What? You’re still keeping the metrics for all your communications functions in different silos and different platforms? Stop it now! Integrating the measurement process for all your comms functions will change your life. Not to mention make it a lot easier to show your value to senior leadership.
The advantages of integrating your communications functions are covered brilliantly in last year’s Conference Board report “Unlocking the Value of Integrated Corporate Communications and Marketing.” (For a summary of that report, see our article “Integrating Communications and Marketing: The Path to Digital Transformation.”)
But the improvements that come with integrating the metrics for all your comms teams are even more far reaching:
1. The bigger picture puts your stakeholders first.
When we’re in the trenches doing day-to-day communications projects, it’s easy to focus on the to-do list and the activities we undertake. That’s when we lose track of the ultimate goals and outcomes we’re trying to accomplish. Instead, we concentrate on pleasing our internal customers, co-workers, bosses, and anyone else that is in our face on a daily basis.
You know who isn’t in your face on a daily basis? Your customers and external stakeholders—the people who actually give your organization the ability to write your paycheck.
When we integrate communications functions, we see a bigger picture: the key target audiences and stakeholders with whom we’re trying to communicate. We’re able to look at not just how much we are reaching the target audience, but how we are reaching them most effectively.
2. It provides everyone in corporate communications with the same over-arching goals.
One dashboard with everything on it ensures that there is clarity and consistency among all departments, teams, and contributors about how the individual campaigns, initiatives, and projects are measured. Sure, there will be specific objectives and maybe even different messages for different projects. But, ultimately, having one integrated dashboard means that everyone is on the same page when it comes to goals and objectives and how you deliver business value.
3. It provides consistency no matter who’s in charge.
Management in corporate communications can be fluid these days. But with a single source of truth in the form of consistent goals, objectives, and metrics, everyone can stay on track no matter what chaos ensues among the top ranks. When everyone is working towards improving the same metrics, they stay focused on outcomes, not internal politics.
4. It improves internal communications and teamwork.
Dashboards aren’t granite monuments that you put in place and ignore. If they are designed well and contain explanations of the “what, so what, and now what?” (i.e., what happened, what that meant to the organization, and what to do next), they represent all the stories, case studies, and team efforts for the month or quarter that’s being reported. As such, integrated dashboards provide a reason for the communications group to sit down and actually communicate with each other about what worked and what didn’t. More importantly, they provide an opportunity to collectively brainstorm about how to improve your processes.
5. It collapses silos.
One of the biggest problems in today’s multi-media comms environment is siloed thinking. Too often people don’t share goals or messages, and each person or department works towards individual goals. Later, everyone claims attribution for success without considering the influence of other disciplines.
Integrating all the efforts into a single dashboard requires sharing data and, ultimately, learning how different disciplines contribute to your communication goals. For a how to guide to developing your dashboard, see our article “7 Steps to Design an Integrated Measurement Dashboard for Your Entire Communications Effort.” ∞