Struggle #3 My Strategy is Too Hard to Measure

50% of people say that their strategy is too hard to measure.

It’s not much of a strategy if that’s true.  It’s been interesting to watch PR pros in the last decade.  Social media insisted you be short and direct with messages.  (My blog articles are usually under 300 words for you.) You should also be short and direct when you ask, “What does success look like?”    Your strategy has a tangible outcome.  It’s not about trying, it’s about doing.  The outcomes are measurable but you might need to collaborate to demonstrate your valuable part in the success.  That’s where some of you get overwhelmed.  We can help. Continue reading

Measure Like a Marketer .. Because You Are One…

8931832451_9720cff219What keeps you from delivering good measurement in a timely way to your Chief Marketing Officer? Or to your client’s marketing organization? 

After all, communications professionals are a specialized part of the marketing team for every brand.  And you are in a position to have early knowledge about trends and strategic opportunities for brands.

Too often, media professionals find themselves catching up with their marketing department.  They weren’t at the table when marketing decisions were made and annual strategies were developed.  And now they are tasked with making a communications plan and executing actions to support what their marketing counterparts thought would work.  Often, there was only a small amount of budget left for what they need to do.

Marketers measure their impacts in dollars and impressions – in ROI and comparative effectiveness.  Marketing activities are very measurable – they buy a quantity of advertising in a certain channel, they see the sales rise when ads are active.  There’s a solid sense of “it worked” (or it didn’t).

Communications professionals market their brands in a different way.  They excel at talking about a brand.  Their purview is key messages and campaign development, starting conversations, building reputation, engagement and brand advocates.  What you know and measure from your activities should be shared with your marketing counterparts to help refine their investments for a brand.  Don’t wait for an invitation.  Get that data to them!

Your marketing team should look to you for these things:

  • Analysis of brand perceptions
  • Insights about key audiences.
  • Creating impressions and awareness.
  • Engaging the target consumer in creative ways.
  • Evaluating consumer intentions.
  • Competitive insights.
  • Creative ideas to communicate widely
  • Knowledge of what has worked in the past.
  • Setting goals for improved communications for the brand.

All of these things can and should be measured.  The trick to measuring is to start BEFORE you communicate.  Set goals and measure against them during and after communication campaigns.  Then tell the story of how things worked in comparison to other marketing tactics.

Some communications professionals find that they are better at measuring than their marketing counterparts, and that’s when they become valuable partners who are not left behind when the next cycle of planning starts.

Are you at the table?






Does the Squeaky Wheel Really Get the Grease?

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How does share of voice get us to business outcomes?

Many communicators believe that their brand should have an active voice in relevant conversations.  And to prove that they were vocal, they produce a lovely pie chart showing their “share of voice.”  Great.  You made some noise.   But can you measure the positive impact from your share of voice on outcomes?  I hope that your boss was not fooled by that pie chart.

Like impressions counting, determining a brand’s share of voice is a metric, not a measurement.   It’s just one indicator of campaign activity.  What we really want to measure is whether or not your participation in the conversation helped you to reach one of your goal outcomes.

Share of voice is a valid metric, but let’s use it appropriately to actually do some measurement.  You’ll have to add qualitative analysis to the share of voice you’ve quantified.  Here’s how:

  • Timing matters.  Ditch the pie chart and track that share of voice over time.  Longitudinal changes in share of voice are revealing.
    • When do your competitors talk?
    • Are you all talking at the same time, or taking turns?
    • Is an obvious timing advantage visible for future exploitation?
  • Messages matter.  Enhance your data with message identification to study what each competitor is saying.  
    • Are you all saying the same thing?
    • Are you delivering your message well?
    • Is there some obvious differentiation that you could exploit for your brand?
  • Organic Sentiment is telling.  A lot of companies are only measuring their own voice, but conversations are 2-sided affairs.   Take off your blinders and also look at organic social media mentions of the brands or topics you are evaluating.
    • Is the audience agreeing with the message you are using?
    • Or is a competitor’s messaging or timing getting more favorable mentions from consumers?
    • Who’s engaging with your voice?
    • Is one type of consumer a more positive advocate for your brand than others?

Now, when you walk into your boss’s or client’s office, you’ll be able to give your expert insights about when to talk, what to talk about and how to boost advocacy and raise sentiment for your brand which in turn should influence outcome goals such as purchase intent, brand sales or brand reputation changes.

And the cycle begins again.  Off you go to make some more noise and leverage your share of voice to impact outcomes.  Keep measuring to see how changes in your share of voice can turn into better outcomes.


Metric – a unit of measurement

Measurement – a system of evaluating metrics to determine how they can change desired outcomes.

Share of Voice – the percentage of published content and conversations about you compared to your competitors.