I’ve become increasingly aware of the importance of research and measurement especially with the slowdown of the economy and my going through the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) accreditation process. As a result, when developing and implementing communications plans for clients I now pretty much insist that research or measurement are central elements.
On one marketing communications project which sought to attract applicants to apply for grant funding for a new initiative; success indicators for communications included gaining a certain number of applicants as well as disbursing a certain amount of funding to winning submissions. In both cases, the numbers exceeded expectations and that aspect of the project was deemed successful. That’s a simple measure but the client was able to see clearly how their investment in marketing communications contributed to the attainment of their overall project and strategic goals.
Demonstrate work contributes to bottom line
When I asked Ms. Sinickas why the measurement of communications/Public Relations was so important (especially during the current economic climate) she said that business executives make decisions on where their organizations should spend money based on the expected return on their investments. “If communicators cannot demonstrate that their work contributes to either increasing revenues or reducing the company’s operating expenses, they become a marginalized function. When the economy is tight, marginal functions are the first to have their budgets cut.”
Ms. Sinickas may have been talking about the global economy, but I think her comments are applicable to the Caribbean region.
I’ll share more of my chat with Ms. Sinickas in the weeks ahead.
Angela Sinickas, ABC, IABC Fellow is a pioneer in the field of organizational communication measurement. She has been measuring the effectiveness of communications since 1981. Sinickas and her measurement work have been cited in Harvard Business Review, Investors’ Business Daily, HR Magazine, Executive Solutions, PR News, Journal of Communication Management, Ragan Report and Communication World, among many other publications.