As measurement has become increasingly ingrained in the lives of communicators, the question becomes not just how to determine appropriate metrics for your company and collect data around them, but how to present that data in a way that is engaging and actionable. And contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t just mean making a pretty dashboard, but figuring out how to make the data on that dashboard leap off the page.
One of the biggest challenges communicators face is battling pre-conceived notions with data, especially when it comes to hard-hitting or controversial issues. Here’s the six-step process Aetna uses to infuse their storytelling with data.
Most measurement initiatives proceed in three stages: defining the goal, determining the KPIs that align with the goal and communicating the results to senior leaders. But the devil is in the details. Given the mountain of data available to communicators, moving from the first to the second step—from defining the goal to identifying specific KPIs that will help you achieve it—can be a mighty challenge. Here’s a segmentation of metrics aligned with four main business goals, including measuring brand reputation and sales leads.
Spotify went public and valued the company at $23 billion, but it has been providing value for brands since it revamped the Spotify for Brands program last year. The company utilizes user data in multiple ways to aid brand advertisements, but can it withstand scrutiny over how much data it collects from users now that it has entered into the open market?
Communications professionals are well aware of the business value they bring to their organizations and to their clients. Communicating that value to the C-suite, though, has historically been a struggle, which is no small irony. The availability of digital data has proven to be a mixed blessing for PR professionals. The data is there to show a multitude of communications successes but, for CEOs and CFOs, data that doesn’t connect directly to business goals can seem devoid of value and meaning.
Starting today, Facebook will demote what it calls “engagement bait,” posts that lure users into interaction by explicitly asking for likes and shares without offering editorial value. The posts are one way that brands can take advantage of Facebook’s (ever more discriminating) News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement to gain more organic reach. But the platform is taking action in response to widespread complaints, likely forcing some brands to rethink their approach.
Therese Van Ryne, head of global PR and the global customer reference program at Zebra Technologies, shares five key questions that a PR or marketing pro needs to ask before setting up a dashboard that effectively evaluates your campaign performance or share of voice.
PR measurement may seem like a huge undertaking and many PR pros might not consider themselves data scientists. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find meaningful correlations in your PR data. Take it from Katie Delahaye Paine, also known as The Measurement Queen, who has been a pioneer in the field for more than two decades.
Now is the time to have a serious discussion about PR measurement and how we can advance the profession by throwing away old models and embracing the new. So says Andrew Bowins, an executive director at KPMG and a PR News Measurement Hall of Famer. By moving away from vanity metrics and into reliable insights—by “living at the intersection of big data and digital storytelling”—PR pros can elevate the conversation with the C-suite.
Reporting the data from a communications campaign is more than just writing up a tally of various metrics. Too many communicators try to use measurement simply as an end in itself, a gauge of how well a campaign performed after it’s over. Rather, analytics should inform every stage of the planning process, says Carrie Schum, executive vice president of strategic planning, analytics and research at Porter Novelli.