In this week’s readings, Paine (2011) discusses the importance of measuring the impact of events, sponsorships and speaking engagements, measuring what your employees think, and measuring threats to your reputation.
Chapter 7: Measuring the Impact of Events, Sponsorships, and Speaking Engagements
Event marketing and sponsorship has long been a more than useful tool to companies. Being able to connect with consumers face-to-face creates the ability to establish a deeper connection with the consumer. In Measuring the Effects of Sponsorships, Harvey (2001) further examines the importance of measuring how sponsorships can be beneficial to an organization. He found that sponsorships added value to advertising, stressing the importance of implementing and measuring sponsorships. According to Paine, organizations decide to participate in or sponsor an event with one of these three goals in mind (105):
- Launch of new products
- Drive affinity between customers and the brand
- Reach new markets and customers
Use Data to Support Your Event Decisions
Whether attending or not attending an event, make sure to have data to back the decision (106). Authors suggest creating a form that tracks the potential profit from attending an event. This form tracks items such as total attendees, total views, total leads, site visits, total contracts and costs
Social Media has Redefined the Concepts of Events
The term “events” has evolved with the creation of social media. This online outlet has allowed for companies to reach consumers virtually through holding contests and creating engagement.
Events and the Relationships behind Brand Engagement: How Are People Involved with Your Brand
Involvement in a brand not only measures how many people are engaged, but involves an understanding of the nature and strength of the relationship.
Following sponsorship and events, one of the most important things that marketers are looking at is how the consumers attitude has changed in terms of buying and behaviors. There are seven steps that the book outlines to measure this change (109):
- Define your objectives
- Determine your measureable criteria of success
- Decide upon your benchmarks
- Select a measurement tool
- Define your specific metrics
- Choose a Measurement Tool
- Analyze Your Results and Use Them to Make Your Events More Effective
How to calculate ROI for a booth at an event: was it worth the time and resources?
In the example from the book:
- 50 percent of respondents indicate that they intend to purchase and you know that 1,000 people visited the booth.
- 500 people intend to purchase some thing from your organization
- if on average, the respondents indicate that they each plan to spend $1,000 on your products or services at some point in the next six months, then you can project approximately $500,000 from the show.
- Then subtract your expenses from attending.
Chapter 10: Measuring what your employees think
Constantly measuring the perception of the organization through the eyes of the employee is extremely important. Making sure that employees are spreading word that the company is a good place to work and recommending the product to others lowers costs in other areas such as recruiting and creates word of mouth advertising.
If Employees are so connected, why is it so hard to communicate with them?
- Employees constantly receive information about the company from outside sources. The media and social media are constants in the lives of employees. This is creating a shift of internal communication from Human Resource departments to the communication departments.
Seven steps to measuring what employees think, say and do as a result of your internal communications
- Understand the environment and where they really get information, what information they trust, what information is important, and what they actually think about the organization.
- Agree on Clear, Measurable goals
- Select a Benchmark to compare to
- Define the Criteria of Success
- Select the measurement tools and collect data
- Analyze and take action
- Make changes to improve employee relationships
Susan Rink describes how to measure the effectiveness of employee communications in this 6-minute Youtube clip:
Chapter 11: Threats to Your Reputation
In chapter 11, Paine discusses how to measure crises (i.e. threats to your reputation). Reputation, Paine explains, “is the sum total of your relationships with all our publics” (p 163). Moreover, trust is the key to building a solid, lasting reputation (p 172). She notes that while it takes a long time to build a reputation, it can be destroyed in a matter of seconds. Consequently, crises occur when certain events threaten one’s reputation (p 164).
The best type of crisis communication is to avoid the crisis all together. Grunig, Grunig and Dozier (2002) describe four principles of a crisis period:
- The Relationship Principle: an organization will be able to better withstand a crisis if it has established solid, lasting relationships with publics who may be affected by crises
- The Accountability Principle: an organization should always accept accountability for a crisis (even if it was not its fault!)
- The Disclosure Principle: organizations should disclose everything it knows about the crisis or promise full disclosure if it does not already know what happened
- The Symmetrical Communication Principle: during the time of the crisis, organizations should consider its publics’ interests just as importantly as its own (e.g. public safety is just as important as making a profit; p 164)
In sum, the best way to diminish a crisis is to pay close attention to your publics so that you can respond before things spiral out of hand. Paine recommends monitoring what is being said about your organization via Google Alerts, etc.
However, though the best type of crisis communications is proactive, sometimes crises occur without a moment’s notice. In the event that a crisis does ensue, Paine recommends the following measuring what is being said about you, what people believe about you, and what people do as a result.
To measure what is being said about you, monitor media (i.e. print, television, radio, online news sources, blogs, Facebook, tweets, Youtube videos, online forums, etc.; p 165). This includes not only mainstream media, but also what your customers are saying about you outside of traditional media. Good crisis management aggressively deals with negative content so that the volume of content decreases after the first week or so (p 169). Measuring what people believe about you allows you to see what your publics think about you. Paine says the best way to do this is through overnight polling. Sometimes polls can reveal that media outcry is not necessarily representative of your public’s opinion (p 170). Lastly, following up by measuring what people do in the event of a crisis is essential as it can help you learn from your mistakes. Ulmer (2011) reiterates this point in the article Creating Opportunities and Renewal Out of a Crisis. Ulmer (2011) describes how to take the lessons learned from a crisis and turn those lessons into valuable experience that will contribute to future situations.
Lastly, Paine outlines seven steps to measure crises and trust:
- Define a specific outcome for the desired crisis
- Define your audiences and what you want your relationship to be with each one
- Define your benchmark (look at your company vs. other companies in a similar crisis)
- Define your measurement criteria (how will you define success?)
- Select a measurement tool (i.e. surveys, focus groups, content analysis, etc.)
- Analyze results, glean insight and make actionable recommendations
- Make changes and measure again
Here’s a great blog that explains how to measure crisis communication:
Additionally, the Institute for PR has a PDF available for download regarding how to effectively measure communication during a crisis:
Blog Leaders: Kathryn Nick, Christina Persaud
Harvey, B. (2001). Measuring the Effects of Sponsorships. Journal Of Advertising Research, 41(1), 59-65.
Paine, K. (2011). Measure What Matters: Online Tools for Understanding Customers, Social Media, Engagement and Key Relationships. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Ulmer, R. (2011). Creating Opportunities and Renewal Out of a Crisis. Communication Currents, 6(6), 1-3.