In today’s world, along with the ideation of new communication functions, it is also important to understand how to measure their impact in accordance with the business objectives.
Kerman Kasad, the Vice President of the Global Communications and Brand Project Management Institute, took a session on ‘Communication Measurement Adding Context to the conversation’ in the first edition of RT SPECTRA on 29 November, 2020.
Kasad commenced the session with a personal anecdote, stating his work at a leading global sports TV channel in Singapore. The communication strategies showed great outcome and results, and all the metrics checked. However, the marketing head was not impressed with the outcome. He had a one-directional communicational view, as he did not consider the quality and massaging of coverage, as important as the increased number of viewership and sponsorship. The lukewarm reaction of the client made Kasad think about the lessons that can be learnt from the incident.
- The first lesson is that the C-suite team, or the management team, may not have the same understanding of communication functions as you have.
- PR outcome should be intelligible and must assist stakeholders in deciphering the advantage of the outcome.
- Define KPIs, metrics and outcomes to determine success in the beginning of the program itself. Get the consensus from the top leadership on this as well.
Reputation, Brand and Measurement
Kasad emphasised how when it comes to gauging the business impact, reputation goes far beyond product experience, to also involve the stakeholder experience. The media plays a vital role in shaping this experience. Hence measurement of the PR program’s engagement, impact and outcome is critical. However, one can’t view or measure reputation in a single frame. It can be categorised into Product Brand, Employer Brand, and Citizen Brand. In the age where purpose is paramount, it is essential to measure business impact and initiatives all around.
Numbers and Beyond
Digital marketing programs have enabled organisations to get enormous amount of data, condensed down to a few metrics, which has increased the efficiency to display the outcome of marketing program. On the other hand, PR until recently had been qualitatively driven as it is perceived as an Art over a Science. However, things started changing after the emergence of social media. Social media became a catalyst for data based measurement and outcome. Meaningful measurement is zeroing down the most meaningful KPIs. Then, identify the stakeholder needs from the existing business strategy. Further, try to understand your C-suite and stakeholders needs and wants from your measurement.
Defining KPIs – Measuring the Measurement
Kasad wittingly quotes how numbers speak for themselves, but words help them speak louder by providing more context and perspective. KPIs must be defined clearly and early as it will help one to determine what success looks like. One mist also come to a definitive understanding with the stakeholders before commencing the outreach. Favorability, awareness, preference shifts, tonality, contributing positively towards community are the key elements to build trust.
Developing KPI Framework
Kasad showcased how, for Communications professionals, it is imperative to understand the organisations’ business strategies. It will help develop KPI framework aligned to the business strategy that you are going to deliver against. The KPI frameworks must be integrated and not in silos, and they must reflect how all media relations (from social to traditional) are inter connected. The framework must have a built in short term versus long term metric.
Reputation- Measuring the Measurement
Kasad affirms how reputation is credibility and respect that an organisation asks from all its stakeholders. Measuring reputation requires a broad canvas. One must determine messages we want to send out against each indicator of reputation, and must also analyse if the outcomes are aligned with the business objectives.
Kasad ended the session by outlining of the following key takeaways.
- Communication is becoming both critical and strategic.
- Measurement enables you to showcase the impact communication has made on the business.
- Measurement brings transparency, understanding and appreciation from of the communication function to your stakeholders.
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