“You must measure your internal communications.”
—Says literally every internal communications expert worth their salt
But what if you can’t?
Maybe the higher-ups have squashed your dreams of getting a sweet tool like Bananatag to measure your internal communications.
Maybe you’re in the process of getting a new communications measurement tool implemented but IT and legal are dragging their feet.
Or maybe you want to dip your toes in the measurement pool before you try and convince anyone at your organization to make the investment in an IC measurement software.
Regardless, most internal communications measurement advice assumes you have fancy tools that allow you to measure quantitative data like email opens, intranet visits, or click-throughs.
Communicators who don’t have access to these tools are stuck out in the cold.
So during our last webinar, we had our esteemed panel give us some advice on what to do if you can’t measure numbers, and what you can measure instead, without any fancy technology or tools.
Here’s the three best ways to measure your internal communications without technology:
Sean Williams, a member of the Public Relations’ Commission on Measurement and Evaluation and the Vice President and Practice Lead of Education and Internal Communications at True Digital Communications is a man all about the numbers.
But even he was able to give us some non-quantitative ways to measure your internal communications, starting with just talking to people, listening, and using that to qualitatively evaluate your impact:
“If you want to get started in measurement and you don't know exactly what to do, start with the qualitative stuff.
Just start talking to people and gathering information about what it is they say and then use that stuff to improve your strategy…
You’ve got outtakes, which are the immediate results of your output, and then you've got outcomes, which are things that communicators are typically responsible for.
And then there is the organizational impact.
We are proposing that there is a chain of evidence that leads through each of these things.
Some of that is gonna be quantitative and some of that is gonna be qualitative.”
2. Talk about it Listen
Kristen Basu, the Associate Director of Communications at NCAA, had similar advice.
“In addition to focus groups, don't be afraid to have allies or people that you bounce ideas off of.
There's a wonderful administrative assistant that I set up monthly meetings with because she gives me the pulse of our organization.
So, when I talk about how we're thinking about rolling out a new initiative, she'll be really great in telling me, "Oh, okay. Maybe. But have you thought about this?" She's just a great resource.
I think we can do all of this kind of very official measurement, but sometimes the water cooler chat, talking to somebody in the break room is another great way.
Just don't limit yourself. I think everybody has an opinion and it shows that they're engaged when they're willing to share it.”
3. Ask Listen
Are you sensing a trend yet?
Oddly enough, Jen Hall, the Internal Communication Manager at Novant Health, had the exact same advice:
“In-person feedback is always great.
When we're traveling to our various medical centers, we try to piggyback existing meetings. We pop in and ask a few questions about if they know about a particular thing, and if they did, how they knew about, and what their favorite and least favorite things about our communication vehicles are.
We also have a dedicated internal communication council that is a volunteer-based group of over 400 people that we can reach out to and get feedback from before we do something, or get feedback after we do something.”
So what’s the moral of the story?
Numbers are great and all, but qualitative feedback and the process of collecting it is a great place to start when you don’t have cold-hard data.
Not only can you build relationships with different people in your organizations, but you are also showing that you take your job seriously, and great trust among these groups - which is essential for good communication, regardless of how you measure it.