"It's not just tracking mentions, but how are you being mentioned, what messages are you getting across!"
With this important central concept in mind, Cindy Villafranca, senior specialist, communication & outreach at Southwest Airlines, walked the audience at the recent PR News Measurement Conference in Washington, D.C., through her experience building a methodology and framework for measurement, establishing a cadence for reporting and getting stakeholders familiar and comfortable with her efforts.
Here are the key takeaways she highlighted:
1. Update! The first version of your dashboard may not be (and probably should not be) your last.
Don’t be afraid to change it if it makes sense to do so. Changing it every month is probably not a good idea, but update it as needed to show relevance to your business.
2. Keep your methodology and framework consistent.
The KPIs you measure should not change much, if at all. What may change is what data you collect, and the correlations you make with that data.
3. Pull in data from other sources.
Look outside of Communications if it makes sense and yields data that shows a correlation to how your team supports the business.
4. Establish a measurement cadence that is achievable.
Does this mean monthly, quarterly, bi-annually? You decide based on your business, but be careful not to overpromise and under deliver.
5. Socialize the dashboard with your team; highlight results.
Build awareness about the existence of your dashboard. That will garner buy-in from others, and highlight the hard work your team is doing. And don’t assume everyone understands or knows the metrics on your dashboard. Explain, educate, and inform!
6. Allocate the right resources for a successful product.
Dashboards take time! They take time to develop, they take time to compile and analyze, and it takes time to meet with colleagues and leaders to talk about the data. So be sure you are allocating the right resources for a successful product.
Follow Cindy on Twitter: @CinDLew