corporate leadership
Analytics are key in sharing your story.
It can be challenging to understand what measurement tools you need to help guide and show results for your overall communications plan.
“Measurement can be one of those things that confound you,” TD Bank Vice President and Head of Content and Digital Platforms Chad Mitchell said. “When you finally figure out what to do, it feels like you’ve broken through.”
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Mitchell and Entergy Senior Communications Specialist Rob Pettit revealed how their organizations approached measurement to help demonstrate their value to the C-suite and get their departments the resources they deserve during the Ragan seminar, “Audience Reach: Measuring the Impact of Your Stories.”
Here are some of their top tips as you find the tools to help share your unique measurement stories.
Find your content, then use measurement tools to help share results
Communicators need to understand how to dive into analytics to discover what tools they need to reach their goals.
“For communicators, we want to think we’re the word people,” Pettit said. “We don’t want to think about all the math and numbers but diving into some of this data can be impactful and help us tell our .”
Measurement tools are available for communicators to help share the results of their campaigns.
But Pettit said he first had to find the right content.
The lab printed 2,000 N-94 masks for local healthcare workers.
“We had this kind of micro-level story that helps illustrate what that funding went to,”
Pettit said. “We had the school tell that story, and we used that in our creative.”
He added the company decided to use LinkedIn to share the Southern University story and other tales from the campaign. Their strategy worked as the team measured a 20% increase in engagement on the stories shared on the platform for the stories.
“We found that the supply-chain stories really worked well in LinkedIn,” Pettit said.
Mitchell agreed with Pettit and said knowing your audience and where they are finding their content is key.
Mitchell also added that communicators shouldn’t be afraid to test and measure different tactics in their campaigns.
“I would do some tests and I would let them run long enough so that you feel confident in the data to make some decisions,” he said. “If it works, repeat it. And if it doesn’t, abandon ship and try something else.”
How Entergy measured storm coverage through social media
Pettit was able to continue his social media measurement to see how people were reacting to the company’s content.
He said Entergy uses the social media tool Sprinklr to help handle customer service issues and to measure social media sentiments about the company.
Pettit said those metrics were useful during storms to help identify where problems were taking place, how customers responded and to establish a sense of how the company was handling the crisis.
“Saying there is an increase in a keyword, like downed power lines, can help tell that story to leadership and address issues that we may be facing on the ground,” he said.
How to reach corporate leadership through measurement
Mitchell said presenting clear analytics is key in demonstrating the impact of stories back to corporate leadership.
“I used to think that corporate comms was like the flea on the back of the flea on the back of the flea on the back of the dog,” Mitchell added. “Marketing’s got all the money. And then corporate communications has to continually prove its value and tie our storytelling back to impact. When you can break those (results) down into figures that matter for people, you can break through in your storytelling.”
To stop being the flea, Mitchell stressed the importance of demonstrating value to the C-suite by clearly showing data that proves results. He uses tools including Flipboard and Knotch.
“It gave me enough data to start making strategic decisions and walk into any C-suite meeting and say, ‘here’s the data. Our content is moving the needle.’ And while I can’t yet prove conversions to business outcomes, which is where we’d like to go, I can start to prove reputation and that we’re driving customer consideration.”
“That is when we no longer become the flea; we become the dog and we get well funded. And that’s the attention I think all of us want is brand storytellers.”
Listen to the whole seminar through Ragan Training.
Chris Pugh is a staff writer for PR Daily. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn. Send story ideas to ChrisP@Ragan.com.
One Response to “Measure your results to get the attention of corporate leadership”
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Tags: C-suite, corporate leadership, measurement, PR, public relations, social media
The best measures are those management can see to be valid and the truth—like clicks or write-ins for information, letters to a senior corporate executive (include the address in your release) who has given a speech, and—especially impressive—a note from your corporate lobbyist thanking you for your PR work that helped generate public response.
Even more impactful, a note from your lobbyist to your CEO or general counsel directly saying that your information program has been especially helpful in generating not only public support but public response. A note from your congressman could be fantastic (and is often not hard to get). That’s what moves Washington, public response.
Letters from lobbyists and legislators may be surprisingly easy to get because what we do helps them.
What can clearly move retailers and doctors is public information that creates public support for what our management wants PLUS public appreciation of doctors and retailers who help supply the needed products.
“Don’t tell me what you got printed and broadcast,” a senior executive may feel about PR reports of success, “but tell me how you KNOW your communication succeeded in generating public response.”
A valuable lesson from PR Daily and Ragan courses is to generate not just media and online coverage but RESULTS of coverage, not just management awareness of your media success but management awareness of RESULTS in turning on the public. A note from even an assistant marketing or sales manager may be persuasive. For companies and for PR people that’s where the money is, in public response.