Closing comment – Friday 15 February – Communicators need to evaluate

Standard

Outspoken former Vic Premier Jeff Kennett yesterday outlined his criticisms of the comms approach of the quietly-does-it incumbent, Ted Baillieu – apparently his close political ally.

Kennett’s concerns, according to “The Age”, were:

  • Baillieu, and his senior advisors’ inability to get on the front foot and promote the government’s achievements;
  • Being reactive rather than proactive; and
  • Failing to strategically plan, and failing to provide sufficient time when announcing media events.

It got us thinking about the importance of honest comms evaluation – not only important for comms campaigns but, even more so, for day-to-day comms activities.

Are you a communicator? Are you often asked: “What’s the value of this communications work you’re undertaking, and how do you demonstrate how your work benefits the organisation”?

Good, then read on!

As communicators, we need to evaluate our work on a regular basis in order to demonstrate its value and link it back to business outcomes. It’s not an easy task but it’s an essential one if our profession is to continue to flourish.

On Tuesday, we attended a PRIA Leadership Breakfast with Michael Ziviani from Precise Value. He provided an insight into the evaluation workshop he was running later that day and left us with plenty to consider and implement.

Michael has been working with the PRIA Measurement and Evaluation Committee to develop a standard approach for our industry. Here are a couple of key points from his recent presentations:

  • Communication evaluation starts with the activity then encompasses an assessment of impact followed by brand/reputation shift leading to organisational result; and
  • Evaluation is scalable and moves from basic measurement to business value analysis.

Michael founded Precise Value in 1999, after many years establishing marketing analytics for Microsoft Australia. His work now helps clients and agencies understand how and where comms creates new value. He works with organizations like Lion Nathan, Nestle, KPMG, Samsung and Vodafone.

His latest R&D links comms activity to a range of business outcomes. This focus puts science behind the art of comms, quantifying the value created in concrete numbers.

Now here are some simple tips on evaluating your communications:

  • Make time to listen – ask for feedback from representatives of your key stakeholders;
  • Build evaluation into your overall strategy and budget plus, make sure you have the time/resources to analyse the findings; and
  • If you can, get a colleague to conduct a simple review of your campaign/communications.

On a final note, do you want to know what Kennett’s simple advice to his ally was: ”…review your communication policy and practice”.

Amen.

That’s our message for this week – and all year.

Until next week,

Cheers,

Jack and the c word crew

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