What is the most important thing to your company: employees or customers? You can’t really have one without the other, making it a bit of a chicken-or-the-egg quandary.
So, you approach them the same: Measuring your internal communications’ success just like you do your external marketing’s success. (Oh, not quite?)
You’re not alone. In our online survey, 68 percent of the 776 communicators surveyed said they currently measure some internal communications. Of those who do measure, the majority measure 40 percent or less of their internal campaigns.
I hope that more of us can turn the rhetoric about measurement into reality. Data is the route to improving our practice, helping our colleagues make better communication decisions and gaining fresh insights into our audiences.
— Liam FitzPatrick, managing partner, Working Communications Strategies
Why Should You Measure Internal Communications?
But what about the benefits of measuring those communications? Here are just a few:
- Highlights what’s working (and what isn’t)
- Shows where your time would be better spent
- Allows you to assess the success of your campaigns
- Helps you know which channels to use for what messages
In short, once you see what your communications is doing effectively, you can put more of your resources toward those efforts.
Internal Versus External Communications
Your company’s internal communications measurement blueprint shouldn’t be much different from its external communications strategy: Measure audience, channels and interactions.
Think about it this way: You wouldn’t send thousands of email marketing messages out to your customers without measurement data — and you should approach internal communications with the same mentality, but using different tools optimized for internal comms.
While the benefits of measuring internal communications are clear, your team might still have some concerns. Luckily, there are pretty simple solutions for their five common excuses.
1. My Internal Communications Team Is Understaffed
You don’t hear communications teams complaining they have too many people on staff and too little work to manage. So it’s no wonder a lack of tools is the biggest roadblock teams face.
Fifty-four percent of communicators who measure their communications said their biggest challenge was the lack of tools, followed by lack of time (52 percent) and lack of manpower (50 percent).
Measurement doesn’t have to be hard, or require learning something new. Measurement tools that plug into their current workflow and make their jobs easier can help ease the burden. The data they produce will help teams prove their value by showing results to their internal clients.
2. We Don’t Have the Budget
This is a favorite excuse for not measuring internal communications — it appears financially responsible.
But there’s a good argument that says you can’t afford not to measure your internal communications.
Think about all of the time and effort that go into creating and sending internal email, then think about all the time you ask of employees to read those messages. Time is money! Shouldn’t you be spending those resources efficiently? To do that, you need to measure what’s working, and what isn’t.
3. We Don’t Have Access to the Data
You’ve collected data on page views and click-through. Great! Can you take action on it?
You’d be surprised how many communications teams aren’t able to view their own internal communications metrics. They have to request reports, and wait.
It’s important to use tools that give you easy access to the data. The more barriers you can eliminate for your communications team, the more likely they are to measure emails (and yield results).
4. We’re Unhappy With Our Measurement Tools
Maybe you’re using a low-cost email marketing tool — or got a good deal on an entry-level communications measurement tool — to save a little money. That sounds promising on the surface, but if your team isn’t actually using it because the data isn’t accurate, or if they don’t like it, or it creates more work than necessary, you’re really just throwing money away.
Not all measurement tools are created equal, so do your homework before deciding on one. Enlist the help of your communications team to test options and pick the one they will be happy with and actually use — because isn’t that the point?
5. We Don’t Know What to Measure
It’s easy to get lost in the numbers. What’s important is to focus on the measurements that align with your team’s goals.
First, figure out what’s important to you. Does it matter more if people open an email, or if they actually read it? Establish a baseline measurement, a set a time period to track key metrics against your improvement objective. Then make changes and compare results.
Here are some examples:
- Increase recipients’ time on page by 20 percent within six months.
- Increase your internal communications click-through rate on news articles by 10 percent within one year.
Your objectives should be challenging but not impossible. You don’t want your team’s next excuse to be that they aren’t measuring communications because they can’t meet expectations.
How To Start Measuring Internal Comms
Ready to get the most from your internal communications? Download PoliteMail’s guide for tips and insights on how to measure your communications.