A measured response

Thank you for the feedback and comments on the strategy and measurement summit article I wrote last night. Great to hear the slides are useful to have to hand. They’ve been viewed 220 times already since I posted them up 10 hours ago!

BillyAs promised, here is a guest article by Employee Communications Manager at Essex County Council Billy Hamilton (pictured). You can find him on Twitter @BHamiltonwords. Over to you Billy…

I have a confession to make: I’m a hopeless measurement nerd. There’s not much I enjoy more than being able to produce communications – from the most complex strategies to the fluffiest puff pieces – and know exactly (and I mean exactly) how to measure their impact. And, hey, even when that communication is a wretched failure, at least I know where I can do better next time. (Would love to see a ‘fluffy puff’ piece – what a phrase! – Rachel)

So, for me, evaluation is one of the most important aspects of communicating to people in the workplace. Unless you are able to assess how effectively your communication lands, resonates and gestates with employees, then it’s impossible to declare your campaign/strategy/whatever a success (or failure).

That’s why I was so keen to attend CIPR Inside’s latest measurement summit.  Not only was “Surveys, Sentiment and Strategy – Measurement in Practice” a unique  chance to gain insight into how other organisations measure the effectiveness of their communications, it also provided me with an opportunity to benchmark these practices against what we do in Essex County Council.

I must admit, my jaw was wedged to the floor at the level of analysis conducted by the Home Office, a fellow public sector organisation. Their dashboard was as comprehensive an evaluation of communications reach and sentiment as I’ve seen.  Getting that beauty to work, while dealing with the day-to-day dramas of operating in public sector, is a remarkable achievement for their internal communications team.

Having an impact

ciprinsideConsistently, the speakers made it clear senior leaders are having a big impact on evaluation becoming a cornerstone of internal communications. In fact, proving a return on investment against business objectives was the driving force behind many of the tools and techniques. Which makes sense, really; in these days of austerity it is imperative our function can prove its worth.

Of all the speakers, Ghassan Karian from Karian and Box chimed loudest with my own thoughts on using measurement to shape forward thinking. At times, his “so what?” philosophy and adoption of a cyclical approach to evaluation – where results are used to define and redefine strategy – felt as effortless as playground truisms. They were obvious and achingly simple, but very effective.

Much of what I heard on the day made sense within my current workplace. At a critical time of organisational transformation, my team needs to prove its worth to senior leaders. But it’s not that simple. We can demonstrate our ability to deliver outputs (ie how many emails we’ve sent), yet we have limited proof points around how we’re contributing to strategic goals and ambitions – despite the numerous awards we’ve won.

After this event, maybe, just maybe, we can do something about it.

Post author: Billy Hamilton

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Billy, I’m delighted to feature a new voice on my blog. You can see the complete archive of guest articles I’ve published to date – around 80 of them – and if you’d like to see your name here, do see my guidelines and get in touch with your idea for an article.

If you’d like to see the content from yesterday’s summit, see the article I published last night and the slides below. As ever, you’re welcome to share your feedback via the comments section, Tweet me @AllthingsIC or do find Billy online too, Rachel.

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