How to get your piece of the ROI on communications
You don’t need to launch a formal survey or hold focus groups to measure your communications success.
Angela Sinickas — ABC, IABC Fellow, president of Sinickas Communications and guru of communication measurement — offers these five fast tools for making the link between your communication efforts and your organization’s success.
Make the link
|Did they receive it?||Track the distribution chain: Make spot calls to different locations to see whether your audience received your communication.|
|Could they understand it?||Measure readability: Use Microsoft Word’s Readability Statistics to measure how easy your copy is to understand. (Rev Up Readership members: Download a free e-book with more details.)|
|Are communications aligned with business goals?||Conduct a content analysis: Use word count to measure the percentage of your communications devoted to each business objective. (Hint: Keep up with this weekly to avoid an unmanageable load at the end of the year.)|
|Did behavior change?||Track existing research: Make friends with the folks in your organization who track quality, safety, productivity and cycle times. Compare those stats before and after a communication drops. Or measure the difference between pilot audiences who received the communications and control audiences who did not. Even better: Conduct “exit interviews” with folks whose behavior changed to determine what impact your communications had on their actions.|
|What’s our return on investment?||Calculate ROI: 1) Multiply the financial impact of one person’s change times the number of people whose behavior changed. 2) Use your before-vs.-after or pilot-vs.-control stats to claim a percentage of the financial impact. 3) Subtract the cost of your communications. 4) Divide the result by the cost of your communication to come up with a percentage ROI.|
Nothing builds your credibility and streamlines approvals like documenting bottom-line business benefits of your work.
Sadly, we can’t measure the results of most of our communications by cause and effect. Instead, use correlation to link your communication efforts to your company’s success.
Sources: Angela Sinickas, “Measure your ROI — fast,” Ragan Report, February 2009 (subscription required)
Ann Wylie, Set SMART Goals and Objectives, Wylie Communications Inc., 1997