5 reasons why you should review your communications. And one reason why you won’t.

There’s nothing new in saying that we should review and evaluate work to see what works. It’s obvious and it’s important. The problem is that many of us don’t do it often enough.

By Darren Caveney

The chances of there being a comms person out there today who doesn’t think that reviewing and evaluating their work is important will be tiny.

Yeah, yeah, yeah – we know it’s important, but when there are 10 people asking for my help, three comms plans to write, the phone ringing off the hook and the impacts of a comms team which has been cut in half it’s a lot easier said than done.

Sound familiar? Yep, me too.

Amongst the many things I learned in 10 years of leading comms teams it’s that standing back and taking a good hard look at your work is 1. Absolutely vital, and 2. Something of a luxury to do often and well. Like wanting a brand new car but settling for paying the bare minimum to get the old car through another year’s MOT (and that sounds familiar too)

With the consultancy work I have been doing with comms2point0 I have had the incredible opportunity to review a dozen organisation’s communications activity in microscopic detail. This is fascinating work and I thoroughly engross myself in the detail of these reviews. They tell stories and give clear indicators to the ‘what should we do next?’ question.

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is ave really dead in pr measurement?

Measurement and evaluation. Fundamental to any effective piece of communications activity, project or campaign. Of course, there are lots of ways in which to do it these days. But should the much derided AVEs be consigned to the bin in the corner forever, or do they have a small part to play after all?

By Nicky Speed

Put your hand in the bucket those who know that the CIPR will disqualify you if you enter one of their awards and include ad value equivalency (AVE) as a measure of success? No, not something I was acutely aware of either - until I attended an event on managing major events and some of the key speakers used the dreaded AVE word!

Now I’m not saying for one minute that we hurtle back to the days when this was pretty much the only performance indicator we used for PR. But should we discount it completely when sometimes it’s the only language that some of our boards, trustees or stakeholders understand?

PR measurement has become a bone of contention in the communications sector. For many industries, services can be measured and return on investment can be easily quantified. This is not the case in our world and I know that many of us are struggling to get to grips with evaluating our work and showing our worth.

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on measuring... and measuring profile

Sometimes experimenting without measuring is okay. But there's a school of thought that as comms is science you need to measure. Here's one thought on what we should be measuring: profile.

by Gavin Loader

I’m a measurement addict; there I said it, phew. I’m addicted to the iPhone/web app called Strava that turned me from a friendly runner and cyclist into a distance and speed enthusiast. I can recite every PB at every distance I’ve ever achieved, and the challenges and goals that left me a lactic acid induced mess.

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listening and monitoring

Listening and monitoring is a challenge that every digital comms person must face when running a social account. Here are some thoughts...

by Simon Booth-Lucking

We sponsored and attended CommsCamp, an unconference for public sector communicators.

We had a great time and you can read plenty about what other people had to say about it in this round-up of CommsCamp.

We ran a session on Listening and Monitoring in Social Media that was pretty well received so here are the slides and notes for you and anyone who was there.

  1. This is a taster class from our Social Media School. It’s all about how to listen and monitor in social media using cheap tools and a few simple techniques
  2. And a lot of those techniques we can learn from internet dating
  3. Except we’re going to be very promiscuos, we’re trying to meet a lot of people in order to find our true loves
  4. So here’s the structure for the class
  5. Let’s start with a bit of planning first; although many of the tools are free your time isn’t so we need to have a plan so we’re making good use of our time
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what are the barcelona principles?

It's not normal for a committee to come up with a good set of ideas. There's a set of guidelines that many pr people don't know that can help you navigate the comms landscape. They're worth taking a look at.

by Dan Slee

A short while back a PR person got very animated that people in the industry didn't know what the Barcelona Principles are.

For the most part I'd be amazed if the majority know what they are.

For the record, they're a set of principles US and UK private sector PR people drew-up in the Spanish city in 2010. They're not the be-all and end all but they are an interesting set of rules that stand scrutiny and you can refer to.

For the record they are here:

  • Goal setting and measurement are important
  • Media measurement requires quantity and quality
  • Advertising Value Equivalents (AVE) are not the value of public relations
  • Social media can and should be measured
  • Measuring outcomes is preferred to measuring media results (outputs)
  • Organisational results and outcomes should be measured whenever possible
  • Transparency and replicability are paramount to sound measurement.

A more comprehensive explanation can be found here.

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